Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes appeared Thursday before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks in support of legislation to establish a "Captain John Smith National Historic Watertrail."
The legislation would require the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility study to establish a trail designating the route of Smith's exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, according to a news release from Sarbanes' office.
Smith was instrumental in the founding of Jamestown, Va. - the first permanent English settlement in North America - and explored the Chesapeake Bay region during the early 17th century.
With a dozen men in a 30-foot open boat, Smith's travels in search of the fabled Northwest Passage and food for the colony took him nearly 3,000 miles around the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
"As Jamestown's 400th anniversary approaches in 2007, designating this trail as our first national historic watertrail would be a tremendous way to celebrate the beginning of our nation's story," Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, told the subcommittee, according to the news release.