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A Picture's Worth 1000 Words: Protecting PA's Chesapeake Watershed

August 30, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Sometimes pictures do really tell the story, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is counting on that premise to make a case for the Chesapeake Clean Water Act now before Congress. CBF joined forces with the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) to visually document the Chesapeake watershed.

Kelly Donaldson, spokeswoman with the Foundation, says that in Pennsylvania they snapped pictures on land, in the air, and underwater. They shot areas and wildlife that need protection, as well as those that have been polluted.

"We traveled throughout the Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake watershed. We really tried to focus on a broad variety of what's impacting our streams and really focus in on how we can fix this."

Neil Ever Osborne, an ILCP photographer who is part of the project, says the pictures they take can bring light to issues of concern.

"When we send a group of photographers out, really, we're bringing back evidence that exists in these photographs. And, if we can influence some people to make some decisions after they've seen these photographs, then that's the ultimate goal."

Kelly Donaldson says the CBF is optimistic that when members of Congress see the photo exhibit, they'll gain a new perspective on the Chesapeake watershed and its unique makeup.

"Here's all of the places that are worth protecting; here are all of the spaces that need your help, and we really need Congress to look out for water quality and to pass a Chesapeake Clean Water Act."

The ILCP donated its resources for the project. The photos will be narrowed down to a group of about 30, to be displayed at the Capitol in D.C. for two weeks, starting September 22. After that, Donaldson says, the exhibit will go on tour to art galleries, colleges and other locations around Pennsylvania.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA