Pyke briefs Senate on warming in Chesapeake Bay

(Sept. 24, 2007) Virginia Institute of Marine Science fellow Dr. Christopher Pyke will help brief an influential Senate committee this Wednesday, Sept 26th on the impacts of global warming on Chesapeake Bay.

Pyke, a 1996 graduate of the College of William and Mary and a fellow of the Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) at VIMS, will appear before the full US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Other witnesses will include Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senator Barbara Mikulski, (D-MD), Congressman Wayne Gilchrest , (R-MD 1st), Dr. Donald F. Boesch (President, Univ. of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), and William Baker (President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation).

The Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by US Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), is charged with study and review of matters relating to environmental protection, resource use, and conservation. The Minority Ranking member is US Senator James Inhofe (OK).

CCRM Director Carl Hershner recommended Pyke for Wednesday’s hearing, noting that “Chris is one of the most knowledgeable people at this point in time about climate implications for Chesapeake Bay.”

Pyke will represent the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), which in 2006 was tasked with reporting on global warming’s impacts on the Bay. Hershner was chair of STAC at the time.

“The gist of my message,” says Pyke, “ is that climate change will pose a real challenge to the restoration goals of the Chesapeake Bay Program, particularly in the areas of water quality and living resources.”

Pyke is currently the Director of Climate Change Services for CTG Energetics, Inc., a team of engineers, architects, planners, and ecologists dedicated to integrating principles of sustainability into the design and operation of built environments. He coordinates CTG’s climate-change services, including greenhouse mitigation and adaptation.

As a CCRM fellow, Pyke is collaborating with VIMS staff on a number of projects, including a study of the implications of climate change for shoreline-defense decisions, and how VIMS can best incorporate “green” features in its future buildings.

Pyke and CCRM scientists also recently submitted a proposal to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to investigate how coastal managers incorporate the risks of storm surge and sea-level rise in their decisions. This is part of a continuing effort by CCRM to improve the flow of information from scientists to resource managers.

The EPW Committee hearing, "An Examination of the Impacts of Global Warming on the Chesapeake Bay," will take place in Room 406 of the Dirksen Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 beginning at 09:30 AM. For more details, visit the EPW hearings page.

Questions or Comments? Contact the News & Media webmaster