National Estuaries Week


WHEREAS, estuaries are the coastal area where a river meets the ocean, creating a uniquely rich environment that supports more life per square inch than any other ecosystem on earth; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is blessed with an abundance of natural estuarine beauty, from the Eastern Shore to the Chesapeake Bay to the Potomac River; and

WHEREAS, nearly 42% of the state’s GDP is derived from the Chesapeake Bay Estuary Region; and

WHEREAS, preserving estuarine habitats and fish populations is crucial to sustaining the Virginia commercial fishing industry, which generates more than $722 million annually and supplies 19,000 local jobs, as well as recreational fishing, which generates more than $306 million each year; and

WHEREAS, protecting and restoring our estuaries ensures outdoor recreational opportunities for current and future generations, reduces the costly impacts of natural hazards, and supports local jobs; and

WHEREAS, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program play critical roles  in the stewardship of Virginia’s estuaries; and

WHEREAS, National Estuaries Week is an opportunity to recognize the commercial, economic, environmental, and recreational benefits of estuaries to the Commonwealth;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize as September 20-27, 2014, as NATIONAL ESTUARIES WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.