Today it is generally recognized that the sea is no longer a ‘barren vastness,’ but instead a fertile valley seething with life, in the main uncharted… Opportunities for applied science could barely be better elsewhere than in the Chesapeake Bay country.
Dr. Reginald V. Truitt, zoologist and founder of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, penned this quote in 1932 to justify the need for fisheries research in the Chesapeake Bay. A pioneer of environmental science in Maryland, Dr. Truitt was among the first to realize the Bay’s growing decline—and its potential for renewal with the assistance from humankind. His dedicated work and inspiring foresight gave rise to one of the world’s leading institutions for coastal studies.
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) traces its origins to the establishment of the Chesapeake Laboratory in 1925, the oldest state-supported marine laboratory in continuous operation on the East Coast.
Originally established to conduct scientific studies on Maryland’s natural resources, UMCES has become scientific authority on the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed and a leading institution for the advancement of scientific knowledge of the environment around the world.