The decades-long effort to protect one of the nation’s most important waterways

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and the site of some of the most significant moments in the nation’s history. This book provides for the first time a comprehensive story of the effort to save and protect its waters and living resources for future generations. Andrew Ramey describes the enormous task—engaging the states in the Bay’s watershed and the federal government since 1983—to realize one of the largest, most complex, and most expensive ecosystem restoration projects ever undertaken. He also unfolds a dramatic political narrative, tracing the momentous changes in American environmental politics from the “green” heyday of the 1960s and 1970s to the environmental movement’s collision with the Reagan administration in the 1980s and the movement’s ultimate triumph over the anti-environmental backlash of the 1990s and early 2000s. Along the way, he clarifies assumptions about the environmental movement, the major parties’ roles in it, and our society’s efforts to forge sustainable relationships with the natural world. Saving the Chesapeake Bay reveals how a campaign to rescue this crucial resource altered the course of American environmentalism.
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