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Meet: Debbie Lawrence, Board Member

CBMM_Lawrence Debbie2Debbie Lawrence moved from New York to Maryland in 1972 to attend the University of Maryland. She has stayed here ever since. Debbie and her family began visiting St. Michaels in the early 1980s. She and her husband, Tom, would bring their children down to eat at the Crab Claw. They felt so drawn to the area that they purchased a home here shortly after.

Now that they were an official part of the area, Debbie and Tom immediately wanted to know more about the environment. They came to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as an educational resource to learn about the river and the ecosystem. Debbie wanted to contribute even further. She began attending the events, and was elected to the Board in June 2014.

Some of Debbie’s favorite memories of the Chesapeake Bay involve the Museum. Debbie remembers one moment that especially touched her. She brought her mother to OysterFest, and stopped by the Mister Jim to speak with the captain. “He told us all about the crabbing and oystering history, both from his personal history and the broader history of the area. It was so fascinating to hear the past, present, and future view of the Bay from his point of view.”

It’s obvious that Debbie takes great pride in the Museum. She is in awe of the volunteers. “It’s very special to run into people who have been so generous with their time. The loyal, friendly, and devoted volunteers are really what make CBMM special.” It’s very fitting that Debbie views the people as CBMM’s greatest strength. Debbie sees the amazing potential for the Museum. She thinks that the greatest contribution is yet to come. “The future is bright. We now have the resources and outreach potential to engage the community.”

Debbie’s favorite part of the Museum is events, especially the Boating Party.  She loves being able to stand on Navy Point, listening to live music and watching the sunset over the boats. She has been to five Boating Parties so far, and is serving on this year’s planning committee. She sees this event as a way to introduce her friends to CBMM.

Recognizing the Museum’s educational role, Debbie sees CBMM as a tremendous steward for the Chesapeake Bay. She appreciates the Museum giving those who make the Bay their life the ability to teach from their point of view. “It’s just not an opportunity that you get very often.”

Debbie brings a fresh perspective to the Board, which enables her to look at old problems with new energy, and ask questions that could lead to improvements around the Museum. She has a close bond to CBMM. “When you’re new to the Eastern Shore, it gives you the opportunity to meet neighbors and friends who have a common interest.” Debbie views the Museum as being her way to make a contribution to the community that she is now a part of.

CBMM would like to thank Debbie for her time and dedication to the Museum!