Common ground on Chesapeake shores

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, September 18, 2017.

Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, J. C. Hudgins has spent his entire life in Mathews, Virginia, making his living off the Chesapeake Bay. In the mornings, he pulls up his crab pots and sells his catch. His afternoons are often filled with eco-tours—before settling in for the evening with Fox News.

Hudgins’s opinions on environmental policy, however, take a sharp turn from the stance that many liberals associate with people from conservative communities. But to Hudgins and many of his neighbors living on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, conservatism and conservation go hand-in-hand.

“Conservation is at the heart of conservative principles. You’re operating on the same root word,” says Jack White, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Mathews County.

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