Tag: Chesapeake Bay

UMCESDr. Helen Bailey will present an engaging talk on the DolphinWatch project. This event is part of the Appalachian Laboratory’s Watershed Moments Community Learning Series. Registration for the event is required. Once registered, attendees will receive Zoom access information via email.

Information and to register

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severn river association

The Severn River Association invites you to a Lighthouse Celebration.

greenbury point lighthouse
Do you remember the Lighthouse at Greenbury Point?

Take a trip back in time with the Severn River Association for an eye-opening presentation on the history of lighthouses in Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay.

The speaker will be Bob Stevenson, Education Coordinator Chesapeake Chapter, United States Lighthouse Society. This will be a virtual version of SRA’s John Wright Educational Series.

Please RSVP to info@severnriver.org; please put “Lighthouse” in the message box. SRA will email you Zoom credentials the day of the presentation.

Information: Thomas Guay, SRA Executive Director, 443-716-6776, TAGuay@severnriver.org

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wild oysters

annapolis maritime museumThis lecture is part of Annapolis Maritime Museum’s 2021 Winter Lecture Series.

Covered topics:

  • For millennia, the oyster has been a linchpin in the Bay’s ecosystem. For centuries, the oyster has impacted the politics and economy of the State of Maryland.
  • Learn about the impact of aquaculture on the wild fishery, supplying more oysters to market.
  • Focus on the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance that is dedicated to helping recover the Bay’s oyster population by putting 10 billion oysters in the Bay by 2025.

Presenter: Jesse Iliff | Riverkeeper of South, West, and Rhode Rivers


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blue crab

cafe scientifiqueAnnapolis Annapolis Cafe Scientifique presents a talk about the management of blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, which in Chesapeake Bay took a dramatic change of course in Fall 2008. It has been largely successful, but it took 15 years to implement. When a decline in the population of blue crabs was first observed in the mid-1990s, standard management actions – size limits, effort reduction, etc. – were put in place in a piecemeal fashion by each jurisdiction without much effect.

The hydrologic and biotic characteristics of the Chesapeake Bay, which make it the world’s most productive estuary for blue crabs, create a spatial and temporal partitioning of sizes and sexes. The life cycle of the blue crab, tailored to estuaries, and how the fishery and industry developed in response to the geographic differences in blue crab distribution, were challenges that needed to be overcome.

DNR logoSpeaker Glenn Davis is a biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and current chair of the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee. He began working with blue crabs 32 years ago, at the inception of the Bay-wide blue crab winter dredge survey. He has been involved with numerous fishery-independent and fishery-dependent research and monitoring studies focusing on blue crabs.

Click here for Zoom link to join the talk.
Meeting ID: 878 4840 6572
Passcode: 433794
To join by phone: 301-715-8592, 878-484-06572


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annapolis maritime museumThis lecture is part of Annapolis Maritime Museum’s 2021 Winter Lecture Series.

Covered topics:

  • Examine Maryland’s rich heritage of wooden shipbuilding over the course of more than three centuries developed with regionally specific designs, materials, and techniques.
  • Review the regional aspects of this once-vital industry and shed light on the significance of the construction of the Maryland Dove, the vessel that accompanied the first Maryland colonists to the new world in 1634.

Presenter: Pete Lesher | Chief Curator at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum


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The Chesapeake Bay region is steeped in the history of its indigenous tribes. Considering the essential role American Indians have played in the Chesapeake Bay, the importance of understanding that history cannot be overstated. Many different tribes live in the Chesapeake region, and their social, cultural, and political identities are extremely varied and complex. That includes different languages, distinct cultures, and a history of varied political structures and alliances. Today, there are tens of thousands of people in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia who identify as American Indian.

At this webinar, we will speak with some of these individuals and leaders who have unique and important perspectives on current Chesapeake Bay issues.

Learn more

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by Elvia Thompson

severn river association(October 19, 2020) – The Severn River Association has been monitoring water quality in the creeks and main stem of our capital river for several years. This year it’s been doing this since early spring – even with the pandemic. Yesterday I joined in so see how it’s done. SRA executive director Tom Guay directed the operation as captain although the two young women who made up the crew needed no guidance as they had the routine well in hand.

Amelia Johnson

Our masked crew consisted of Emi McGeady (left), who, as SRA Field Investigator, is working at SRA as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps participant after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Also joining us was Summer Intern Amelia Johnson (right), a senior at St. Mary’s High School who plans to major in Environmental Studies when she starts college next year.

The job yesterday was to take readings in some of the Severn’s creeks north of Annapolis to include Mill, Burley, Rideout and Whitehall.

Apart from enjoying the spectacular day and unique views of some of the area’s most beautiful homes and boats, I joined in the work.

secchi disk
Secchi disk

We took several readings in various locations in each creek. My job was to hold the sensor at various depths in the water column at each monitoring location. Amelia read data aloud from the sensor and Emi recorded salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and acidity (pH). Tom put the Secchi disk in the water to measure clarity which Emi also recorded. We did this 33 times.

At the end of the season the data will be added to the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative’s citizen science dataset via the Chesapeake Data Explorer program. The Cooperative shares water quality data for the entire Bay watershed and tracks tidal and non-tidal data with a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Program (the federal, multi-state, multi-jurisdictional organization led by the EPA). This river and creek data is an important piece of the puzzle of what makes up the Chesapeake Bay. Scientists take all the data obtained by volunteers and scientists throughout the year to determine if restoration efforts are working and what needs to be adjusted.

For its part, SRA uses collected data all year to provide weekly updates on status of the River, tracking dead zones all summer, pernicious algae blooms, sediment plumes, other activities on the river. That makes the monitoring program important for connecting residents to the River too.

SRA used the data collected to produce and release the Annual State of the Severn on April 23 and a River report card with grades for dissolved oxygen, clarity, swimming safety and abundance of underwater grasses properly known as subaquatic vegetation (SAV). When people living in the River’s watershed understand what is happening in the River they will be more likely to work to improve conditions and protect the River.

severn river monitoring map
SRA’s monitoring stations.

The organization visits its 44 monitoring stations in the 17 creeks and mainstem that make up the Severn River. Measuring the creeks is key to understanding the true makeup of the 14-mile-long river whose many miles of shoreline range from the natural flora and fauna that would have been familiar to the indigenous people and Captain John Smith to beautiful estates with piers and boathouses to the urban landscape of busy Annapolis. I had forgotten just how much shoreline the Severn and its tributaries contain.

SRA relies on a team of 25 volunteers and three boat captains to do the monitoring week every week, all season, from May through the end of fall, four days a week. It’s a major effort and it’s possible thanks to a grant from Delaplaine Foundation.

As is the case with most of the rivers in the mid and northern part of the Bay, the Severn is an impaired river, an EPA designation based primarily measurements of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. This summer the SRA found dead zones in several parts of the River – areas where there is so little dissolved oxygen that fish and crabs go elsewhere. If the level is low enough and they can’t get away they suffocate and die.

Chesapeake underwater grasses
Chesapeake underwater grasses

Dead zones caused by algae blooms because when the algae die and bacteria get to work decomposing it, they use up the oxygen in the water. This is most common in hot weather. This year there were times when dead zones were up to five meters tall from the bottom. Fish move closer to the surface where there is more oxygen if they can. Algae blooms also make it hard for underwater grasses to grow because it blocks sunlight from reaching the bottom. These grasses are important for development of young marine life.

This summer dead zone conditions were found from June through Labor Day from the Route 50 bridge through Round Bay and up to headwaters. Dead zones were also found at one time or another in most of the River’s creeks, especially Weems, Luce, Saltworks, Clements, Chase, and Brewer.

And it’s all our fault.

Stormwater runoff, carrying sediment, fertilizers, pesticides and other toxic materials makes it difficult, if not impossible for underwater grasses, fish, and shellfish like crabs and oysters to thrive or to even survive. And with the effects of human-induced Climate Change upon us, our waters will get hotter and more acidic, likely altering the type of critters that live in the waters and along the shore. That’s why monitoring is so important – so scientists can better understand what’s happening and advise policy makers on next steps. Emi and Amelia are learning firsthand how human activity alters Nature.

SRA was founded in 1911 and is the oldest river organization in the country. Its website, severnriver.org, contains a lot of info about the river and the organization’s many programs and volunteer opportunities. Its staff and volunteers monitor the entire river and its creeks from its stations ranging from Lake Ogleton to Indian Landing. It works closely with the Spa Creek Conservancy too.

One of the things that made the day especially enjoyable for me was Tom’s narrative of the history of the area (he’s a history buff, author of a historical novel, and former heritage guide in Annapolis) and of its natural history. He is a treasure trove of stories and scientific data.

At the end of our monitoring work we explored Meredith Creek, which begins under Route 50. Tom set some waypoints that may be the sites of new monitoring stations next year.

Yesterday we didn’t monitor oysters or SAV but SRA reports that oysters in the Severn are doing well. No dead zones were found south of the Route 50 bridge this summer.

On the chilly quick return trip to the slip in Back Creek, the wide expanse of the Bay – bookended by the Bay Bridge on one end and Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse on the other – filled my heart and reminded me how lucky we are to live here and how important it is to protect this unique estuary.

view of the severn

The SRA crew will continue its work until it gets too cold to attract volunteers to help – probably in December. For now the SRA boat will get under weigh from Port Annapolis in Back Creek four days a week to gather data – up close and personal with the Severn. Reliable volunteers are welcome. Read more about the program.

It’s messing about in boats for a good purpose. There’s nothing better than that!

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cafe scientifiqueSpeaker:Dr. Jeffrey Cornwell, Research Professor at the Horn Point Laboratory.

Decreasing the nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the Chesapeake Bay is a key part of improving water quality, with excess inputs leading to baywide eutrophication issues include mid-bay anoxia, harmful algal blooms, and loss of submerged aquatic vegetation. For nitrogen, the implementation of advanced wastewater treatment, decreased atmospheric loading and a variety of farming best management practices are key parts of the management “tool kit.” While the interception of nitrogen (and phosphorus) prior to inputs to the bay has been effective, achieving goals can be elusive. After nitrogen input to tidal waters, there have been relatively few means to remove nitrogen from the active cycle. The presentation, will include discussion of the potential role of oyster and wetland restoration in removing nitrogen and phosphorus from the upper Chesapeake Bay. The Poplar Island wetland development and from Harris Creek oyster restoration will be used as examples.

Zoom login: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88972124238?

Contact Tracy Gill for the meeting password

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smithsonian environmental research centerhistoric annapolis logoThe Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and Historic Annapolis present this story is about strategic location on a great estuary, human interactions with rich natural resources, and the founding history of the United States.

It is an evolving story built around the science of archaeology and the inferences of oral and written history for the 2,650-acre campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), five miles south of Annapolis and 25 miles east of Washington, DC. It relies upon volunteer citizen scientists who have been piecing together a fabric of place and time that is entirely local, yet it forms a quilt of context for America today.

The story extends back 3,000 years to the earliest people who gathered oysters from the Bay and developed an elaborate culture here, and it continues to the present with surprising new discoveries almost weekly.

Virtual lecture. Advance registration is required.

More information and to register

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Ensuring the meaningful involvement of all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, or income is critical to ensuring equity for all. Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a panel of elected leaders and community advocates for perspectives on recent environmental justice victories around the Bay watershed. They will also discuss where this critical conversation needs to go in the coming years. Advance registration is required.

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Television Programming for Earth Day imageEatin’ Crabs: Chesapeake Style is Maryland Public Television’s video foray into the world of the blue crab from dockside to table, capturing the uniquely Maryland slice of life that is the custom of enjoying a mound of hot steamed crabs. From Baltimore’s busiest harborside districts, filled with some of the region’s most famed crab shacks, to beloved and isolated locales filled with crab-hungry locals from Ocean City to Oakland, Eatin’ Crabs: Chesapeake Style catches the world of crab-loving and cracks it open for all to see.

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Television Programming for Earth Day imageAsk just about anyone what comes to mind when you mention Maryland, and they’ll probably say “you know, crabs.” What they really mean is the iconic, hardy, blue-green Chesapeake crustacean known to scientists as Callinectus Sapidus — and to the rest of us by a bunch of other names: blue crabs, jimmies, sooks, sallies, peelers, v-bottoms and sponge crabs. No matter what they’re called, if they’re fished out of Chesapeake waters, they’re most likely destined for a dinner plate as a crab cake, or a paper-lined table to be hammered, cracked and picked on a summer’s day. Facing some new and unexpected challenges, the blue crab industry feels a bit tentative as it looks to the future. From watermen and waterwomen working their trot lines and pulling their crab pots, to processing houses dotting the banks of the bay, uncertainty is today’s watchword for an industry that has worked largely behind the scenes and out of the public eye. From labor shortages in processing facilities to crab harvest declines, international competition and water quality issues, the waterman is facing a barrage of unforeseen and difficult challenges.

Repeats April 25, 11:30 pm

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Television Programming for Earth Day imageFor five years, the Concert for the Chesapeake Bay has presented a terrific assortment of music. Ranging from indie chamber pop to rocking soul and American roots to rhythmic beat boxing, talented artists performed in support of volunteerism for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This year’s concert highlights some of the “fan favorites”. There were great acts such as indie pop band Jukebox the Ghost, the Great American Canyon Band, Kelly Bell Band, Bobby E Lee & the Sympathizers and The Bellevederes. There was also soul singing Brooks Long and the Mad Dog No Good and The Herd of Main Street. Then there were the Punch Brothers with lead singer Chris Thile, who was recently named host of the famed Prairie Home Companion radio show, the Ursula Ricks Project, Among Wolves, Bosley, Seattle indie band Hey Marseilles, and singer/songwriter Victoria Vox with beatboxer Shodekeh. And it was back in our very first concert that we got things started with four special acts – the amazing Chris Jacobs Band, the talented Rachael Yamagata, the unique rap/folk duo of Caleb and Saleem and the soul sounds of Old Man Brown – featuring “The Voice” finalist Adam Wakefield.

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Television Programming for Earth Day imageFrom the stillness of the mass underwater graves of ancient ships to the eye-popping, eardrum-busting fighter jets of Pax River, they claim the title of the Chesapeake’s best-kept secrets. From buried treasure to haunted lighthouses, crazy legends and myths, eccentric sporting — even characters wacky and a little bizarre — to provincial cuisine and natural wonders, the Bay and surrounding locales are alive with obscure-but-fascinating destinations. For the armchair adventurer among us who craves the uncanny — for those who veer off-the- beaten-path — our new guide to discovering these home-grown places is Secrets of the Chesapeake. But these aren’t ordinary tourist destinations. Instead, they’re spots that only a native would point to: remote shorelines where beachcombers can find beautiful and rare sea glass; an island gem-of-a-seafood-shack; quiet crossroads where tragic local history comes alive. Secrets of the Chesapeake takes viewers to places they’ll never forget where they’ll meet people they’ve only read about.


Television Programming for Earth Day imageThis film captures the unparalleled wild beauty, rich history and natural serenity of the bay from 2,000 feet. The program marries gentle verse, prose and music with dramatic images captured by high-definition cameras, which bring the region into razor-sharp perspective. The meandering aerial journey transports viewers to many of the Chesapeake Bay’s stunning locations – from dawn over the Susquehanna River and the mysterious carved marsh of Blackwater Wildlife Refuge to the tranquil fishing village of Smith Island and the smokestacks of Sparrow’s Point. Cameras also soar above the ancient Calvert Cliffs, Annapolis and bustling Baltimore, the steel spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges and historic Point Lookout.


Television Programming for Earth Day image17th century Irish essayist Jonathan Swift dared say what so many before him believed: “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” The lowly oyster is a delicacy the world over, yet many people say enjoying one is an acquired taste. In the Chesapeake Bay region, the Chesapeake Oyster is King.

Whether it’s slurped down raw on the half shell or fried, baked, braised or roasted, it’s a favorite. Eatin’ Oysters: Chesapeake Style! takes viewers around the Chesapeake region in search of who’s eating oysters, where to find the best of them, and the best ways to eat them.

Repeats April 25, 9:30 pm

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Eastport Yacht Club’s Environmental Committee presents a talk by Dr. Rita Colwell, Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University and environmental microbiologist specializing in infectious diseases. She is a former director of the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Colwell will discuss the link between Climate Change and human health at the global and local level and answer questions about infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

To participate in the meeting, please register at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a44adad2ea0fe3-earth

You will be sent meeting information with ID and password in advance of the event.



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This filmTelevision Programming for Earth Day image explores the nation’s history through an aerial trip along the striking curves of the Potomac River, accompanied by an uplifting musical soundtrack and pleasing narration that describes natural historical and cultural points of interest along the way. Beginning in West Virginia, the fly over pledge event captures the flow of the Potomac River as it rapidly descends through the Appalachian Mountains into the Piedmont region of Maryland, then proceeds south past the Great Falls into the nation’s capital, before ending in the Chesapeake Bay. The program provides viewers with a scenic journey of the river’s natural and man-made history along with America’s remarkable collection of monuments and memorials-from the Washington Monument to the White House and more. Stunning, low-altitude high-definition footage of the river is complemented by day and evening shots of the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and other landmarks.

Repeats April22, 7 pm

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Eastport Yacht Club presents a Zoom talk by Kate Fritz, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Anyone can join the Zoom meeting and listen in and ask questions.

Kate will focus on three large-scale trends occurring across the Chesapeake Bay region right now and will provide thoughts on the future of the Chesapeake Bay movement in this time of rapid change. Come ready to ask your most burning question about the state of the Bay.

To join, go to https://zoom.us/join
Meeting ID: 933 245 044
Password: 665911

New to Zoom? Here’s info from EYC:

  • We will open up the Zoom Meeting at 6:45 pm to allow everyone to check their connection and device setup.
  • If you plan to participate from a mobile device, we recommend you install the ZOOM app instead of using a browser.
  • Here is an audio number that you may use instead of using Zoom on a computer or other device. If you use that option, you will not be able to ask questions because the easiest way for us to take questions will be through written questions in the Zoom app. 301-715-8592
  • If you are having difficulty connecting, please call the club, 410-267-9549, and ask for Assistant GM, Dan McQuay. Depending on what the issues is, he may be able to assist you in getting connected.


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annapolis maritime museumAnnapolis Maritime Museum Winter Lecture Series

  • An honest look at the current state of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Examine how the Chesapeake Bay reached its current status and the results if we stay on our present course
  • Understand the influence we can make to take on what has been described as the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced

Presenter: Paul Kazyak | Scientist and Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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annapolis maritime museumAnnapolis Maritime Museum Winter Lecture Series

  • Examine the powerful effect of the local Chesapeake Bay food economy and the value of building a local food system
  • Practical advice for adopting a locavore diet, from shopping at your local farmer’s market to joining a community supported agriculture share.
  • Recipes for those curious about how they can make their own more environmentally conscious food choices

Presenter: Renee Catacalos | Author and board member for multiple sustainable agriculture non-profits


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annapolis maritime museumAnnapolis Maritime Museum Winter Lecture Series

  • Covers the history of lighthouses from the Ancient Egypt to modern automated beacons
  • Illustrate their construction, technological development and cultural significance
  • Examples include many Chesapeake Bay lighthouses as well as Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark

Presenter: Ralph Eshelman | Historian and Author of several successful National Historic Landmark Nominations


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annapolis maritime museumAnnapolis Maritime Museum Winter Lecture Series

  • A discussion of the key lessons the speaker has learned from his 50 years of experience with the Bay as a journalist
  • “Save the Bay” a discussion on everything from invasive species to better comprehending what the ‘pristine’ bay was and wasn’t
  • What if knowledge no longer equals power, a distinct possibility in the case of climate inaction despite an immense amount of data

Presenter: Tom Horton | Award-winning Author, Journalist, and Bay educator


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annapolis maritime museumAnnapolis Maritime Museum Winter Lecture Series

  • Presentation featuring photographs from Dave Harp’s exploration of the Bay’s edges
  • Dave Harp’s photography emphasizes the beauty of the Bay’s vast world and what we will lose if we don’t pay attention to the natural systems that sustain it
  • Showing of the short film “Nassawango Forever”

Presenter: Dave Harp | Professional Photographer and Filmmaker


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