Working together to keep today's treasures for tomorrow slide image Protecting the natural heritage of this diverse estuary slide image Promoting water quality and land preservation slide image Supporting a rich ecosystem for our local economy and quality of life slide image Managing our natural resources through consensus building slide image

July 2015 Newsletter

Help Our Bays With a Quick Survey!


Countless small actions by individual Marylanders affect the health of our local waters. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science has developed a very brief survey about the actions we take in our homes and in everyday life that can impact water quality. UMCES needs members of the community to help them understand what stewardship behaviors are occurring around Maryland and the likelihood of the public adopting them in the future. There are no "right" answers to this survey, and the responses cannot be tied back to anyone personally.  These responses will be combined with thousands of others, and will play an important role in guiding our future work.


To help with this survey go to


Support the Coastal Bays!



Worcester County recertification for agricultural land 

preservation program approved - Rural Legacy Program funding lost




 Photo: Blessing of the Combines 2016


The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) joined the Maryland Department of Planning in approving Worcester County's application for recertification of its agricultural land preservation program.


 The new certification period will run from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.  As a result of the certification, Worcester County will be able to retain 75% of locally generated agricultural land transfer tax instead of the 33% that non-certified counties retain.  Worcester County gained over $92,000 in extra funding as a result of being certified during 2012-2014. 


The certification was approved because Worcester County has land use and easement acquisition tools in place to limit fragmentation of the Priority Preservation Area and achieve preservation goals. 


Unfortunately this year the state declined Worcester County's application for the Rural Legacy Program due to funding limitations. It has been many years since Worcester County has failed to receive any of this funding. 


As the DNR website states, the Rural Legacy Program provides the focus and funding necessary to protect large, contiguous tracts of land rich in natural and cultural resources from sprawl development. It also enhances natural resources, farms and forests through cooperative efforts among state and local governments and land trusts. Protection is provided through the acquisition of easements and fee estates from willing landowners and the supporting activities of Rural Legacy Sponsors and local governments. 


If you would like to see these funds return to Worcester County next year, please contact your local County Commissioner to encourage their continued support. 


Wildlife in the Coastal Bays


Above: Portuguese Man-of-War

Photo credit: Margaret Lippincott 


 Manatees, sharks, and Portuguese Man-of-War like the one pictured above are among the many exciting animals that have been sighted in the coastal bays this summer. To read more about these animals and about jellyfish, click here. If you are curious about sharks in our waters, Science Intern Katherine Phillips provides more information on sharks such as Mary Lee.  Mary Lee is the 16-foot, 3,456-pound great white shark that visited the coastal bays this spring. If you'd like to see where Mary Lee is click here. But don't worry, she seems to be headed north for the summer!
Its not a nice photo, but we include it to remind summer visitors that we share the coastal waters with a lot of creatures, so please be careful. This female loggerhead turtle washed up in the St Martins River. Amanda Weschler and Ashley Pacheco from the DNR Oxford Lab were on hand to take measurements, DNA samples and samples for age and growth. Boat propellers may have had a hand in the turtle's demise.
And finally, read more about a brief manatee sighting here.  Manatees are uncommon visitors to the coastal bays and sightings should be reported to the National Aquarium Marine Animal Rescue Program at 410-576-3880.  To read more about this program, click here.  This program also assists with injured sea turtles.



July 2015


Thank you to STEM Interns!

Maryland Coastal Bays Program would like to thank Worcester County Economic development for the participation of two interns this summer.  LuAnne Mottley and Zainab Mirza did a fantastic job and we are grateful for their help!  They were involved in a variety of activities, such as assisting with field work, performing data entry, and participating in the Implementation Committee meeting.  
Annual Seacrets Fundraiser!
Every year Seacrets, Jamaica, USA generously provides MCBP the opportunity for staff and volunteers to collect cover charge donations in their entrance booth. This amount collected is donated directly to the program. This year's event will be held on Thursday, August 13 from 5-9 pm. If you are interested in manning a one hour shift in the booth asking for $5 donations, please contact Sandi at or 410-213-2297 ext 106.  
Downtown Concert Series!
  The Ocean City Downtown Association hosts a weekly free concert at Sunset Park every Thursday night throughout the summer season. They invite non-profits to man a table throughout the season. This Thursday, August 6th is MCBP's turn. The featured artists is Full Circle. Anyone interested in sitting at our table to hand out literature please contact Sandi at, 410-213-2297 ext 106.  
Thank you to our volunteers from Holidaysburg, PA!
17 volunteers from Zion Lutheran Church spent their vacation doing good things for Maryland's coastal bays! On this mission trip they removed invasive species from Lizard Hill and planted marsh grasses at the Bishopville dam removal project. If your group is interested in similar missions contact Amanda Poskaitis,
Story writers wanted!
What's their story?  Grades K-12 can enter this contest to tell the story of the EmPOWER Rangers as they fight climate change.  All participants receive a prize, special prize packs to 1st, 2nd & 3rd entries!
For more information or to enter the contest click here. 
Osprey Sprint Triathlon Just Around the Corner!
Stores are stocking back to school supplies and we are starting to think about autumn and the Osprey Sprint Triathlon!  This sprint triathlon takes place on September 26th and we've been told it's one of the most fun around, with competitors of all ages. If you would like more information or to sign up click here. 

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