In the beginning, there was great need for a private-sector organization that could represent the best interests of the Bay.
In 1964, a group of Baltimore businessmen, all sailors, waterfowl hunters, and fishermen, began meeting regularly over lunch to discuss problems they saw looming on the Chesapeake: more boats, more people, more houses, fish kills, poor sewage treatment, dirty industrial discharges. One of the leaders, Marshall Duer, called on then-Governor Millard J. Tawes to express the group’s concerns personally.
Tawes responded by saying that they could not expect government to fix all the Bay's problems. "There is a great need," he said, "for a private-sector organization that can represent the best interests of the Chesapeake Bay."
The answer was not what the group had expected, but the words struck home to several of them. By 1967, the group, led by Arthur Sherwood, had formed and chartered the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to be that private sector voice working on behalf of the Bay. They recruited a Board of Trustees that represented a variety of interests from throughout the Chesapeake watershed and opened a small office with two employees in Annapolis.
Perhaps most important, they adopted SAVE THE BAY as CBF's motto and printed the first run of the distinctive blue-and-white bumper stickers that are now so common throughout the watershed.
By early in 1970, with membership at 2,000 and a staff of three, Arthur Sherwood (shown above) became Executive Director and settled on two programs, Environmental Education and Resource Protection, with land conservation an integral part of the protection effort. Sherwood's lifelong friend C. Trowbridge Strong took his place as Chairman of the Board.