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Wade-In and Watch Your Feet: Checking the 2007 "Sneaker Index" in the Inland Bays


2006 Wade-In
Gov. Minner checks the "Sneaker Index" at 2006's Wade-In.
Dr. Gerhard Kuska, Director of Ocean and Coastal Policy for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will join Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner for the 7th Annual Governor’s Wade-In Saturday at Delaware Seashore State Park. Dr. Kuska, who holds a PhD. in marine studies from the University of Delaware, advises the President on a broad range of oceanic, coastal and maritime policy issues. He will be alongside Gov. Minner after she slips on white sneakers and welcomes other waders—including DNREC Secretary John A. Hughes and Delaware Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse—into the waters of Rehoboth Bay to establish this year’s “Sneaker Index.”

The Sneaker Index is a scientifically simple way of determining water clarity, or turbidity, that originated with U.S. Sen. C. Bernard (Bernie) Fowler of Maryland. As a young man in the 1940s, Fowler would wade into Maryland’s Patuxent River to harvest crabs and shellfish and in doing so could clearly see his sneakers while standing in chest-deep water. In the mid-1980s, Sen. Fowler became concerned about the future of the Patuxent and its water quality. To evaluate the river’s condition, he began to measure how deeply he could wade into the water and still see his sneakers—thus the Sneaker Index, for which the inaugural event to measure water clarity took place in Maryland in 1987.

The Wade-In—sponsored by the Center for the Inland Bays, a National Estuary Program dedicated to promoting wise use and enhancement of Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed—begins at 11 a.m. at Towers Road (bayside). As always, the public is invited to participate. To register or for additional information about the event, please contact the office of the Center for the Inland Bays at (302) 226-8105.

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