A River of Resources:  Cashing in on the Wicomico

This group of four chapters four of the economic linchpins of the Wicomico River watershed, particularly over the last one hundred and fifty years:  farming, the poultry industry, fishing, and forestry.  This region has been intensely agricultural throughout its history, and remains so today.  Each of these four sectors of the river's economy have been closely interlinked.  Just to begin - cutting forests made way for agricultural fields, and those same fields supplied the corn that fed the chickens, and the runoff (from fields and poultry houses) fed back into the river, changing its chemistry, as well as its biological communities. This in turn changed the suitability of the river for various fisheries, and increasingly unstable fisheries led to fishermen turning from the water and towards fields (and chicken) to make their living, all cycling back to the river.  Clearly, environmental change has been a hallmark of peoples'  pursuit of a living on the shores of the Wicomico, and the ways that people have been able to eke out a living in this area have often been heavily dependent upon the river itself, whether as a highway for their goods, a source of goods, or as an endpoint for their least desirable wastes.

Chapter Six: Farming the Wicomico: The Relationships between Man, River, and Soil

Chapter Seven: Salisbury, Maryland: a University, a River, and a Chicken Factory

Chapter Eight: A Living Resource Exhausted: Fishing on the Wicomico

Chapter Nine: Money Growing on Trees: Forestry Surrounding the Wicomico

Section Table of Contents