Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Museums Matter

This is the 'living shoreline' at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, Maryland. It's a rebuilt shoreline where a few years ago there was an unrelenting wall of riprap. Now the blue crabs and horseshoe crabs, ducks and other birds, and snakes and turtles all come and go freely, find food, or take shelter.

My son volunteers in this spot talking with visitors about crabbing, oystering, fishing, and the Chesapeake Bay. He talks about male crabs and female crabs. He explains why it's responsible to not eat the females and especially the ones with egg masses.

Today he's traveling in another part of the country and he calls to tell me about his day. Among many other things there's a generous meal: many of the crabs are female; some have eggs. He's not hungry anymore.

He says "it just feels wrong to tell someone on the weekend not to do something and then to go ahead and do it today".

Museums make a difference.

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