I was walking the dog past the garage the other day when I heard lots of thumping and bumping. I opened the door, and there was my middle daughter Lucy rooting through storage to find her fishing rod. The peepers started peeping at the end of February, and Lucy knows that means the perch run is coming…unfortunately we weren’t able to catch any fish on this particular day, but Lucy will keep at it. I feel so lucky to be able to raise all my children on the Chester River, and I enjoy watching their curiosity and love for the river grow with each season. We have important work to do together protecting and restoring the Chester, and I thank you all for your help and support of our work.
And now in this Edition of the Chester River News:
Did you know that the Maryland Department of Transportation is conducting a study regarding a new Bay Bridge Crossing, including a potential crossing in the Chester River watershed? I bet you did…and I also bet that you, like us, have grave concerns about what impact a crossing in our near the Chester River watershed could have on our landscape, including our wetlands and waterways. The delicate rivers, creeks, and marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore are impaired by sediment and nutrient pollution, yet we are encouraged by recent signs of improvement. A new Chesapeake crossing and the resultant development has significant potential to reverse these positive trends by increasing pollutant loading in our waterways from stormwater runoff, septic and sewage, air emissions, and litter.
On March 8th, we submitted testimony in support of Maryland House Bill 1199 that would prevent a norther Bay crossing. We continue to monitor the process and will be sharing more information as it becomes available. MDTA is currently accepting comments, so please submit yours on behalf of the Chester River at: https://www.baycrossingstudy.com/public-involvement/comment
On Tuesday, February 27th ShoreRivers hosted the annual Farmers Breakfast at Ruthsburg Community Hall in Queen Anne's County. The breakfast is a yearly outreach event, started by legacy organization the Chester River Association, inviting farmers to hear about our ongoing agricultural projects. This year we heard from ShoreRivers’ staff members Tim Rosen and Josh Thompson on their restoration efforts across the Eastern Shore, as well as Dan Small from the Center for Environment & Society and Dr. Ray Weil from University of Maryland College Park.
Topics of the presentation ranged from installing bioreactors and treatment wetlands, to restoring upland habitat for bobwhite quail through the Natural Lands Project, to Dr. Weil's work improving nutrient efficiency and better utilizing cover crops on the Eastern Shore. We look forward to continuing our partnerships within the agricultural community to promote best management practices and achieve our vision of healthy waterways across Maryland's Eastern Shore.
State of the CHester
Save the date for our third annual State of the Chester on Thursday, April 26th! Join ShoreRivers’ staff, in partnership with the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, for the unveiling of our 2017 Chester River Report Card and learn about how we used our water quality data to implement more outreach and restoration initiatives in 2017. The event will take place in Hynson Lounge at Washington College and begin with an open bar, appetizers, and local oysters at 5:15 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6 p.m. We hope you can join us to learn about the health of the river and our local creeks and streams, and what you can do to protect and restore water quality in the Chester!
Queen Anne's County River-Friendly Yards
Great news! ShoreRivers is excited to announce that Queen Anne's County has agreed to partner with us for our River-Friendly Yards program, enabling us to expand this campaign and host more workshops for residents. Workshops throughout Queen Anne's, Kent, and Cecil counties will begin in April and continue through fall of 2018. The goal of River-Friendly Yards is to show residents that a yard that mimics the natural environment improves wildlife habitat and local water quality. We want to give homeowners the knowledge and resources to implement residential best management practices and reduce their turf grass cover in favor of native plant species, which offer a number of ecological benefits and require less maintenance. If you are interested in attending a workshop or hosting one in your neighborhood, please contact Emily Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-810-7556.
Help Wanted - Project Clean Stream
ShoreRivers is hosting our first Chester River trash cleanup of the year on Saturday, April 14th in Wilmer Park. This event will be part of the larger Project Clean Stream effort organized by Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay every year.
The event will start at 9 a.m. and last until 12 p.m. All volunteers are welcome, and ShoreRivers will provide all necessary supplies. We will be picking up trash along the shoreline in the park as well is in the wetland behind the pavilion, so if you want to venture into the mud please dress accordingly!
Visit the Project Clean Stream website here to register. If you’re not in the Chestertown area and would still like to participate, look for another cleanup near you! There will be over 80 cleanups taking place throughout the Bay watershed in April, with many more planned throughout the spring.
If you have any questions about the event or want to organize a shoreline or roadside cleanup of your own this year, please contact Laura Wood at email@example.com or 410-810-7556.
Check here for all of our latest events, in the Chester River watershed and beyond!