Rappahannock Record, April 10, 2014
It is written (Genesis 1:28) that God gave man dominion over the earth. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
We have been fruitful and multiplied, and as we have multiplied we have hunted and fished and cleared land and spilled our wastes into the seas and the air. We have taken much while giving little in return. Is this what was meant by dominion?
The history of the Chesapeake Bay is replete with tales of abundance—of bountiful harvests of fish, and crabs and oysters.
Where is that bounty now? What have we, as the stewards of this planet, done to preserve the bounty of the Chesapeake?
Despite well intended legislation “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters,” we continue to destroy the balance of the bay for our own convenience.
How much “crabitat” has been lost through indiscriminate installation of rip rap? How many boaters know they are responsible for shoreline damage done by their wakes and destruction of sea grasses by their propellers?
How many are aware of the effects pesticides and fertilizers have on oxygen/nitrogen levels in the bay? Have you noticed that in some creeks the “No Shellfish Harvesting” signs have been relocated down stream?
County supervisors propose to destroy more of the bay’s ecology. To construct a boat launch in Dymer Creek’s shallowest headwaters where the heron nest, fish spawn, otters play, eagles nest and small crabs find safety is bad enough. To dredge an access channel through soft mud to further upset the natural habitat borders on sacrilege.
Responsible stewardship demands more. Dominion requires respect for God’s creation.