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

Newsletter December 2014

New  fish passage replaces
Bishopville Dam

We are excited to announce that the construction phase of the Bishopville Restoration Project has been completed! The project provides fish passage and improved water quality while retaining a portion of the original pond. Through the efforts of our partners DNR (Restoration Services) and Underwood and Associates, the Bishopville dam was removed and replaced with a series of step pools. The removal was part of the habitat restoration effort to provide fish passage and improve water quality in the upper St Martins River.




The construction design by Underwood and Associates was to maintain a portion of the existing pond and install a ramp consisting of four gently inclining steps (called weirs) and pools so that fish could navigate up river where they would have seven miles of freshwater stream available to them. The weirs and pools increase oxygen, allow fish to move upstream, and assist in allowing beneficial bacteria to break down nutrients. They also provide stream stability and encourage vegetation within and adjacent to the stream.


Fish, such as river herring and American eels, spend part of their life in oceans but need freshwater streams to complete their life cycle. River herring (alewife and blueback herring) and white perch spawn in freshwater streams, descend to the ocean to grow and mature, then return to their natal streams.  American eel spawn in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and the larvae ascend rivers and streams to grow and mature in freshwater. Also Bishopville Road is devastating for turtles who use the road to try to travel up river into the pond. No river herring or perch have been observed above the dam, but alewife and blueback herring have been observed below the dam and in the St. Martins River in spring. If you would like to read more about this project, click here.



Pictured above, MCBP scientist Dr. Roman Jesien samples improved water quality.
Reel and Recycle Program
Volunteers needed 

Maryland Coastal Bays has been taking part in a Boat US Foundation program called "Reel in and Recycle." Through this program we received a few containers designed as disposal mechanisms for fishing line. By placing these containers at popular fishing locations, Maryland Coastal Bays is working to keep fishing lines out of the water and off of the land. MCBP needs help maintaining these by emptying the containers monthly and boxing the line up to send to Berkley Recycling in Iowa. If you are interested in becoming a Reel in and Recycle volunteer please contact Amanda at or 410-213-2297 ext 107.

Snowy Owl Release



From left to right, Lester Franklin, a coastal steward, and Steve Huy, from Project Owlnet, releasing "Delaware" a rehabilitated snowy owl fitted with a tracking device. The Coastal Stewards and the MCBP partner with the Maryland Zoo, MD state park service, MD DNR and Project SNOWstorm to help release, track and study these amazing birds. For more information on snowy owls and the efforts to study and conserve them, check out 


 facebook-logo   twitter


December 2014   

Volunteer Opportunities and Fundraisers

We always have lots of great opportunities. If you don't see one below that interests you, contact us.

Did you know that upcoming volunteer opportunities and other events can be found on our calendar here?

Volunteer Party
Friday, January 9th at 1 pm
Whether you have volunteered with Maryland Coastal Bays Program for decades, are a new volunteer, or would just like to learn more about getting involved, we hope you will join us for a party!

Come out and celebrate the winter season with us Friday, January 9th at 1 pm at our new location, 8219 Stephen Decatur Highway just south of MD 376. This is a potluck event so bring your favorite dish & drink. We will provide sodas, water and some dishes of our own. If you would like to attend but don't have time to bring a dish, don't worry. We would love to see you either way! Guests are welcome.


Please RSVP to Amanda at or 410-213-2297 ext. 107 by January 7th if you are able to attend. We look forward to seeing you!


Tree Planting Opportunity
Sunday, January 11th
10 am - 3 pm

Get outside to plant trees at the recently completed Bishopville dam site. If you live in or around this community it is a great opportunity to get connected to this restoration project by being a part of it! Parking is available at the site at 10647 Bishopville Road in Bishopville Maryland. 


Please RSVP to Amanda at or 410-213-2297 ext. 107.

Report a seal

Maryland Coastal Bays has partnered with the National Aquarium in Baltimore to promote Responsible Viewing and sight reporting of our migrating neighbors.  To report a seal, view the seal sighting map or for more information

click here.


Going Green Delmarva
 Article on Bishopville Dam


Click here to see the article "Clearing the lungs of the watershed: The whole dam story"by Laura Walter.  We would like to acknowledgeMD DNR as partners essential to this project.  A special thanks goes out to Habitat Restoration and Conservation Division Director Kevin Smith.
Program Helps Create 
New Islands
 in Coastal Bays

 Click here to read the Dispatch article "Major Channel Dredging Project Creating New Islands in Watershed"

 Resolved to get outdoors more in 2015?

Gardeners needed for a Community Garden!


If you are resolved to enjoy the outdoors more in 2015 or to eat more organic and locally grown foods, here's an easy way to do it! The Community Garden at the Berlin multi-purpose building at 130 Flower Street needs a little TLC. Gardeners are needed to prepare the beds for spring and decide what vegetables to grow.  If you don't live near this garden, we can help you start one in your neighborhood.

Recent Articles



Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program