ShoreRivers Pumpout Boat has Best Season Yet

 Pumpout boat captain Jim Freeman

Pumpout boat captain Jim Freeman

ShoreRivers is pleased to announce that its pumpout boat had its most successful season this year. The vessel was acquired in 2016 with funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in conjunction with the Clean Vessel Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. It continues to operate with funding from DNR.  The pumpout boat operates from May through October offering free service on the Miles and Wye Rivers. The boat pumped over 8,500 gallons in 2016 and over 12,000 gallons in 2017. ShoreRivers exceed its 2018 goal by pumping over 15,000 gallons of waste, reaching the final numbers during Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s annual OysterFest on October 27.

The pumpout boat operates in partnership with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels. CBMM donates free dockage, storage, and use of their land-based pump-out station to offload the waste from the boat. The sewage waste removed from boats then goes directly to the St. Michael’s wastewater treatment plant.

ShoreRivers’ pumpout boat works to reduce nutrient pollution and harmful bacteria that can be introduced from recreational boaters’ waste. In an effort to assist local boaters committed to more river-friendly boating practices, the pumpout boat is a convenient way to properly dispose of waste rather than discharging it into our waterways.

“We are thrilled to have met our goal for this third season of the pumpout boat,” says ShoreRivers Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Elle Bassett. “This vessel directly supports our vision of healthy waterways on the Eastern Shore. We extend our special  appreciation to Capt. Jim Freeman for expertly operating the vessel and to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for their continued support in our efforts to achieve healthier rivers. I’m looking forward to setting a new record in 2019!”

“Preserving the Chesapeake Bay's environment is key to helping fulfill the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's mission; so this project is very close to our hearts," says CBMM president Kristen Greenaway. "CBMM is very grateful for the opportunity to work with ShoreRivers and the pumpout boat, and to see that the effort is increasingly making such a difference in removing waste from the bay is extremely heartening.”

ShoreRivers Hires DiPasquale as Policy Advisor

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Nick DiPasquale, former director of EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program, has joined ShoreRivers as its Policy Advisor. DiPasquale will work to elevate ShoreRivers’ mission for clean Eastern Shore waterways through state and regional advocacy efforts.

“We are delighted to have Nick joining ShoreRivers as a policy adviser,” Jeff Horstman, executive director of ShoreRivers, stated. “He has enormous experience and expertise in Chesapeake restoration issues and will add great value, strengthening our analysis and voice. His hire underscores the vital importance that ShoreRivers places on policy change.”

“I am thrilled,” Nick summed up, “with the opportunity to be working with ShoreRivers, an organization that is doing incredible work to reduce pollution and promote sustainability on the Eastern Shore.”

DiPasquale served as the director of the Chesapeake Bay Program from August, 2011 to December, 2017. The program coordinates and provides administrative, technical, management and financial support for the overall Bay watershed restoration effort. It is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, ensuring the six states and the District of Columbia meet their pollution load reduction targets.

DiPasquale has over 35 years of public policy and environmental management experience in both the public and private sectors. He previously served as Deputy Secretary for Air, Waste & Radiation Protection in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Director of the Environmental Management Center for the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; and Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

DiPasquale worked for six years in the private sector as a senior consultant on environmental and ecological restoration issues with an environmental engineering consulting firm in Delaware. He also served as the Director of Waste Management and Water Pollution Control Programs for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and as a Research Analyst with the Missouri House of Representatives.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the State University of New York, and a master’s degree in Energy and Environmental Policy from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

DiPasquale retired at the end of 2017 and lives in Chestertown, Maryland, with his wife, Becky, and their two dogs.

ShoreRivers Seeks Director of Development

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ShoreRivers is seeking a full-time Director of Development to join our team and help fulfill our mission to protect and restore Eastern Shore rivers and the living resources they support. This is a senior level position, responsible for cultivating and expanding funding sources and developing an effective strategy for environmental philanthropic giving. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to environmental protection and ShoreRivers’ mission, and the ability to create a compelling connection between philanthropy and the health of our rivers.

This Director of Development reports to the Executive Director, oversees the Development Team, works closely with various boards and committees to craft annual development plans, and manages the Events and Communications Coordinator. The position is headquartered in our Easton, Maryland office at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center and involves travel to regional offices in Chestertown and Georgetown, MD.  

ShoreRivers offers a competitive salary and benefits package. A full job description with application instructions is posted here.

About ShoreRivers

ShoreRivers protects and restores Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education. We work collaboratively with our community yet maintain an uncompromising voice for clean rivers and the living resources they support.

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working with many diverse partners throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Our main office is located at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton, with regional offices in Chestertown and Georgetown. (shorerivers.org).

ShoreRivers Awarded 2.2 Million Dollar Grant

 A treatment wetlands system helps maximize nutrient removal.

A treatment wetlands system helps maximize nutrient removal.

At the end of June 2018, ShoreRivers was awarded a $2.2 million dollar grant from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to support ShoreRivers’ regional agricultural restoration work. The grant will fund projects in the watersheds of the Bohemia, Sassafras, Wye, and Choptank Rivers. Together these projects will prevent over 14,200 lbs. of nitrogen, 740 lbs. of phosphorus, and almost 270 tons of sediment from entering Eastern Shore waterways.

The new grant funds will pay the construction costs for:

·         An ecologically engineered design that will stabilize excessive gully erosion that has resulted in a ravine adjacent to Kings Creek in Talbot County; it will create a wetland and grassed buffers, and restore 1380 linear feet of stream and agricultural ditch.

·         A treatment wetland system and stormwater retention ponds at the bottom of four agricultural drainages and above a natural stream. The project is designed to maximize nutrient removal at the top of the watershed of Little Bohemia Creek in Cecil County and it will create almost six acres of wetland and three acres of stormwater ponds.

·         Stormwater ponds and over eight acres of lined treatment wetland to treat 33 acres of dairy farm operations and several hundred acres of row crop land that is irrigated with lagoon effluent from a Kent County dairy in the Sassafras watershed.

·         Completing restoration of a 1,000-linear-foot traditional agricultural ditch into a two-stage ditch with wetland benches on a grain farm on the Wye River in Talbot County.

This grant signals the effectiveness of ShoreRivers’ new combined capacity to implement regional projects on a large scale throughout the Delmarva peninsula. ShoreRivers is a certified Technical Service Provider for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and is engineering and implementing innovative pollution reduction projects cooperatively with the agricultural sector to restore and protect Eastern Shore rivers.

 Pictured left to right at a restoration site are ShoreRivers staff members Emily Harris, Kim Righi, Kristin Junkin and Josh Thompson.

Pictured left to right at a restoration site are ShoreRivers staff members Emily Harris, Kim Righi, Kristin Junkin and Josh Thompson.

ShoreRivers is honored that the Department of Natural Resources supports the pollution- reducing projects that ShoreRivers is implementing in communities across the Eastern Shore. Other traditional bay funders and strong community support enables ShoreRivers to attract this type of significant outside grant funding for clean water.

For more information, visit shorerivers.org or contact Director of Agriculture & Restoration Tim Rosen at 443.385.0511 or trosen@shorerivers.org.


ShoreRivers Honored with Prestigious Environmental Award

 ShoreRivers staff celebrate their new Easton headquarters following the merger of three environmental organizations in January 2018. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Elle Bassett, Jeff Horstman, Tim Trumbauer, Suzanne Sullivan, Tim Junkin, Kristin Junkin, Matt Pluta; (back row, left to right) Kristan Droter, Isabel Hardesty, Laura Wood, Tim Rosen, Ann Frock, Kim Righi, Emily Harris, Emmett Duke, and Rebecca Murphy.

ShoreRivers staff celebrate their new Easton headquarters following the merger of three environmental organizations in January 2018. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Elle Bassett, Jeff Horstman, Tim Trumbauer, Suzanne Sullivan, Tim Junkin, Kristin Junkin, Matt Pluta; (back row, left to right) Kristan Droter, Isabel Hardesty, Laura Wood, Tim Rosen, Ann Frock, Kim Righi, Emily Harris, Emmett Duke, and Rebecca Murphy.

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters announced this week that it would honor ShoreRivers this year with its prestigious John V. Kabler Memorial Award, presented annually to Maryland’s most outstanding environmental leaders and organizations.

Past recipients have included such noteworthy environmental champions as Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen, former Maryland Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, former Maryland Governor Harry R. Hughes, and former Maryland DNR Secretary John Griffin.

ShoreRivers protects and restores the waterways of the Eastern Shore and the living resources they support. The organization was formed January 1, 2018, from the merger of three river-protection organizations, and now serves Delmarva from Cecilton to Cambridge, representing rivers and watersheds draining to the Chesapeake Bay.

“As ShoreRivers, we are a powerful voice for clean water with a dedicated team of staff, board members, and volunteers,” said ShoreRivers Executive Director Jeff Horstman. “We are having a greater regional impact in advocacy, restoration, and education. We are honored and thankful for the recognition the Kabler Memorial Award brings to our work for healthier waterways and for all the great work the Maryland League of Conservation does for the environment.”

ShoreRivers employs 18 professionals including four Riverkeepers, scientists, educators, policy advocates, lawyers, and restoration specialists who work from offices in Easton, Chestertown, and Georgetown, Maryland. Its work is supported by over 3,500 community members and families and engages over 1,000 students and volunteers each year. The organization works at every level including policy and legislative advocacy, regulatory enforcement, agricultural outreach and restoration, education, oyster repopulation, and community engagement to improve our rivers.

The award ceremony will take place Tuesday, October 9 at the Westin Annapolis, located at 100 Westgate Circle, beginning with cocktails at 6pm, followed by dinner and program at 7pm. For program details or to sign up as a sponsor, contact Karen Polet Doory at kdoory@mdlcv.org or 202-281-8780.


ShoreRivers Identifies Harmful Algal Bloom in Sassafras River

 Sassafras Riverkeeper Emmett Duke posts a sign warning of harmful algae at the tidal pond between Turners Creek and Llyod Creek.

Sassafras Riverkeeper Emmett Duke posts a sign warning of harmful algae at the tidal pond between Turners Creek and Llyod Creek.

Warning – a harmful algal bloom in the Sassafras River poses a health risk to people and pets.

In conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Sassafras Riverkeeper at ShoreRivers, Emmett Duke, first identified the harmful algal bloom on September 17 in the large tidal pond between Turners Creek and Lloyd’s Creek on the Kent County side of the Sassafras.

The blue-green algae, Oscillatoria lemnosa, is producing a toxin called microcystin, which can cause a skin rash and, if ingested, can cause liver damage. 

Especially dangerous to young children and small animals because of the higher possibility of ingestion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of Environment have established guidelines for exposure in a recreational setting – 4 parts per billion (ppb) and 10 ppb, respectively. The most recent algae sample from the pond, taken September 17, contained 69 ppb of the toxin. For this reason, ShoreRivers recommends avoiding contact with water in the tidal pond until the level of the toxin has fallen below the guideline level.

Currently, a warning sign from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is posted at the river entrance of the tidal pond.  Testing will be conducted at least weekly, and the sign will remain in place until the testing shows no more danger.

Oscillatoria lemnosa is a naturally-occurring algae that lies in the river sediment. A combination of high levels of nutrient pollution and unusually high water temperatures contribute to this and other harmful algal blooms. It’s hard work and everyone needs to do their part, but we can prevent these harmful blooms by reducing nutrient pollution,” added Duke.

ShoreRivers is actively implementing restoration projects and advocating for strong clean water policies that will reduce nutrient pollution and help prevent similar harmful algal blooms. If you notice what appears to be a significant algal bloom on local waterways, please contact ShoreRivers at 443-385-0511.

NRCS partners awarded $150k for conservation

 NRCS partners, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and ShoreRivers, recently received a combined $150,000 for conservation innovations.

NRCS partners, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and ShoreRivers, recently received a combined $150,000 for conservation innovations.

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By CHRISTINA ACOSTA cacosta@chespub.com

Aug 22, 2018

ANNAPOLIS — Two Maryland organizations recently received a combined $150,000 through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service state Conservation Innovation Grants. The projects support water quality and soil health innovations.

ShoreRivers, Inc. was one of the recipients. The grant will help assess the potential conservation and agronomic impacts of tile risers and dense pattern tile on sediment and nutrient loss from farms on Maryland’s eastern shore.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was the second recipient. They plan to use the grant money to work with farmers to evaluate the impacts of innovative soil amendment mixtures, including fluvic and humic acid, hydrolyzed fish, lime, and molasses, on the soil microbiome and short-term soil health.

“These grants will help spur creativity and problem solving on Maryland’s farms,” said Terron Hillsman, NRCS state conservationist in Maryland. “The projects continue Maryland’s commitment to improving soil health and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

ShoreRivers wrote the grant back in June to investigate more environmentally friendly methods to effectively drain farm fields; because in farmed closed depressions, a typical drainage tile line is ineffective at removing water quickly, necessitating a surface inlet.

The intention is to increase productivity of fields through better drainage while minimizing the impacts of sediment and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from tile drained systems to receiving waters and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

“This grant is research focused, but will implement a large scale best management practice in a farm field,” said Director of Agriculture and Restoration Timothy Rosen. “This will entail both engineering and construction oversight followed by the execution of a sampling plan to collect relevant data needed to assess the efficacy of dense pattern tile at reducing sediment and nutrient impacts, while maintaining or increasing productivity. If weather permits the project will be installed in the winter and once installed sampling will begin.”

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation wrote their grant application in April. The foundation is aiming to evaluate, through farm research, the effectiveness of innovative inputs to improve the soil ecosystem and determine if there are resulting measurable forage and crop benefits.

This project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative inputs in improving soil health and farm productivity. They will rigorously test inputs (on eight farms) to evaluate whether they improve the soil ecosystem and crop and forage quality.

Farm soil ecosystems become routinely compromised by disturbances such as tillage, mowing, and many fertilizer and pesticide inputs. Several farmers from the Maryland Grazers Network have asked to participate in a careful analysis of these innovative inputs on the quality of the forages on their farms.

If the results are positive, Chesapeake Bay Foundation will share the results to encourage other farmers to use these inputs. If the results are inconclusive it will provide farmers useful information in making decisions on whether or not to invest in such inputs. They will rigorously test inputs (on eight farms to evaluate whether they improve the soil ecosystem and crop and forage quality.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation will work with these producers and other innovative farmers, including at least one grain producer, to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments. The farms will include dairy, beef, sheep and crop and will be located in Washington, Frederick, Kent, Prince George’s and Queen Anne’s counties.

There is increased interest at the state, national and global level in improving soil health, according to Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Director of Science and Agricultural Policy Beth McGee. According to a 2014 NRCS National Forum on soil health, healthy soils with 3 percent organic matter can hold 160,000 gallons of water per acre, making these soils more resilient to weather extremes of drought and high precipitation.

In addition, healthy soil biology, for example the microbiome, is a powerful force in cycling nutrients and making these nutrients more available for plant growth. Healthy soils can lead to water quality improvements by reducing the need for inputs like fertilizer and pesticides, and helping to reduce runoff of nutrients and soils.

Maryland and the other watershed jurisdictions developed detailed watershed implementation plans describing the actions they would take by 2025 to achieve the necessary pollution reductions. Maryland relies heavily on reductions from agriculture to achieve its water quality goals.

“We have a hypothesis that adding amendments to soil to help build soil health, and will better hold water that will produce runoff,” said McGee. “[It] Might result in better yields for farmers in these amendments. The grants are focused on anecdote about the ability of these amendments to build soil health, and testing out those hypothesis. If it is successful, it could be a powerful tool for farmers to increase productivity, increase their resistance to climate extremes like droughts and flooding.”

Natural Resources Conservation Service administers Conservation Innovation Grants as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address a wide range of natural resource issues.

For more information on NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.


Summer is here, are our waters safe for swimming?

After regretfully canceling the inaugural Maryland Freedom Swim on the Choptank River in May, ShoreRivers is continuing to work toward swimmable rivers that are regularly monitored for harmful bacteria. In addition to the 15 existing sites being monitored on the Chester and Sassafras Rivers, ShoreRivers has added four new monitoring sites on the Choptank, Miles, and Wye Rivers.

The strain of bacteria sampled, Enterococci, indicates pathogens that may cause human illness. This bacteria can originate from a variety of sources, including failing septic systems, sewer overflows or leaks, poultry, livestock, and pet waste. During significant rainfalls, the possibility always exists for elevated and unsafe bacteria levels. As a general precaution, be sure to avoid water contact for 48 hours after profuse rain events or any time if you have an open cut or wound. Always shower after swimming.

ShoreRivers monitored sites include:

Choptank River

         Bill Burton Fishing Pier

·         Oxford Strand on the Tred Avon River

Wye River

·         Drum Point Beach on Wye Island

Miles River

·         Miles River Yacht Club

Chester River

·         Duck Neck

·         Morgan Creek

·         Rosin Creek

·         Chestertown at High Street

·         Chester River Yacht and Country Club

·         Rolphs Wharf

·         Camp Pecometh

·         Langford Bay

·         Grays Inn Creek

·         Conquest Beach

·         Corsica River Yacht Club

·         Centreville Wharf

Sassafras River

·         Georgetown Bridge

·         Dyer Creek

·         Indian Acres

ShoreRivers will test these sites weekly throughout the swimming season until Labor Day. Results will be posted on SwimGuide, a website (theswimguide.org) and smart phone app that allows users across the Chesapeake Bay region to check the health of local swimming beaches. Additionally, Shorerivers’ Riverkeepers will post the bacteria results on their social media pages for local beaches. Follow the Chester Riverkeeper, Choptank Riverkeeper, Miles-Wye Riverkeeper, and Sassafras Riverkeeper on Facebook for updates. You can also follow the hashtag SwimmableShoreRivers.

For more information, please visit shorerivers.org or call 443-385-0511. Here’s to a great, safe summer enjoying our rivers!

 ShoreRivers works toward swimmable rivers by regularly monitoring for harmful bacteria.  Photo credit: Sam Morse

ShoreRivers works toward swimmable rivers by regularly monitoring for harmful bacteria.

Photo credit: Sam Morse

ShoreRivers Adds Three to Staff

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ShoreRivers is pleased to announce three new additions to our staff.

 Josh Biddle, Agricultural Specialist

Josh Biddle, Agricultural Specialist

Josh Biddle is ShoreRivers’s new Agricultural Specialist. Josh is an Eastern Shore native who grew up on a farm between Denton and Ridgely, where for the last 15 years, he has worked in his family’s greenhouses growing flowers. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Salisbury University. For the past two years, he has been employed as a Soil Conservation Technician at the Talbot County Soil Conservation District working with a number of state and federal conservation programs, and assisting in the planning, design, and installation of a variety of best management practices throughout the county. Josh will be working with state, federal, academic, and farm partners to apply agricultural conservation projects within Eastern Shore watersheds. Along with Director of Agriculture and Restoration Tim Rosen and Restoration Specialist Josh Thompson, Josh will assist in ShoreRivers’ expanding agricultural project work, including conducting outreach within the agricultural community to promote conservation programs and encourage responsible and river-friendly farming all across the Eastern Shore.

 Julia Erbe, Development and Events Coordinator

Julia Erbe, Development and Events Coordinator

Julia Erbe has joined ShoreRivers as Development and Events Coordinator. A lifelong Marylander, Julia attended Washington College and went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Goucher College. “Ever since my time studying at Washington College, the Eastern Shore has been my place of solitude and comfort,” she says. “It makes perfect sense that I would find myself back here, working for such an amazing organization that I respect so highly. I am honored to join this passionate, hard-working group of like-minded individuals, and I am eager to contribute to their important work.”

Julia will be working on many events throughout the region to help educate local communities and raise funds to support ShoreRivers’ programs and mission. Her local ties, environmental background, and experience will bring tremendous help to support the organization’s mission throughout the region.

 Rachel Plescha, 2018-2019 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Rachel Plescha,
2018-2019 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Rachel Plescha is the new 2018-2019 ShoreRivers Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteer. A native of Oviedo, Florida, she recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Environmental Policy with a minor in Economics. She will take the place of the 2017-2018 CCC Volunteer, Rebecca Murphy, who is staying on with ShoreRivers as Education and Outreach Coordinator.

ShoreRivers has participated in the CCC program since 2012, hosting 11 volunteers, several of whom have become permanent staff members. The CCC program is funded through the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Rachel made ShoreRivers her first choice from over 70 other competing nonprofits in the Bay area. Rachel explains, “I am looking forward to learning about how the community plays a role in shaping positive outcomes for environmental health. I am most excited to work with the agricultural and community outreach programs. I have always been interested in the connection between the food we eat and our environment, so much so that I even worked on an organic farm for a few months! I am excited to meet new people and help them realize their connection to the land around them. I cannot wait to move to the Eastern Shore and experience the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay in person!“

ShoreRivers Executive Director Jeff Horstman says, “With ShoreRivers' expanding role and growth, these talented and passionate young people will bring energy and enthusiasm to our efforts toward healthy waterways across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We are happy to welcome Josh, Julia, and Rachel to our team!”


Agriculture enthusiasts flock to Conservation in Action Tour

Star Democrat
July 17, 2018

by Kayla Rivas

 Tim Rosen explains his crop research on Delmarva regarding ditches, the Agri Drain Box, and buffers.

Tim Rosen explains his crop research on Delmarva regarding ditches, the Agri Drain Box, and buffers.

The Conservation Technology Information Center’s 11th annual Conservation in Action Tour brought those passionate about the latest farming technologies and innovative soil conservation efforts to the Eastern Shore from July 10 to July 11.

The Conservation in Action Tour is held in a different state every year, with this year focusing on Talbot County. Maryland Grain Producers Association Executive Director Lindsay Thompson assisted in planning the tour.

“The Hutchison Brothers’ advanced nutrient management practices in field paired with innovative drainage water management practices ensure that the water leaving their farm is as clean as possible,” Thompson said. “They are a prime example of how successful production and conservation can coexist.”

 Bobby Hutchison addresses the crowd at his farm during the Conservation in Action Tour.

Bobby Hutchison addresses the crowd at his farm during the Conservation in Action Tour.

Hutchison Bros. hosted approximately 130 visitors around 3 p.m. on Wednesday July 11. The session was divided into two parts, with one crowd gathering indoors to listen to Bobby Hutchison, Executive Vice President at Ecosystem Services Exchange, Alex Echols and Director of Agriculture & Restoration at ShoreRivers, Tim Rosen.

The 3,400-acre cash grain and vegetable cropping business is owned by Bobby Hutchison, brothers Richard and David Hutchison, son Travis Hutchison and nephew Kyle Hutchison.

The management of nitrogen was a central talking point of the tour’s visit at Hutchison Bros. Discussion leaders also educated the audience on bioreactors, buffer strips, sub-irrigation, and computer technologies that assists in calculating appropriate amounts of nutrients based on soil type.

Rosen said some crop research is being tested on Delmarva. As staff scientist at Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (now ShoreRivers), Rosen’s prior published research explains how ditches in the Choptank Landscape lower the water table and intercept high nitrate groundwater.

 Alex Echols explains the latest farming technologies and conservation efforts.

Alex Echols explains the latest farming technologies and conservation efforts.

Through installation of buffers, surface water, sediment, and phosphorus can be controlled, Rosen said. The research suggests using hydrologic modifications to treat nitrate-nitrogen. Rosen also demonstrated how an Agri Drain Box can be used to divert water to a wood chip bioreactor. A bioreactor trench is dug about three to feet deep, with bioreactor costs ranging from approximately $20,000 to $30,000, Rosen and Echols said.

“I’ve been able to see how progressive Maryland farmers are in their work to clean up the Chesapeake Bay,” Former President of the National Association of Conservation Districts Lee McDaniel said. “We’re very fortunate in Maryland because we have local government and state and other partnerships as well all working together to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.”

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