Maryland’s Coastal Bays— Assawoman, Isle of Wight, Sinepuxent, Chincoteague, and Newport Bays, and St. Martin River— are among our state’s most precious resources. For centuries, their waters, forests, marshes, and fertile soils have sustained growing populations.
They have supported jobs in the agricultural, fishing, recreation, and tourism industries. They have provided important habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife. They are a vital part of Worcester County’s and the lower Eastern Shore’s economy and quality of life. But, by their very nature, the Coastal Bays are especially vulnerable to environmental and human pressures.
The good news is that today the health of the Maryland Coastal Bays ecosystem is still in fair condition. The bad news is that the water quality and biodiversity of the Coastal Bays, as a whole, are declining and the ecosystem remains extremely vulnerable to both natural and human-induced impacts which threaten to overwhelm the progress made to date.
Paul S. Sarbanes
United States Senator from Maryland