Singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues

Bill Dennison ·
13 June 2013
Science Communication |     2 comments

As part of the Scaling Up: Future of Environmental Decisions workshop (2-7 June 2013), I wrote "Singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues". Apologies to my colleague Howard Ernst, who wrote an excellent book "Chesapeake Bay Blues", for adopting his book title into the song. This workshop was sponsored by the Ecological Society of America, with National Science Foundation funding.

Singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues

Singing the Chesapeake Blues
Singing the Chesapeake Blues

We threw off the lines from the Solomons pier

Aboard the Rachel Carson with our sampling gear

We threw off the lines from the Solomons pier
We threw off the lines from the Solomons pier

We headed out into the Chesapeake Bay

On a spectacular warm summer day

We headed out into the Chesapeake Bay
We headed out into the Chesapeake Bay

We were in search of the famous dead zone

Overboard went the CTD and the winch gave a groan

With the data streaming, we watched oxygen disappear

The dead zone was there, have no fear

We were in search of the famous dead zone
We were in search of the famous dead zone

Good news, we found the dead zone! Oops, that's bad news

And it is why we're singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues.

Good news, we found the dead zone! Oops, that's bad news
Good news, we found the dead zone! Oops, that's bad news

Osprey flying overhead and bait fish on the go

The Bay put on a very nice show

We looked up and saw Calvert Cliffs and the Naval Air Base

We looked down and saw the secchi disappear without a trace

Osprey flying overhead and bait fish on the go
Osprey flying overhead and bait fish on the go

We tracked chlorophyll, color and turbidity

Which compromise Chesapeake water quality

Collecting these data while underway

Trying to understand Chesapeake Bay

We tracked chlorophyll, color and turbidity
We tracked chlorophyll, color and turbidity

We are looking for some scientific clues

As to why we're singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues.

We are looking for some scientific clues
We are looking for some scientific clues

We steamed up into a Chesapeake tributary

The Patuxent River with depths that did vary

Up past the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Where scientists study this magnificent estuary

We steamed up into a Chesapeake tributary
We steamed up into a Chesapeake tributary

Dredging for oysters, we pulled up some shells

Oysters, barnacles, mussels and sea squirts as well

Dredging for oysters, we pulled up some shells
Dredging for oysters, we pulled up some shells

We trawled with a fishing net - didn't catch much

We pulled in croaker, perch, bay anchovies and such

We trawled with a fishing net - didn't catch much
We trawled with a fishing net - didn't catch much

Not catching fish and a secchi who's sight we did lose

That is why we're singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues.

Not catching fish and a secchi who's sight we did lose
Not catching fish and a secchi who's sight we did lose

The Scaling Up crew converged in Baltimore

Analyzed data and generated graphs galore

The Scaling Up crew converged in Baltimore
The Scaling Up crew converged in Baltimore

Working for several days and nights

Preparing talks with some good insights

Bright young minds thinking about the Bay

Giving me hope that things will be OK

photo-14

They are surely going to leave a trace

And make the world a better place

So on a future Rachel Carson cruise

We won't be singing the Chesapeake Bay Blues

They are surely going to leave a trace
They are surely going to leave a trace

About the author

Bill Dennison

Dr. Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.



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Comments

  • A_McMillen 9 years ago

    Great way to wrap up the week. http://t.co/QxIkdg65K9 Thanks Bill! #ESAScalingup

  • NEONInc 9 years ago

    RT @A_McMillen: Great way to wrap up the week. http://t.co/QxIkdg65K9 Thanks Bill! #ESAScalingup

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