The Great Marsh: An Intimate Journey into a Chesapeake Wetland
Is it still possible to make a voyage of discovery here in Maryland, the nation's fifth most densely settled state? In The Great Marsh: An Intimate Journey into a Chesapeake Wetland, David W. Harp's vivid photography and Tom Horton's eloquent prose produce a compelling portrait of one such journey in an intriguing and endangered habitat.
Into this remarkable territory―:whose shrinking dimensions frighten every naturalist and ecologist―:Harp and Horton embarked on a canoe trip, exploring, documenting, and photographing the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County. This volume, at its core, is the story of a single crossing of the Blackwater's length, east to west, while the accompanying essays discuss how the marsh functions as a refuge for migrating butterflies, the wetlands sustain a lonely trapper, and the bogs yield archeological treasures―:remnants of American Indian hunting forays and colonial boat building.
The edges of the Chesapeake Bay offer Americans some of their loveliest (and most sensitive) wetlands. The fertile waters and soggy vegetation provide a home to ducks, geese, eagles, and dozens of other species of birds: muskrats, squirrels, and foxes: and of course insect varieties almost too numerous to count. The environmental importance of the marshes lies in their capacity to filter pollutants, retard erosion, and help maintain a natural balance among the critters.
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