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October 2013 - Maryland Coastal Bays Program Newsletter


Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey Results

Horseshoe crab 2013  


Annually, Maryland Coastal Bays Program conducts a local horseshoe crab spawning survey May through July. The work helps to determine horseshoe crab abundance and increase knowledge of where spawning areas are located. The biggest threat to horseshoe crabs in our area is habitat loss. As with the Maryland terrapin, the sandy bay side beaches the crabs use to lay their eggs are losing ground to bulk heading, stone riprap and sea level rise. Read More 

Reducing Nutrients in Our Bays 
Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland's lawn fertilizer law is designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay and the coastal bays from excess nutrients entering its waters from a variety of urban sources, including golf courses, parks, recreation areas, athletic fields, businesses and hundreds of thousands of urban and suburban lawns. Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are key ingredients in lawn fertilizer. 
When it rains, lawn fertilizer can wash into nearby storm drains and streams that empty into our waterways. Excess fertilizer contributes to the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching Bay grasses, rob the water of oxygen and threaten underwater life. Lawn fertilizer now accounts for approximately 44 percent of the fertilizer sold in Maryland, according to the Maryland State Chemist.
More information on Maryland's new fertilizer law, click here

National Environmental Education Award 

Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor

(l to r) Harrison Jackson, Angela Baldwin, Carrie Samis and Julio Richardson


Governor O'Malley Receives National Environmental Education Award & highlights Maryland's environmental educational successes.
The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) presented Governor Martin O'Malley with a leadership award for environmental literacy at its annual conference in Baltimore, last week. Governor O'Malley's passion for connecting Maryland youth with their natural world, and leadership in developing environmental programs and initiatives earned him this prestigious honor.
During his speech, Governor O'Malley gave a special shout-out to Coastal Stewards, a collaborative program of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Assateague State Park, and Assateague Island National Seashore. Read More


Thank You Elks Lodge 2645 

Thanks to the generosity of Ocean City's Elks Lodge 2645, MCBP is now the proud new owner of a storage container to house supplies for the properties we manage.
And a big thank you goes out to Bob Bowen, a true Friends of Ayers Creek, for his craftsmanship.
Bay Scallops

This bay scallop was recently found in the northern coastal bays.  Hopefully we'll find more as the population grows.  Its vital that we all continue our efforts to reduce pollutants from storm water and agricultural runoff to have clean water and verdant sea grass beds which is the preferred habitat of scallops.


Scallops are really interesting creatures of the coastal bays.  They are capable of swimming for short distances by jetting water through their valves, usually in response to predators.  Also, they have 18 pairs of blue eyes and hermaphroditic reproductive strategy (both male and female sex organs).  Bay scallops have relatively short life spans of only about one to two years compared to the 40-year maximum life span for a hard clam.

In an attempt to re-establish a population in Chincoteague Bay, the DNR Shellfish Program planted 1.2 million juvenile bay scallops and raised them to reproductive age during 1997 and 1998.  By 2002, live scallops were recorded north of the Ocean City inlet, possibly for the first time in over a century.  Bay scallops have been found sporadically since 2002 and we hope the population can grow as water quality improves and sea grass meadows expand."


October 2013   


Opportunities and Fundraisers


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



ISO-Volunteers to Assist Watermen with Abandon Crab Pot Survey


The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore has awarded MCBP a $5,000 community outreach grant for a ghost crab pot/turtle excluder program. 


We are looking for volunteers to accompany our waterman on their boats to fill out survey sheets and take pictures. This will start the week of November 18th. Must be flexible with the schedule.


contact or call 410-213-2297 ext 107.

Ocean City Clean Sweep


Saturday, November 2nd,  9 am to noon.


The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) and its Clean-Up Committee is sponsoring its first ever "Ocean City Clean Sweep" to pick up litter and debris scattered around downtown Ocean City between the Inlet and 17th Street. This activity will occur from the Boardwalk to the Bay and is intended to compliment the Town's end of year clean up efforts.   Volunteers will be walking the streets of downtown Ocean City picking up trash, litter, and cigarette butts left over from this summer.  Gloves and trash bags will be provided.  Businesses and property owners are being asked to clean up their properties, too.

The OCDC is looking for volunteers to help clean up.  The first 50 registered volunteers will receive free shirts.  A lunch will be provided to volunteers.  The base for the clean-up will be at the OCDC office at 108 Dorchester Street in downtown Ocean City.

If interested in volunteering please contact the OCDC at (410) 289-7739 or email at OCDC at 



Thank You!
Thanks to all our great volunteers, the 14th Annual Triathlon was a great success as MCBP raised over $25,000.
The 2nd Annual Poker Run was a blow out, but volunteers hung in there to assure those that did participate had a great time! Pictured above is the Orange Crush team who took first at the Poker Run.
Climate Change
Want to be more involved in addressing climate change issues here in Maryland?
Our friends at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network will be hosting an informational meeting in Salisbury on November 13th.  Learn more about the pressing climate issues facing Maryland and register to attend by clicking here
Take the Bay Survey

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program is working with the Integration and Application Network at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES IAN) to conduct a brief survey on stewardship behaviors and what they mean for the Coastal Bays.   We need members of the community to help us understand how they are interacting with the Coastal Bays and the likelihood you may have of adopting further best practices in the future. Members of the public are invited to go online to to take the short survey.
 We Need Your Help Collecting Data on Coastal and Ocean Recreation!

Your help is needed to ensure that your favorite recreational areas are considered in coastal and ocean planning coming to the Mid-Atlantic. The Surfrider Foundation is conducting an online survey of recreational users such as beach goers, swimmers, beach wildlife viewers, surfers, kayakers, windsurfers, and divers.


Click here to fill out the survey.



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