25 years on, Bernie’s still looking for his feet
As a young man in the 1960s, Bernie Fowler recalls he could wade chest deep into the Patuxent River and still see his toes as he netted crabs. But the clarity of his beloved river plummeted over the years, along with the vitality of the rest of the Cheaspeake Bay.
In 1988, frustrated with what seemed to him then as the slow pace of efforts to restore the river, Fowler, a state senator representing Calvert County, staged a wade-in to demonstrate graphically just how fouled the water was. He lost sight of his feet just 10 inches deep that day.
Since then, Fowler has made an annual pilgrimage into the river, joined by family, friends and assorted politicians in an event that’s almost baptismal in nature. His simple and single-minded focus on seeing how deep he can get before losing sight of his now-sneakered toes has helped crystallize for many the import of the complexities of the bay’s problems – nutrient pollution, algae blooms and dead zones.
Read the full story from the Baltimore Sun: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-06-08/features/bal-patuxent-river-wadein-marks-25th-year-20120608_1_bernie-fowler-annual-patuxent-river-chesapeake-bay-commission