Greening Diplomacy for the Bay
So I am attracted by this program because we are actually going to grow plants under the water, which for me, it’s a new thing because I really understand that the quality of the Chesapeake Bay and the quality of the water is very important for life under the water and life on Earth. We have a tradition of focusing on conservation efforts locally, but environmental matters are always global in nature. And so, we should be focusing on conservation wherever we have a footprint. We all had doubts at even times, is this going to work, then when it really started going, we could see how easy it really was or is to do something really simple to help the environment. The grasses that I saw today with the foreign missions were in particular startlingly good. They obviously nursed them over six months and really were excellent caretakers. So we did have grasses that were almost waist height on me from the ground and blades thicker than my thumb. Planting native submerged aquatic vegetation species like what’s being planted out here today, it does so many different things to help to clean the water. First of all, since it’s a plant, it uses some of that nitrogen and phosphorous that’s already in the water and to grow, but it also provides needed habitat for fish and crabs and all of the things that were part of a healthy Bay. The idea of involving embassies, which is representative of the country is a symbol that the preservation of the environment and whatever efforts to tackle the climate change has to be done with joint effort but together with all of the countries. We have about 130 different offices around the world, about 16,000 different staff, so we’ve been trying to see after this experience if we can try to have a program at the Bank to see if we can set up similar volunteer efforts in the rest of the world.