Archives for May 2013

Fran White Booksigning Saturday At Red Hen In Easton

fran-2Dr. Fran White will be signing her latest novel at Red Hen Restaurant in Easton on Saturday, June 1st from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL is an autobiographical/fictional novel which reveals the trauma associated with the family secrets which deeply affected the author’s life; her abandonment as a baby, her marriage, childbirth, and conflict with her offspring.

Dr. Fran White is a Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in private practice for over three decades. She was a columnist for her regional newspaper writing about human behavior and problem solving. She has infused this therapeutic gift into this novel’s theme and the characters that capture the hearts of the reader.

Dr. White demonstrates the courage to share her family secrets and emotional traumas with the goal of enlightening  the world about the cancer of racism and how it has destroyed so many helpless victims. She hopes to effect change into the minds and hearts of the reader on this  incredible  JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL.

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Food Friday: It’s Time for Picnics!

_FF_timeforpicnics_webAnd concerts, sunny Saturdays, and days at the beach…

‘Tis the season to skip away from the hot stove and the high maintenance kitchen to dine al fresco, lolling on the grass, longing for someone to peel my grapes, or suggest that we pose for a modern take on Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe. I will be wearing a crisp, freshly ironed white Laura Ashley dress, though, with a little sprigging, and my hair will be long and luxuriant. Monsieur Manet and I will have some fine chilled Chardonnay and a basketful of sandwiches. The stream will babble and the mosquitoes will buzz elsewhere.

http://daily-norm.com/2012/03/14/persistently-mysterious-indubitable-genius-manets-le-dejeuner-sur-lherbe/

And we take time to thank Mark Bittman for all of these wonderful ideas which will liven up what could have been the hackneyed and the unambitious luncheon items I thought of first: fried chicken (store bought), watermelon and carrot sticks. Instead, we will have PANZELLA – to which I added a sliced peach after reading his idea for a tomato and peach salad – yummy.

I love Mark Bittman. Even though he is intent upon helping us eat better, he recognizes the vital importance of the humble potato chip in our lives: “ROAST BEEF AND BLUE Start with whole-grain rolls. Smear blue cheese on one side and prepared horseradish on the other. Add red onion and thin-sliced roast beef, pork or lamb. Pack! Lettuce and tomato on the side. Potato chips are mandatory.” Mandatory! The man is brilliant!

And what a simple and unusual idea he has for a dessert – cornbread cubes with blueberries! “Toss cornbread cubes with blueberries, lemon juice, olive oil and hazelnuts. Yes.” And I agree. The Tall One will quite like this, if I can wrestle the corn bread pan away from him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/dining/02mlis.html?ref=dining

I printed this list of ideas for summer meals and have it on the kitchen counter so I will remember to vary our summer meals and make them a little more interesting. Be sure to keep cool this summer!

The Wall Street Journal has been a little less stodgy of late and had this divine recipe Thursday. It might be a little labor intensive for us kitchen shirkers, but it is nice to read, in a leisurely fashion, in the shade, with some nice cool lemonade:

Sarabeth’s Summer Chicken Salad

½ pound asparagus, steamed, cooled and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups tricolor couscous, cooked, rinsed and at room temperature
1 large rotisserie chicken, cooked and sliced (or 6 lightly seasoned chicken cutlets, sautéed or grilled and sliced
1 pound mixed greens (romaine and Boston lettuces, mixed baby greens)
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced
3 medium seedless oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 small jicama, peeled, sliced and cut into matchsticks
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 ounces sweet pea shoots
½ cup whole almonds, toasted
2 cups Tarragon-French Sheep Feta Dressing (recipe follows)

In a large salad bowl, lightly toss the greens, cucumber, orange segments and jicama. Add the couscous. Place the tomatoes on top. Add the pea shoots. Sprinkle on the almonds. Plate each serving and top with the asparagus and chicken slices. Serve with dressing drizzled on top, or on the side. Serves six.

Tarragon-French Sheep Feta Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces French Sheep Feta or buttermilk blue cheese, crumbled
In a bowl, whisk together ingredients through salt and pepper. Add the cheese and whisk lightly, leaving small chunks of cheese visible. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Yield: 2 cups

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323372504578469502942132488.html?mod=lifestyle_newsreel

“Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.”
-Tom Stoppard

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$10,000 Diamond Jim on the Loose!

More than $50,000 in prizes up for grabs during this year’s fishing challenge.

The hunt is on! The Diamond Jim component of the 2013 Maryland Fishing Challenge kicked off when Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists and teams of young anglers caught, tagged and released 200 striped bass into the Chesapeake Bay. One of the tagged fish is the

Photo by Beth Versak for DNR

Photo by Beth Versak for DNR

official Diamond Jim worth $10,000 to the angler who catches him before midnight on June 30. The other tagged “imposter” rockfish are worth at least $500 each if caught and registered before midnight on Labor Day, September 2, 2013.

“The Diamond Jim component of the Maryland Fishing Challenge signifies the beginning of a summer filled with top-notch, diverse fishing, located right here in our great State,” said Governor O’Malley. “This contest is an open invitation to everyone ─ young and old, seasoned pros and first timers ─ to not only cast a line, but spend time outdoors and create memories with friends and loved ones.”

Over the summer, hundreds of imposters and one genuine Diamond Jim will be pursued by anglers. Each month he goes uncaught the bounty increases ─ from $10,000 in June, to $20,000 in July, and $25,000 in August. The contest features a guaranteed $25,000 payout, so if Diamond Jim is not caught by Labor Day, the cash prize will be split equally among those who catch imposters.

The first angler to catch Diamond Jim will also receive a set of one-carat total-weight, round, brilliant diamond stud earrings from Zachary’s Jewelers in Annapolis, and a stack of $1,000 gift cards from participating Maryland tackle shops such as Anglers, AllTackle, Fishbones, Clyde’s, and Marty’s and Herb’s Tackle Shop. These prizes bring the total potential value of Diamond Jim to more than $35,000.

Now in its ninth year, the challenge showcases Maryland as a premier sport fishing destination with accessible, affordable, diverse and high-quality opportunities for anglers of all ages. Anyone who catches and registers a Maryland Angler Award-eligible sport fish will receive a certificate of achievement and free passes to the Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale ─ to be held in conjunction with the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 7, 2013. Here, these anglers will have the chance to win great door prizes, including a boat, trailer and motor package from Tracker Marine; a tropical vacation package from the World Fishing Network; tackle packages from Bill’s Outdoor Center and Bass Pro Shops; collectable event t-shirts from Under Armour; and fishing gear from a number of local tackle shops.

Combined with the prizes for the Angler Award component of the contest, this brings the total potential prize value of the year-long contest to more than $50,000.

“I want to thank our sponsors and our recreational fishery stakeholders for making this tournament possible,” said DNR Secretary Joe Gill. “The steadfast support of these businesses and the Maryland Seafood Festival have helped develop the Maryland Fishing Challenge into more than a contest, it has become a highly anticipated and appreciated summer-long experience.”

The Maryland Fishing Challenge is a free year-round tournament sponsored by DNR. To be eligible for the contest, all fish must be caught recreationally by rod and reel. To see the Angler Award species list and the official contest rules, visit dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge.

Catch a fish is included in the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, issued by Governor Martin O’Malley in April 2009. The Bill is part of the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, an initiative to ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards.

DNR encourages everyone to take advantage of Maryland’s Free Fishing Days, the first two Saturdays in June and July 4.

Follow Diamond Jim on Facebook at facebook.com/diamondjim.md, and DNR Fisheries atfacebook.com/MDDNRFisheriesService, Twitter @mddnrfish.

By by jdavidsburg for the Maryland DNR

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St. Michaels Art League Announces Student Honors

The St. Michaels Art League is pleased to again announce this year’s art student honors awards to winning members of the St. Michaels graduating class of 2013. This year’s art students presented their artwork portfolio before the judges and were judged on their body of work. The judges were Jacqueline Pfaff-Pratt, President of the Talbot County Visual Art Center and Mary Grimes, Officer and Community Outreach liaison for the St. Michaels Art League. Entrants for 2013 are students of St. Michaels High School, under the tutelage of Art Teacher Bridget Whited.

 This year’s awards to senior art students go to: First Prize, Morgan Shugars, Second place, David Rodriguez, Third place to Kenia Itzep, Fourth place to Luz Delgadillo and Fifth place to Kelly Stewart. The Awards were presented at the Awards Assembly on Thursday evening, May 23.

 Each year it is very difficult to determine which student is the very best , all are top level and very talented and able. Mrs. Whited has worked with each class over the years and they show a significant degree of sophistication with all media, and competent computer experience as well.

 

 

The 120 members of the St. Michaels Art League consider the Annual Portfolio Awards a vital part of the mission of this artists’ association, and continue their more than 20 years of helping future careers and creative minds of young artists in Talbot County public schools. The Art League can be contacted atwww.stmichaelsartleague.org.

 

DNR Maryland Fishing Report

Fishermen have been enjoying excellent fishing for White Perch in the lower Susquehanna River this week by casting shad darts and have been also catching striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats area. After June 1st they will be able to fish for Striped Bass in the entire Susquehanna up to the Conowingo Dam; swim shads, crankbaits and bucktails dressed with a soft plastic tail will be cast in the channels and deeper pools. There have been plenty of Striped Bass in the region so fishermen should have a great weekend. Fishing for channel catfish continues to be very good in the Susquehanna and Elk Rivers. Flathead Catfish have taken up residence in the lower Susquehanna River and particularly at the Conowingo Dam pool. They are considered an invasive species in Maryland but like the notorious snakehead, are one of the tastiest invasive species you’d ever want to meet. Jason Michalski and friends were doing their best to remove some flathead catfish at the Conowingo Dam pool and one would think by this picture they had a great time and some sore arms.

 


Photo Courtesy of Jason Michalski

 

In the upper bay region above the Bay Bridge, trolling for Striped Bass is being reported as a slow pick along channel edges. Most fishermen are trolling medium sized bucktails, spoons and swim shads in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. Other fishermen are jigging when they can find fish suspended along deep edges and structure or casting to shallow structure during the early morning and evening hours and catching fish. Chumming and chunking at traditional locations such as Swan, Love and Podickory Points is productive and may be the most productive option for fishermen in the upper bay this week.

Water temperatures in the middle and lower bay regions are holding around 65-degrees on the surface and the expected hot weather in the forecast will continue to drive those temperatures upward. Spot have arrived with the warmer water and fishermen report this week having little trouble catching plenty of spot in lower sections of most tidal rivers for bait. Live lining spot has begun in earnest at traditional locations such as the Hill, Thomas Point, Hackett’s, Clay Banks, Cove Point and Buoy 72 to name a few. Fishermen are reporting good fishing for a nice grade of Striped Bass whether they are trolling, light tackle jigging or live lining spot. Striped Bass are being reported throughout the middle and lower bay regions and often are being seen on top chasing bait. Fishing for Striped Bass in the lower Potomac River is being reported as excellent this week.

Black Drum are being found at the Sharps Island and James Island Flats this week and fishermen have been catching and releasing some big ones lately. Most fishermen are using whole or half soft crab baits and dropping on the fish when they are spotted on depth finders. Black Drum have large air bladders and give quite a distinctive image on depth finders and if all is quiet and they are passing underneath they can be heard making a growling rumble sound with their grinding plates in the throat. Cow-nosed rays have arrived in our portion of the bay much to the consternation of anyone who drops a bait to the bottom or is unlucky enough to snag one while trolling.

Warmer temperatures in the bay have urged croakers and spot to move up the bay and into the lower sections of tidal rivers and creeks as far as the Bay Bridge this week. Fishermen are reporting good fishing for croakers in channel areas on a variety of baits including bloodworms, shrimp, squid and peeler crab. In many areas White Perch and channel catfish will also be part of the mix when fishing in tidal rivers.

Shore based fishermen are enjoying good prospects for catching a variety of fish from shore this week such as Striped Bass, White Perch and Croaker. Traditional fishing locations such as public fishing piers and beaches are always popular but for the more adventurous there are excellent areas to fish from shore in lesser known areas such as the eastern and western shores of the lower bay. The eastern shore areas near Hooper’s Island and south to Crisfield have many places to fish but it will take some planning. Check out Google Maps or the county ADC maps in printed form to follow roads out to prominent points, bridges and landings and plan a road trip to explore these lesser known areas. Daryl Jones was fishing from the shores of the lower Manokin River when he caught this whopping 7lb speckled sea trout.

 


Photo Courtesy of Daryl Jones

 

Shallow water light tackle fishermen are enjoying good fishing opportunities from the upper most areas of the upper bay south to the Virginia line. Casting swim shads. jerkbaits, surface poppers or even fly fishing with skipping bugs or Clousers is a wonderful experience and also often very productive. Fishermen in the lower bay region have also been catching some impressive sized Speckled Trout and puppy drum along with Striped Bass this week. This time of the year water temperatures allow this fishery to start earlier in the evening and last longer in the morning.

Recreational crabbers have begun to sort out their gear and start exploring old haunts for a few crabs. If getting out on the water and perhaps catching a few crabs in the process is your goal then you will not be disappointed. If you’ve promised the folks back home a crab feast then you might reconsider. Recreational crabbers are catching a few crabs but many are either light or too small but most report being able to bring home a dozen or so crabs in an outing.

Freshwater fishermen continue to enjoy a wide variety of fishing opportunities in various regions of the state. The trout management waters are offering good fishing for trout whether one is fishing in a put and take area or catch and release; water flows are good and cool. Deep Creek Lake presently is offering good fishing for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Bluegills, Yellow Perch and Walleyes. Don Cosden spent a fishing vacation at Deep Creek Lake recently and holds one of the Smallmouth Bass he caught there.

 


Photo Courtesy of Don Cosden

 

John Mullican reports that he fished the upper Potomac River this past weekend and expects excellent possibilities this week. It was a beautiful weekend and many fishermen took advantage of the nice weather to enjoy the local waterways. Many people were out on the upper Potomac River and I heard favorable reports from nearly everyone I talked to. Smallmouth Bass and channel catfish have been very active. Just about any lure will catch a few bass right now, but spinnerbaits and tubes have excelled. Most bass have been running from 10″ to 14″, but several fishermen reported catching some much larger.

Warmer water temperatures in many of the states freshwater areas have post – spawn largemouth bass in a very active feeding behavior. These fish are hungry after standing guard over their nests and can be found in the shallows and areas outside of the spawning beds. There are of course some largemouth bass that are still spawning but a majority of them have finished in the central, southern and eastern areas of the state. Fishermen are reporting that grass, spatterdock fields and submerged fallen tree tops are all good places to cast a variety of lures. Spinnerbaits, surface lures, soft plastics and small shallow running crankbaits are all good choices.

Bluegills are still spawning in many lakes and ponds and offer some fun fishing on light tackle whether fishing bait or small surface lures. Chain Pickerel continue to offer fun opportunities in many areas as do channel catfish this week. In the tidal Potomac and adjoining creeks fishermen are reporting excellent fishing for Largemouth Bass and snakeheads are often crashing lures in the shallow areas.

Ocean City fishermen are looking forward to more favorable weather forecasts this week, especially when it comes to wind. Surf fishermen are seeing water temperatures in the upper 50’s this week and more varieties of fish moving into the region. Large Striped Bass has been the number one target of surf casters this week as these fish move through the region on their way to New England waters. Large menhaden or clam baits are attracting some nice catches of Striped Bass, a few large Bluefish and also the attention of Cow-Nosed Rays, dogfish and Black Tip Sharks. Surf rigs with smaller offerings have been catching a mix of blowfish, Kingfish, small Bluefish and the occasional Black Drum.

In and around the Ocean City Inlet fishermen have been treated to some wonderful fishing for large Striped Bass in the past week. Fishermen are reporting that sometimes the action is best at dawn and other times at night. Casting swim shads has been the first choice of most fishermen but drifting live eels or spot are always a good bet. Large and small Bluefish are also being caught in the inlet and blowfish, flounder and Tautog are also part of the mix. Joe Gillespie holds up a nice pair of flounder he caught at the Route 50 Bridge recently.

 


Photo Courtesy of Joe Gillespie

 

In the back bay areas fishermen have been experiencing good fishing for flounder in the channels and adjoining edges. Large baits are a good way to target doormat sized flounder and as more live spot become available drifting a live spot is a sure bet. Sinepuxent Bay in front of the airport, the east channel and Thorofare have all been very popular this week when fishing for flounder. Small Bluefish, blowfish, sea trout and Black Drum are also part of the bottom fishing mix in the back bay areas.

When calmer seas permit fishermen have been finding good fishing for Sea Bass and Tautog on the artificial reef sites and wreck sites. Farther offshore Thresher and Mako Sharks are beginning to be caught and some small Yellowfin Tuna were reported at the Baltimore Canyon.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

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Galena’s Black Bottom Farm Starts CSA Program

Black Bottom Farm would like to announce the start of their new Community Share Agriculture (CSA) program, Black Bottom Farm CSA. Beginning Saturday, June 1, shares will available for on-farm pickup, Saturdays from 10 AM- 12 PM, or at Kingstown Home and Garden, Tuesdays from 4-6 PM. Black Bottom Farm is located at 12810 Black Bottom Road in Galena, just a few minutes from 301.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 8.03.37 AMBlack Bottom Farm CSA is unique in that it features products from more than one local farm. “We want to promote other farmers,” says farm owner Kim Wagner, “we want people to know they’re there and what they’re doing. It takes a lot of work to do something well, and each farm has something distinctive to offer.” Black Bottom Farm specializes in raising heritage breed pigs in a healthy environment. Their goal is to keep their pigs happy, rotating them between pasture and woodlot, and providing the highest quality feeds.

Shares in the CSA are available in four-week blocks, starting on the first of each month. Members sign up to receive one box per week. A basic box includes three shares of meat and one dozen eggs, and is available for pick up either on farm or at Kingstown Home and Garden. The large box includes three meat shares, one dozen eggs, 3-5 vegetable shares (depending on season), and one a la carte item, which may include bread, hummus, nut butters, cheese, yogurt or other options. Large boxes may only be picked up on farm. Meat shares may include pork, beef, pastured poultry or wild-caught Pacific salmon. Members can choose their own items or leave the decision up to the farmer. Everything in each box is sourced from local farms, and availability will be posted weekly online.

A basic box starts at $30 per week and a large box costs $55. For more information or to sign up for a share, please email blackbottomfarms@aol.com, call 443-962-0764, or visit Black Bottom Farms on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Bottom-Farm/587138324630320. The farm is also open for visits and sales on Saturdays from 12-4 PM starting June 1.

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Back in the Woods with Artists Howard and Mary McCoy

For more than a decade, environmental artists Howard and Mary McCoy have been creating extraordinary art in the forest at Adkins Arboretum. Primarily using elements found naturally in the landscape just a few miles south of Route 301, the McCoys have been using the Adkins 300 acre woods as a unique natural canvas to highlight the special connection between nature and art.

Now the husband and wife team have returned to Adkins this summer with a new exhibit starting June 3. The Spy was able to get a sneak preview of their new work and talk about the importance of environmental art with them last Saturday.

The video is approximately four minutes long

Howard and Mary McCoy: Outdoor Sculpture
June 1-September 15, 2013
Reception: June 22

Invisible Microplastics Threaten Bottom of Marine Food Web

The plastic bags and bottles that litter streets, rivers and beaches create an eyesore and a threat to wildlife that may ingest or become entangled in them. But increasingly, scientists around the region, and the globe, wonder whether tiny bits of plastic that go unseen may pose an equal or even greater threat.

Much of the concern about plastic marine debris has stemmed from emotionally charged photos of birds wrapped in plastic fishing line or tangled in six-pack plastic rings, or reports of plastic bags found in the guts of turtles.

But plastic doesn’t easily go away. Over time, it typically breaks down into smaller and smaller particles known as microplastics, eventually becoming invisible to the human eye.

Now, scientists are worried that the growing concentrations of those unseen particles in the nation’s waterways may be consumed by filter-feeding fish and oysters, or by tiny zooplankton, which form the base of the aquatic food chain.

“The smaller they are, the greater the population of critters” that can consume them, noted Robert Hale, a professor in the Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

There  is reason to suspect that portions of waterways and the oceans are becoming a soup of microplastic particles. Despite the increased global production of plastics, the amount of floating plastics observed in the North Atlantic over the last two decades has not notably changed, “indicating that loss through fragmentation, sedimentation, ingestion and deposition may be significant and should be quantified,” said a report from a 2010 workshop on microplastics sponsored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program.

But the issue is so new — and has received so little study — that scientists are at a loss to estimate the level of risk posed by tiny bits of plastic. “There was high uncertainty surrounding many of the potential sources, stressors, effects and impacts,” the 2010 report summed up.

Water-sampling equipment often uses nets with a mesh that is too large to capture microplastics. When they are caught, they are often discarded as debris. But in the few places where scientists have looked at microplastics over the years, they see an increasing trend.

Studies in Puget Sound by the University of Washington-Tacoma have found that as much as 10 percent of the total mass of suspended solids in water samples consists of microplastics, with the average being about 1.8 percent — and those samples don’t include the smallest particles. The study indicated that limited work in the Chesapeake had similar results.

Interest about the impact of plastics on aquatic environments has grown in recent years since the discovery of large plastic-filled “garbage patches” in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans — areas where currents sweep together huge accumulations of plastics that wash off the continents and into the sea. The patches are a vivid reminder of how long plastics stay in the environment.

The qualities that make plastics useful —durability, light weight and long life — make them dangerous when they end up in the water, where they can last for decades, perhaps centuries.

To address those problems, manufacturers often design things like bags to degrade. But that doesn’t mean the plastic goes away — it just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. “From a chemical toxicology standpoint, maybe you traded one problem for another,” Hale said.

Depending on their size and composition, as they break into particles plastics may release previously bound-up chemicals into the water. At the same time, limited research suggests the changing composition of the smaller plastic bits may make it easier for them to absorb other chemicals in the water. Tests have shown that some small plastic particles readily take up PCBs and DDT.

When something comes along and eats the plastic bit, Hale said, “they have basically ingested a pill of chemicals.”

No one knows how long small plastic particles may stay afloat in a place like the Chesapeake. The particles might be flushed out of the Bay quickly, or they may attract a biological film that weighs them down and causes them to bind with other particles and sink. They might be buried by sediments, possibly releasing “microbursts” of chemicals, or continually be re-suspended in the water over time by waves and wind, Hale said.

There are two main sources for microplastics in aquatic systems. The first is from plastic trash which finds its way into waterways, where it gradually breaks down into smaller particles.

The second source is tiny plastic beads which are increasingly found in many personal care products such as scrubs, shampoos, soap, toothpaste, lip gloss, deodorants and sunblocks. People who never think of themselves as litterbugs may be washing plastic microbeads down the drain every time they wash their hair or take a shower. (Unilever, which manufactures such brands as Ponds and Axe, recently announced it would phase out the use of plastic microbeads in its products.) Microbeads are particularly difficult to measure because they are typically less than 0.3 millimeters (less than 1/80th of an inch).

“They were designed to go down the drain. All of our plankton tow nets are too big,” said Kirk Havens, assistant director of the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS. “Once they’re in the system, you can’t get them out.”

Limited studies in other places have found accumulations of microbeads in the guts of mussels, and microplastics in some fish and even whales. Their ingestion could introduce toxins into the food chain; but even if chemicals were not a problem, the materials can create obstructions that keep the organisms from taking in enough food, leading to malnutrition or starvation, the studies suggested.

VIMS scientists are partnering with the Hampton Roads (VA) Sanitation District to determine whether microbeads could be made of a plant-based substance, polyhydroxyalkanoate, which rapidly biodegrades in the marine environment.

But for the most part, out of sight has meant out of mind, Hale said. “To the general public, the idea of microplastics is not sexy. It is like another invisible threat,” he said. “But from the scientific standpoint, I think it is something that needs to be evaluated to establish how big a problem it really is.”

 

By Karl Blankenship
Bay Journal News Service

Distributed by Bay Journal News Service.

Gospel Music to Benefit Pancreatic Cancer Action Network June 1

 Join us for an amazing day of Gospel Music on Saturday, June 1st. It’s an old fashioned Camp Meeting at the Talbot Agriculture & Education Center. Enjoy guest choirs, featured artists, great food, and much more.

Gates open at 10AM, Music from 11AM – 6PM

 Special activities for pancreatic cancer survivors (for more information and to register)

 Proceeds benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in the fight against pancreatic cancer

 

Gospel Festival Location:

The Talbot Agriculture & Education Center

10659 Hiners Lane

Easton, Maryland

Get directions  (google map)

 

Contact: 410-745-9243

Library Week by Richard Pollack

Stitching Time at the Easton Library

On Monday, June 10, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will once again offer its popular “Stitching Time” program.  Patrons are invited to bring their needlecraft projects and work with a group.  There will be limited instruction available for beginners.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Chris Eareckson, telephone: 410-822-1626

 

Well-Known Author to Speak at Library

On Monday, June 10, at 6:00 p.m., Richard Pollak will speak about his new memoir, “After the Barn: A Search for Lost Memory.”  The Washington Post called Richard Pollak’s biography of Bruno Bettelheim, “a monument of scrupulous investigative reporting.”  The New York Times called it “a startling and thorough account of a life of lies.”  “After the Barn: A Search for Lost Memory” is a deeply personal account of Pollak’s brother’s death, his own epilepsy, and his long and ultimately redemptive search for lost memory. Pollak has been a reporter for The Evening Sun in Baltimore, an associate editor of Newsweek and a literary and executive editor of The Nation, where he remains a contributing editor. He has taught at Yale and New York universities and blogs at “You’re Only Old Once.” After the Barn is his first memoir.ll library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Sabine Simonson, telephone: 410-822-1626

 

Summer Reading Earns Free Event Tickets at Library

This year’s Summer Reading Program at the Talbot County Free Library offers great prizes in return for great reading all summer long.  Children and teens can win instant prizes and qualify for even bigger prizes by keeping track of the books they read this summer.  This year’s prizes include free tickets to the Maryland Science Center, to an Orioles game (August 10 against the Tampa Bay Rays), and to a Shorebirds game.  There will be $50 local merchant gift cards courtesy of the Friends of the Library and coupons good for free ice cream donated by Chick-fil-A.  The Eastern Shore Regional Library provided books to be awarded as prizes as well.  Participation in the library’s Summer Reading program is free and open to the public.  For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Rosemary Morris, telephone: 410-822-1626

 

Hummingbirds for Children at the Easton Library

On Tuesday, June 11, at 2:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, naturalists from the Pickering Creek Audubon Center will present a program on the beauty and wonders of hummingbirds for children aged 2 – 5.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons are asked to pre-register for this program.  For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org

Contact: Rosemary Morris, telephone: 410-822-1626

 

Memoir Writing at St. Michaels Library

Beginning on Thursday, June 13, and continuing on each Thursday through the summer (always excepting the first Thursday of each month), from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch offers of the Talbot County Free Library will offer patrons the chance to record and share their memories of life and family with a group of friendly, like-minded people.  Participants are invited to bring their lunch.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons are asked to pre-register for this program.  For more information, call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Shauna Beulah

 

Library to Offer Amnesty on Fines during Kaleidoscope Celebration

On Saturday, June 15, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the Talbot County Free Library will present Kaleidoscope, a celebration of all that we make and enjoy in life.  Dr. Darrin Lowery will present a display of the remarkable prehistoric artifacts he has found here on the Eastern Shore.  4-H and Maryland Extension Service will teach attendees how to make bread and granola and how to create a beautiful window box.  The Dolly Parton Imagination Library will sign children up for free books.  Tom Hutson will teach you how to build a robot.  Dr. Ted Suman will present a display of some of the fascinating creatures that live underground on the Delmarva Peninsula.  Clay Bakers will put on a pottery activity.  There will be a book sale and a bake sale.  Diana Hastings will display some of the truly exquisite art to be found in her collection of pop-up books.  Stephanie Goddard and Becky Riti will show you how to weave using a loom.  There will be free music and free food. And there will be an amnesty on all over-due charges!  If you have a book or DVD you’ve been embarrassed to return because it’s so late, this is the day when you can bring it back to the library and see your fines erased from your record at no cost to you! All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend Kaleidoscope.  For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

With many thanks to Richard Pollak

Richard Pollak

Richard Pollak

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