Preserving The Bay Via Photos, People

September 15, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

Pollution, erosion and human carelessness were slowly killing the Chesapeake Bay when Marion Warren decided to begin his photographic tribute 10 years ago.

He traveled up and down the shoreline, photographing watermen, children, the natural life that depended on the bay.

Next Thursday, he will begin a series of lectures about the bay combining his experiences, slides from his new book, "Bringing Back the Bay," and interviews with people who live along the Chesapeake.

The first lecture, co-sponsored by Anne Arundel Community College and the Maryland Humanities Council, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Pascal Center for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Warren, 74, and his daughter Mame Warren, who conducted the featured interviews, will also autograph books.

"Bringing Back the Bay" contains more than 250 black-and-white photographs Mr. Warren has taken over the past 10 years. These, along with the book's narrative, send out a message that the bay is important to everyone, said Ms. Warren.

"It's a many-faceted conversation about what's going on with the Chesapeake Bay," she said. "What we wanted to do is bring all the voices together."

Watermen, environmentalists and others interested in the bay were interviewed.

"Often times, you expect people to have their own agenda, but I didn't find that," she said. "I found a commonality. The concern and worry [for the bay] was universal."

Mr. Warren has been photographing the Chesapeake Bay since 1949. His previous books have featured photographs of Annapolis, Baltimore, the bay and Maryland. He has also done work for pamphlets promoting the state. In a sense, he has become the eyes of a generation.

"They see the bay through the eyes of Marion Warren because he's shown them what's important," Ms. Warren said.

What's important to Mr. Warren is the erosion, the pollution, the ecological damage done to the body of water he has loved. He also wants to make people realize that what they do has an impact on the bay.

"My whole purpose in doing this book was to document the period and to make the public aware of the bay and its condition," Mr. Warren said.

When he started the project, Mr. Warren said, he thought he could finish in two years.

"I spent the first four years getting a feel for the pictures and the direction it was going to go," he said.

"I wanted the bay to tell me what direction to go."

Once he found his direction, the rest was easy.

"It's the first project that I've ever done to my total satisfaction," said Mr. Warren, who also supervised the design and printing of the book.

"He's put his heart and soul in this book for 10 years," said Ms. Warren.

"When people see Yosemite they think of Ansel Adams," she said. "I guess a lot of people, when think of the bay, they think of Marion Warren."

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