By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Blending the Chesapeake’s natural beauty with social media technology might just help save the bay.

Alex Demetrick reports, the goal is to show what’s at stake and have the public take action.

It’s not your typical boat, but then it’s not your typical job either:

“We’re taking 360-degree images every 40 or 50 feet, depending on the distance traveled,” says Ryan Abrahamsen.

The Patuxent River is the eleventh traveled of all major waterways leading into the Chesapeake Bay.

Six cameras are mounted on top of a mast are tied into a computer:

“We process all that data and put it on the website for people to view,” says Abrahamsen.

From desktops to smartphones, the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Riverview virtual tours website is designed to give people access to what most never see:

“A lot of people drive over our great rivers, drive past the Chesapeake Bay, but they haven’t experienced it. So we want to make sure they have the opportunity to let people see it and love it,” says Joel Dunn, CEO Chesapeake Conservancy

Riverview joins other Conservancy projects like its osprey cam, as the birds return to the bay from South America.

And the ghost fleet of Mallow’s Bay, hundreds of scuttled ships given a bird’s eye view from a camera mounted drone for photos to capture rivers like the Patuxent.

“We’re taking like 30,000 on a waterway, and I want each one to look perfect every single one,” says Abrahamsen.

The Chesapeake Conservancy hopes appreciation for the bay helps to protect it from budget cuts in Washington.

“It’s really important that they’re inspired to contact their representatives to let people know how much they care so that our representatives in Washington reflect that view,” says Dunn.

If you’d like to take a river view virtual tour, CLICK HERE.

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