by William C. Baker, CBF President

Forty-five years ago, I was high up in a tree, pruning dead wood. I was a part time tree surgeon. The owner of the tree, Truman Semans, a founding member of CBF, looked up and asked me: “Will, would you like to save the Bay?”

A week later, I started as an intern with CBF. Five years later, I became president. Now, in my 40th year leading CBF, I have decided to retire at the end of this year.

The sun rises over Richmond’s Pony Pasture on the James River. Photo by David Everette.

When CBF was founded more than 50 years ago, the Bay was dying. Today, because of steadfast supporters like you, a restored Bay is within sight.

But we are not done yet, and neither am I. The deadline for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is 2025, a new federal administration is implementing science-based policies, comprehensive initiatives are underway to plant 10 million trees in Pennsylvania and add 10 billion oysters to the Bay, and so much more.

There is a lot to do, and we are more determined than ever to finish the job. I will be working alongside CBF’s incredible team for the next 11 months. The Board of Trustees will undertake a search for CBF’s next president. The organization is in great shape and poised for continued success.
Supporters like you care deeply for our national treasure; you know we are making history here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and you are the true lifeblood of this extraordinary organization.

You have motivated me to dedicate my professional life to this cause. Together, we can — we will — save the Bay!

Saving the Bay through restoration, advocacy, education, and litigation.

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