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Ties to Coastal Communities

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Personal

 

I was raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where I grew up on the water & spent my free time riding horses and going out on the family boat. Shortly after graduating from UMass Lowell with my B.A. in Psychology, I relocated to the Eastern Shore where my family was already residing and opening local businesses. As time passed, I watched the evolution of these small towns - with their passionate, determined residents and driven local business owners - as they were, and continue to be, rebuilt and revived to their former glory.

 

In time, I found my shore boy and before too long, we got married. With my husband's strong ties to the Shore, we set down roots in Accomack County and started our family. I quickly realized my husband - a tugboat Captain - was only one of many in his family with a calling to the water.

 

Learning about his family history and sharing it with our son, I feel more connected to the Eastern Shore than ever before. Our great-grandfather, Emory Steelman, owned one of the largest oyster operations out of Cherrystone Creek. During the mid-1930's, he fought for water quality in the Chesapeake Bay; Emory sued G.L. Webster (at the time, the largest canning facility in the U.S. & the largest employer on the ESVA) for damages of his oyster operations due to pollution from the cannery. The case climbed its way to the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1939... the jury ruled in favor of Emory Steelman for damages to his land, but sadly not his seafood in the water. Generations later, the legacy continues as our family is actively engaged in shoreline and oyster restoration efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

With a desire to build further on the Steelman legacy, and growing consistently more aware of similar challenges today's coastal communities are facing, I made the decision to expand my abilities by taking my professional skills to the private sector, establishing Steelman Coastal Consulting on June 29, 2023.

Joining the private sector has allowed me the opportunity to transfer and apply the skills I developed over my professional career and apply it at a greater capacity to fill the gap between those being served, and those in need of service. Doing so has also allowed me the flexibility of having more quality time with my family; as well as the chance to work more closely with my husband in our aligned efforts to better our Eastern Shore.

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