Tony Hiss has a Plan for the Delmarva


It should be said up front that Tony Hiss’s family has long been familiar with the Eastern Shore well before he was born. With his famous and controversial father, Alger, and mother, Priscilla, frequently staying in Kent County to visit friends and their older son at camp in Quaker Neck, or, with his uncle, Don, a partner at Covington and Burling, having a second home in Talbot County, the roots to this area and its landscape are deeply felt. But his desire to ecologically and culturally protect the Shore is much more tied to his professional life as a writer, first with the New Yorker and now as an independent author.

With such well received books such as The Experience of Place and In Motion: The Experience of Travel, Tony has a impressive history of being intrigued by humans interacting in the city, the countryside, and in the wilderness. And that includes new ways of planning and managing these immediate and often overlooked places.

All of this has made a perfect background to support Tony’s new quest to refine the entire Delmarva Peninsula by designating it by the federal government as a national reserve, very similar to the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve with its 1.1 million acres. Hiss believes that by  re-identifying the region as such will lead to the kind of thoughtful planning seen with the Pinelands as it protects landscapes, manages growth and ecologically protects enageranged species from unnecessary extinction.

The Spy sat down with Tony in the White Swan Tavern’s living room to chat about what the Delmarva could really be in the future.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length

About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

  1. Joyce Schauber Kim says:

    I love Tony Hiss’s idea for making the entire Delmarva peninsula a Greenline area. Is it possible such a huge concept could ever become a reality? It seems like an impossible dream. But it is a vision of the region which points the way to keeping this AONB (Area of Natural Beauty) beautiful .

  2. David Foster says:

    Tony Hiss has presented a very interesting idea and I recognize that this concept has worked in other places such as the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and the Greenline Parks in the UK. I wonder, however, how much thought Tony has given to the economic impact on the people already living on Delmarva. It might be great for those of us already retired or fortunate enough to be able to “telecommute” from home but what about the working poor who have lived all their lives in this area? What impact would such a plan have on their futures and those of their children?

    Kent County, for example, already has a higher than average cost of living and lower than average incomes. In many ways, we are a wealthy county with a lot of poor people as evidenced by the high proportion of school children on free and reduced meals.


  1. […] with the visionary work of environmental writers such as E.O. Wilson, and more recently Tony Hiss, there is a growing consensus with many of the Delmarva’s most important stakeholders to […]

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