Antipoison Creek: Past and Present

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I think history is an important part of studying current environmental issues. The land use practices and consumer choices of past societies and generations shaped the environments we have today; studying historical descriptions of the places we live in can be used to compare past conditions with present.

In research for this SAV (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation) project (planting underwater grasses by the family Bay house), I have been looking at the historical presence of SAVs in the area, and have come across various historical facts on the area, some new, some old.

The house is at the mouth of Antipoison Creek, which opens up to the Chesapeake Bay. The Creek got its name when local Native Americans treated John Smith for a stingray injury. Smith was either treated at Antipoison Creek, or the cure was found at the creek- versions vary.

Agriculture and aquaculture have been prominent in Lancaster County for centuries. It’s hard to imagine the Antipoison Creek of Smith’s time. Today, farmers, watermen, oyster harvesters, vacationers and retirees surround the creek. How land use and the natural environment in the area has evolved and changed throughout the past 400 years is something I’m interested in, and could be important to future restoration/ conservation projects in the area.

Image

View from our dock of a fishing vessel that has a home on Antipoison Creek. To reach its wharf, the ship passes a variety of residential homes, fish houses, and a small oyster farm that are situated on the banks of Antipoison.

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