For four years, Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) in Cambridge, known for its well-respected scientific study of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters, has paid homage through its annual Chesapeake Champion Award to individuals dedicated to environmental preservation and stewardship of the Mid-Shore community.
Last Wednesday, at the old Maryland National Guard Armory in Easton, Jordan and Alice Lloyd, owners of the Bartlett Pear Inn, received the 2016 Chesapeake Champion Award for their laser-like focus on the use of fresh, local food. The farm-to-table experience is personal and professional for Jordan and Alice. It is not a fad. They and their customers like the taste of local food—and the reduced carbon footprint resulting from buying on the Shore.
For full disclosure, my wife Liz, working closely with Mike Roman, HPL director, has organized the Chesapeake Champion Award event.
Previous recipients are Amy Haines, owner of Out of Fire restaurant in Easton; Chip and Sally Akridge, who have created a wildlife preserve on Duvall Farm near Oxford and Albert Pritchett, longtime president of the Waterfowl Festival and Waterfowl Chesapeake.
What I have observed during the past four years has been full appreciation not only of the named individuals but sincere admiration of their stake in, and sincere commitment to community betterment. They care deeply about our way of life in Talbot County and surrounding counties. They have invested time and money.
And, maybe, just maybe, they have inspired others to do the same.
When I looked around the crowd in a space transformed by banners displaying the Lloyds at work and Horn Point Lab projects, I sensed a genuine respect for a young couple who have developed a small business that draws a slew of pleased customers. I also discerned dedication to environmental sensitivity similar in many ways to the 2016 award recipients.
One of the additional highlights of this annual event is meeting the Horn Point graduate students, for whom scholarship funds are raised. Their excitement about their Chesapeake Bay research and passion for knowledge that contributes to a healthy environment comes across clearly.
The next generation of marine scientists will soon open doors to new discoveries and possible solutions to knotty problems.
We live in a special place of the world. We live surrounded by productive farmland. We live surrounded by rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. We also know we can’t live on reputation alone.
Stories abound in the media about our polluted waterways. The health of our scenic rivers and beautiful Bay is precarious. We cannot ignore this stark reality. We have to take action, even in small ways such as the disuse of fertilizers and consumption of local food. We have to be active, concerned and determined stewards.
Though biased by my indirect connection to Horn Point Lab, I believe that the use of scientific data, objectively gathered and analyzed, is critical to understanding our environment and taking rational steps to improve it.
Protection and preservation of our Eastern Shore’s attributes cannot be delegated to the next generation. It cannot be dismissed as the refuge of the do-gooders. It should not fall victim to political squabbles.
Jordon and Alice Lloyd were raised on the Shore. They returned to Easton after spending several years in major cities as Jordan honed his craft as a first-class chef. They want to preserve and upgrade our community for their children.
Good intentions and sound science produce worthy outcomes. That was my takeaway at HPL’s Chesapeake Champion Award presentation.
Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.