For those concerned about the plight of the Chesapeake Bay, it is a jolt to realize that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is only 25 years old. It is hard to imagine how the bay could have survived the onslaught of pollution and degradation without its pioneering work.
No discussion of the bay's past, its present or its future can be conducted without heavy reliance on the foundation's research. Thousands have been introduced to the bay's wonders, its resources and its troubles by foundation lecturers or field trips. And it is a potent political force in the bay's defense, not just in Annapolis but also in Washington, Richmond and Harrisburg.
Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has grown from a two-room office to a staff of 100 -- not counting volunteers -- and a budget of $6 million. Significantly, it raises almost as much from individual members -- now 83,000 -- as it does from large grants.