Chestertown, MD, August 11, 2000 —When Wayne H. Bell, Ph.D., was named director of the Center for the Environment and Society at Washington College in July, he called for the Center to become "a catalyst between the education programs at the College and the community, including the local Chesapeake Bay region, and the world beyond."
Making good on that pledge, Harvard-educated Bell will be a keynote speaker at the International Seminar on Chesapeake 2000, held in Kobe, Japan, August 21 to 24. Chesapeake 2000 is the name of the new Chesapeake Bay Agreement signed this past June by the Chesapeake Executive Council. The Council, which includes the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia and the mayor of Washington, D.C., has committed itself to continued restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Specific goals include improved water quality and restoration and maintenance of balanced ecosystems. If the water quality standards are met as outlined in the agreement, the Bay will be removed from the federal list of impaired waters by 2010.
The seminar is being hosted by the Scientific and Policy Committee of the International Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas (EMECS) Center. EMECS works internationally to bring together scholars, governments officials, industry representatives, and private organizations to resolve problems of bodies of water nearly surrounded by land. The Chesapeake Bay is one of nine major enclosed coastal seas recognized by EMECS. It is the largest and the most biologically diverse estuary in North America.
Dr. Bell will speak to approximately 120 government officials, researchers and private citizens about the Chesapeake 2000 agreement and his scientific point of view. Dr. Bell received both an A.M. in biology and a Ph.D. in marine microbiology from Harvard University. He comes to Washington College from the University of Maryland system where he most recently served as the vice president for external relations and the assistant to the director of special projects at the Center for Environmental Science. "Wayne Bell's public education experience and teacher outreach programs, combined with his extensive knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay, are perfectly suited to the mission of the new Center," said John S. Toll, president of Washington College.
Community outreach is a primary goal of both Chesapeake 2000 and the Washington College Center for the Environment and Society. The Center's mission is "to explore the critical relationship between society and environment...taking the Chesapeake Bay watershed region as [the] primary focus." It will be housed in the historic Chestertown Custom House, currently under restoration. The Custom House is located on the Chester River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
Support for the Center has come from Ted and Jennifer Stanley, Tom and Barbara Gale, L. Clifford Schroeder and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The effort is part of the Campaign for Washington's College, now at $61 million. The Center for the Environment and Society is one of three new centers enhancing the Washington College academic program through rigorous, innovative courses and internships, issue analysis, collaborative work with leading scholars, and national community outreach. The other new centers are the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Center for Writing and the Creative Process.