Welcome to Bay Journeys, a publication we hope will help launch you on new explorations, and adventures, around the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake Bay is rightfully considered a national treasure: English America started here with the Jamestown Colony. Its leader, Capt. John Smith, explored the “faire bay” documenting the abundant resources of what would prove to be the nation’s largest estuary.

But the story of the Bay also includes that of the American Indians who thrived here long before the English arrived, and Chesapeake watermen who for generations made their living from what writer H.L. Mencken described as “an immense protein factory.” It’s also the story of vast marshes with abundant wildlife, wide tidal rivers with bald eagles and osprey soaring overhead, and tiny creeks where herring and American eel fight their way upstream in annual migrations.

The demise of some of these resources and cultures has been well-documented. Bay Journeys is intended to help introduce readers to special places where they can still experience first-hand the natural, historic and cultural aspects of the Chesapeake Bay. By doing so, we hope it will help spark a greater sense of stewardship for these places and resources, and the desire to protect what is left, and restore some of what has been lost.

“Journey” stems from the old French word “jornee” which means “a day’s travel” or “a day’s work.” Our intent is to show you that Bay experiences are close at hand. Each issue will highlight not only places you can go, but show how to get started on your own adventures, whether it is getting into a kayak, onto a trail or touring by car.

Publication of Bay Journeys is supported by the National Park Service and by the Chesapeake Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting conservation, stewardship, access and enjoyment of the Chesapeake Bay’s iconic landscapes, waterways and its cultural and historic access. Chesapeake Media Service, a nonprofit organization best known for our sister publication, Bay Journal, is responsible for the editorial content.

It is the hope of all of us that Bay Journeys will inspire your own “jornee” to learn more about the places that make the Chesapeake unique — and renew your commitment to ensure their protection for those who follow in years to come.