Philosophical Society of Washington

Buildout: An Examination of Environmental Carrying Capacity around Chesapeake Bay from 1607 to the Present

Kent Mountford
Senior Scientist, USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program

2109th Meeting Abstract
Friday, October 29, 1999 at 8:15 PM


Ecologist and Environmental Historian Kent Mountford will speak about the historical roots of "buildout" in the Chesapeake Bay region. This term, used by planners to describe saturation development, is usually viewed as a recipe for environmental decline. From the first European contacts, a succession of pressures have been placed on landscape and living resources by technology and population. Each wave of pressures—like those from agrigulture, forest removal and population—have resulted in increasingly damaged ecological conditions. Prospects for sustainable development and restoration are discussed.

About the Author:

Kent Mountford serves as the Senior Environmental Scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program Office, where he's worked since it opened in 1984 to preserve and restore habitat and living resources for our Nation's largest estuary. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1960 with a degree Business and Economics and returned 6 years later to take MS and PhD degrees in estuarine ecology. He's been active in marine science for 34 years, lived and worked on the Chesapeake for 28, and has become an environmental historian in the process. In 1994 he received an EPA Regional Bronze Medal Award for the Bay Program's Environmental Indicator effort. He's a journal writer, sketch artist, lecturer, photographer and has written dozens of articles for scientific and popular publications. His book, "Closed Sea", a history of the Barnegat (NJ) Estuary is to be published late in 1999. He's traveled in 25 countries and is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain who has sailed over 34,000 nautical miles.

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