July 7, 2021
Saturday, June 12 a new mural was unveiled in Cambridge. Located above Chesapeake College’s building at 418 Race Street, the mural inspires the community to consider the rich diversity of marine life in the Chesapeake Bay and the benefits we all receive from it.
The UMCES - Horn Point Lab was invited to share its scientific knowledge to assist in creating a vision and storyboard for the new mural. Faculty members Jamie Pierson and Victoria Coles and graduate student Lisa Ziegler provided plant, flora and fauna suggestions to the artists Red Swan, a woman owned, Baltimore-based mural studio. HPL also assisted with creating the storyboard located on the College’s building on Race Street. PNC Bank provided inspiration for the project and funders include: PNC Wealth Management, The Todd Fund, The Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, Spa & Marina, Chesapeake College, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Downtown Cambridge.
The Chesapeake Bay nurtures a rich assortment of life from single-celled animals and plants to the humans that fish its waters. The foundation of this food web are plankton and other single-celled organisms that are food for larger more complex animals like copepods, tiny crustaceans that are cousins to crabs. The copepods then serve as food for small fishes, like juvenile striped bass and alewife. Herons, osprey, blue crabs, and humans in turn dine on these fishes and a broad array of other animals. Understanding these complex connections in the Chesapeake teaches us how all living things from plankton to humans are interdependent and help maintain a healthy ecosystem.