HAVRE de GRACE –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin today joined local officials in welcoming a replica of Capt. John Smith’s shallop to Havre de Grace in celebration of the 400
th anniversary of his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay.
In May, the shallop embarked on a 121-day expedition to retrace Capt. Smith’s trip and to inaugurate the Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the nation’s first historic waterway trail.
“Four hundred years ago, John Smith embarked into the unknown, mapping and exploring the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Cardin.
“We remember and honor his heroic feat with the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
This trail highlights the complex and delicate nature of the Bay’s ecosystem, while providing an interactive experience for people recreating John Smith’s historic voyage.
The Chesapeake Bay is one of America’s greatest natural resources and this historic water trail will make it possible for more Americans to experience its unique history and cultural heritage.”
As a member of the House of Representatives, then-Rep. Cardin cosponsored legislation creating the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, which charts Capt. Smith’s route though “smart buoys.”
These interactive buoys serve as guide posts, enabling people to access historical and geographic information using cell phones or the Internet.
The buoys will also serve as scientific observation platforms, providing real-time scientific data to NOAA.
Patrick F. Noonan, founder and chairman emeritus of The Conservation Fund and one of the leaders in the effort to create the new national historic water trail, noted that in recreating the voyage of Capt. Smith, “This crew of modern explorers has demonstrated the kind of grit and determination it takes to do hard things. No matter the weather, no matter if the wind and tide were fair or foul, they have rowed and sailed their shallop along Smith's route for hundreds of miles. They have met thousands of people at community festivals and engaged all in the fascinating story of the Bay's history and ecology.”