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Woman Walks to Chesapeake Bay From the Middle of Virginia

May 8, 2012

BALTIMORE - A walk from the mountains to the sea begins Wednesday for a woman who will travel about 400 miles to get an extended first-hand look at rivers, creeks, and streams along the way, and eventually Chesapeake Bay, which she'll see by sailboat.

Laurel Woodworth is a storm-water and watershed planner for the Center for Watershed Protection. While she will do some river paddling, mostly she'll be on foot.

"With walking, you're getting a cross-section of what's leading to the waterways; you know, what the land uses are that are ultimately really affecting the health of the water and the quality of the water."

Woodworth says that, since she deals with issues at work related to cleaning up streams and providing education on why it's important, she figured it would be best to investigate in person all the different cultural values and perspectives on the issues.

"I just really wanted to see it at a pace that I felt like I could kind of absorb it. Walking is the mode of travel in which I'm the least distracted."

Along the way, she'll meet up with people interested in restoring creeks that have been paved over, and others interested in water management. She'll begin her journey at the edge of mid-Virginia, and expects to finish the walk on the first day of summer.

Laurel Woodworth will blog about the journey at www.walkacrossvirginia.blogspot.com.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD