New Chesapeake Bay conservation ads appeal to appetites

The Chesapeake Bay Program’s current public-education campaign features the catchy, slogan “Save the Crabs … Then Eat ‘Em,” sure to enrage easily enraged animal-rights activists everywhere. Via billboards, TV commercials, and print ads, the campaign asks area residents to wait until fall to fertilize their lawns. Spring rains can carry typically toxic lawn chemicals out to crab territory during prime mating season and cause the crustaceans to “suffocate slowly from lack of oxygen,” the ads explain. With blue crab harvests close to record lows, the campaign managers hope their outside-the-box advertising tactics will grab the attention of the Chesapeake Bay-area public — 90 percent of whom are concerned about pollution in the bay, a recent survey indicates. “It’s a lighter approach to a serious issue,” says program spokesperson Christopher Conner. “It’s about getting people engaged, reaching them through their seafood.”