ShoreRivers Adds Three to Staff

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

Josh Biddle is ShoreRivers’s new Agricultural Specialist. Biddle 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. Biddle 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, Biddle 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 has joined ShoreRivers as Development and Events Coordinator. A lifelong Marylander, Erbe 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.”

Josh Biddle, Agricultural Specialist; Julia Erbe, Development and Events Coordinator; Rachel Plescha, 2018-2019 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Erbe 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 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. Plescha made ShoreRivers her first choice from over 70 other competing nonprofits in the Bay area. She 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!”

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

Rehearsals Begin for Summer Community Chorus

Rehearsals have begun for Easton’s Allegro Academy Summer Community Chorus, under the direction of Amy Morgan, who has brought together more than 60 singers and musicians from the Easton/Delmarva area. The group will present the famous and much loved Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria on Friday, July 27, 2018 at 7 p.m.  The performance is free and will take place at Trinity Cathedral, 315 Goldsborough Street, Easton, MD.  The chorus will be joined by a professional orchestra and soloists Caitlyn Crowley, soprano, Katie Cox, soprano, and Patty Rubin, mezzo-soprano.

The Gloria will be conducted by the Allegro Academy’s Artistic Director, Amy Morgan.  Mrs. Morgan is an accomplished musician whose education includes a Bachelors degree in Piano Performance from Salisbury University and Masters in Choral Conducting from Messiah College.  Mrs. Morgan founded the Allegro Academy in 2017 and has served as the music director at Trinity Cathedral since 2014.

Several participants commented that they thought this was a wonderful idea to “bring together the community and meet new people.”  Anyone who wanted to sing was welcomed.  One participant said she “loves to sing and was excited about being able to sing in such a large choir without having to audition.”  Mrs. Morgan hopes that the Allegro Academy summer community chorus will become a regular event.

The programs of the Allegro Academy are funded in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  For more information about this program or the Allegro Academy, call 410-603-8361, or visit

Qlarant Hosts Annual Grant Awards Event

Qlarant Foundation, the philanthropic arm of nationally recognized program integrity and quality company, Qlarant, has awarded charitable grants to fourteen Maryland and District of Columbia organizations seeking to improve health equity. Members of the Board of Directors for Qlarant Foundation held a reception for the 2018 Qlarant Grant Awards.

“Giving out these grants is so gratifying,” said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, Board Chair for Qlarant Foundation. “This is the 11th year that we have provided these grants to the community and each year it gets better. This year we’ve added four new grantees to the list of organizations that have received funds from Qlarant Foundation. We’ve now given over four and a half million dollars to fantastic organizations like these since 2007.”

Photo: Qlarant Foundation presented $385k to fourteen organizations: (left to right) front row: Brenda Crabbs (Qlarant Foundation Board Member), Sen. Addie Eckardt, Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian (Qlarant Foundation Board Chair), Deb Keller (VP Qlarant), back row: Robert Valenti (Qlarant Foundation Board Member), Amanda Neal (Qlarant Foundation Board Member).

This year’s grant recipients include previous grantees Access Carroll, Inc., Breast Care for Washington, D.C., Channel Marker, Inc., Community Ministries of Rockville, Help and Outreach Point of Entry, Inc., La Clinica del Pueblo, Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Miriam’s Kitchen, Mission of Mercy, and University of Maryland Medical Center’s Breathmobile. All of these organizations are dedicated to providing health and human services to underserved populations. First time grantees included Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions, University Legal Services, Inc., as well as Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, Inc. and Girls in the Game; the latter two were honored for their commitment to women and young girls. Also attending the ceremony were Delegate Johnny Mautz and Senator Addie Eckardt. Sen. Eckardt presented citations to the organizations in her district.

During the luncheon, catered by Blue Heron Catering, the grantees were given the opportunity to present a summary of their organizations’ work and successes followed by workshops focused on partnership and networking.

“Our Foundation Grants Event is one of our favorite parts of what we do at Qlarant,” said Deb Keller, Qlarant Vice President. “Our ability to do the good work that we do and provide support for even more positive impacts to the community is what makes Qlarant so special.

About Qlarant Foundation

Qlarant Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Qlarant, a not-for-profit nationally respected leader in fighting fraud, waste & abuse, improving program quality, and optimizing performance. The organization was founded more than 45 years ago to improve health care and human services for all. Qlarant Foundation is focused on reinvesting in our people and resources to better support our clients’ missions.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Glennda Moragne El at 410.872.9632 or email at

ShoreRivers Awarded 2.2 Million Dollar Grant

At the end of June, 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.

A treatment wetlands system helps maximizes nutrient removal.

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.

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 or contact Director of Agriculture & Restoration Tim Rosen at 443.385.0511 or

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

Antiques on Talbot: Past, Present, and Future

Carol Burke, Carol Krasnowiecki and Mary Harrison (not shown) celebrate ten years as Antiques on Talbot. The quaint shop located at 211 N Talbot St in St Michaels is recognized by the blue canoe in front and has become a popular shopping venue for visitors and locals alike who are searching for quality antiques as well as unique collectibles. The selection includes a wide variety of oyster plates and cans, decoys, sterling, crystal, nauticals, estate/costume jewelry, tools, furniture, shabby chic and much more.

Joining the fine dealers at Antiques on Talbot this month are Sally Campbell, formerly of Tandem Antiques, and returning dealer Ron Lippincott.  Their expertise for Americana and nautical collectibles is recognized throughout the Eastern Shore and beyond.

It has been a fun ten years of sharing treasures with a wonderful clientele. “Carol, Carol and Mary” are looking forward to the next decade.

Talbot Family Network Awarded Grant Funds for Families and Children

The Talbot Family Network, the Local Management Board for Talbot County, was awarded grant funds for FY 19 through the Governor’s Office for Children. The total award is $525,478.

The mission of the Talbot Family Network is, through collaboration with public and private entities, to identify and develop support systems for a safe, healthy, and caring community for all Talbot County children and families.

Through an extensive planning process undertaken by the Talbot Family Network (TFN) during FY 16 through 18 the needs of children and families were identified and gaps in programming were assessed by the TFN Board. The TFN Board is comprised of public and private representatives appointed by the Talbot County Council.

The programs and strategies funded by this grant include interventions for some of Maryland’s most vulnerable populations: families and children impacted by caregiver incarceration; disconnected youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor attending school; children and youth who are food-insecure; and youth who are experiencing homelessness. These interventions represent new pathways to opportunities and a push for systemic change that will further Governor Hogan’s vision of ensuring an economically secure Maryland for all.

In FY 18, TFN was one of nine jurisdictions in the state of Maryland, and the only jurisdiction on the Mid-Shore, to receive an increase in their award from the previous year.Those funds were then added to the total FY 19 budget.

“The Governor’s Office for Children recognizes and appreciates the unique role of the Local Management Boards in understanding the specific concerns of their communities and developing corresponding programs for children, youth, and families,” said Jaclin Warner Wiggins, acting executive director of the Governor’s Office for Children.

Executive Director, Katherine Sevon stated “Talbot Family Network is eager to continue supporting the success of all children and families in Talbot County through these valuable programs.”

For more information on the Talbot Family Network or the planning process please go to or contact TFN at

Talbot Base Funding: $525,478

Programs include:

Conversation on Race – Provides for two Beyond Diversity seminars on racism, equity and action for Local Management Board vendors and stakeholders. The creation of a community of practice will provide for a series of at least quarterly conversations and support sessions to foster a Racial Equity Community of Practice in Talbot County.  Beyond Diversity is conducted in partnership with the Talbot County Public Schools.

Healthy Families – A two-generation, prenatal through age 5 home visiting program for high-risk families that supports the development of healthy, stable, economically self-sufficient parents by capitalizing on the worker/parent relationship and leveraging this trust to engage the mothers in self-development and behavior change.

Community Nutrition and Gardening Education – Nutrition and gardening education for the community and coordinates with the Talbot County Hunger Coalition.

Healthy Habits – An after-school hunger and nutrition education program targeting 150 children eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals at two sites with research-based nutrition education and after school meals.

Mentoring Youth and Supporting Families Impacted by Incarceration –Provides mentoring including individual needs assessment, case management services and a trauma informed therapeutic support group for children impacted by incarceration of a parent. This year will add support groups for the parent/caregiver as well as family bonding events.

Bridges Out of Poverty/Getting Ahead Workshops – Educational and practical training provided to resourced and non-resourced community members regarding poverty and methods of moving out of poverty.

Reengagement Coordinator – Will identify and re-engage drop outs in an individualized educational program in partnership with public schools.

Career Pathways – A training program that provides engagement, pre-employment education, training, and career opportunities for disconnected youth.

Destination Imagination St. Michaels Receives Grant from Bryan Brothers Foundation

Bryan Brothers Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce Destination Imagination St. Michaels as a 2018 grant recipient.

Destination Imagination, Inc. is a leading educational organization dedicated to teaching students the skills needed to succeed in school, their careers and beyond. They develop project-based learning programs that blend STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education with the arts and social entrepreneurship.

Destination Imagination St. Michaels had a record number five teams qualify for the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee this May.  Participants learned patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and the collaborative problem-solving process.

“It is pretty incredible to have that many kids qualify from such a small school.” Says Allen M. Bryan, Jr, director of the Bryan Brothers Foundation. “We very were excited for the opportunity to support this program.”

The Bryan Brothers “Building Dreams for Youth” Foundation’s mission is to help ensure that all children on the Mid-Shore have the opportunity to experience personal growth through participation in youth sports, recreation and development programs. Since its inception in 2003, the Bryan Brothers Foundation has provided over $1,100,000 in grants to support Shore Kids. The Foundation provides donors with the opportunity to support a broad range of worthwhile youth programs with their contributions. For more information, please call 410-819-3780 or call

Rep. Andy Harris Opens Application for Military Service Academy Nominations

Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Military Service Academies nomination application is now available for students wishing to join the class of 2023. Congressman Harris will nominate some of the finest students from Maryland’s First Congressional District for appointments to the U.S. Military, Naval, Air Force, and Merchant Marine Academies. The Coast Guard Academy does not require a Congressional nomination, though Congressman Harris will recommend interested applicants on a case-by-case basis.

Admission to the service academies is based on SAT/ACT scores, class rank, physical aptitude scores, extracurricular activities, athletic abilities, medical examinations, and a panel interview. Academies accept applications on a rolling basis beginning in September. Final acceptance is also contingent upon receiving a nomination from an authorized source such as one’s Congressman or Senator.

The deadline to apply for a nomination from Congressman Harris is October 22, 2018. All qualified residents of Maryland’s First District are encouraged to apply. Interviews will be conducted in the fall by Congressman Harris’ Military Academy Review Board, which is made up of veterans and reservists of the United States military. The Service Academies will be notified of Congressman Harris’ nominations by December 31, 2018.

Students can download the nomination application at Completed applications should be submitted to Congressman Harris’ Kent Island District office at 100 Olde Point Village, Suite 101, Chester, MD 21619. For questions, please call the Kent Island District Office at 410-643-5425.

Ride the Bus For Free In St. Michaels

This spring, Delmarva Community Transit began operating a circulating bus service throughout the town of St. Michaels in an effort to provide an affordable option for residents to access local businesses and connect with bus service to Easton.

“Not everyone is familiar with riding a bus”, said Mary Handley, Mobility Manager for Delmarva Community Transit.  “We, in conjunction with the city and county thought it would be a great idea to have  a “Ride the Bus for Free Day”, to give folks an opportunity to try the service out and have a little bit of fun in the process, Handley said.

Saturday, July 7, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, anyone may hop on and off of the circulator without paying a fare.  Anyone riding can put their name in to win prizes presented at 12 noon.  Also riders will   receive vouchers which when used to ride the bus any day after the 7th, will act as a discount coupon for local businesses.

Local participating businesses include Sunnyside Shop – 10% discount; Carpenter St. Saloon- one free coffee; Grauls – 5% off grocery purchase and a reusable shopping bag; Treasure Cove Thrift Store- $5 off purchase and more!

Other businesses have contributed toward gift basket prizes including breakfast for two at the Carpenter St. Saloon.

Travel Trainers will be located throughout the town to assist people with directions and helpful information about riding the bus.

“We are so grateful to the city and county for working to provide transit service for the residents”, Handley said.  “Now it is up to us to make sure everyone has an opportunity to try the service out, ask questions and hopefully continue to ride”.

For more information about the “Free Ride the Bus Day” in St. Michaels, or about transportation services in general, please call the Delmarva Community Transit One Stop at 410-822-7472.

Author Reading in Easton Celebrates New Climate Change Novel

Local author Paul Briggs will hold a reading and signing to celebrate the launch of his new book, Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the meeting room of the Talbot County Free Library in Easton on Monday, July 2. Coffee and cake will be served. 

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, the first novel in a two-part series, has just been released by Secant Publishing in Salisbury. Set in the near future, it explores the disastrous effects of runaway climate change and sea level rise on many parts of the world, including the Eastern Shore, following the total melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean.

It has been praised by critics, including the American Library Association’s Booklist, which called it “A solid addition to cli fi collections.” Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine opined: “It’s the kind of meaty book that keeps coming back to you for weeks after you’ve finished reading,” while Kirkus Reviews said: “This epic story of global pandemonium wisely centers on accessible characters.”

Other signings have also been scheduled at independent bookstores throughout the Shore:

– The Book Warehouse in the Queenstown Prime Outlets, Saturday, July 21.
– Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Delaware, Tuesday, July 31.
– Sundial Books in Chincoteague, Virginia, Saturday, August 11.

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise is available through IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and many other retail channels including local bookstores. The 374-page paperback edition sells for $15.95 (ISBN 978-1-944962487). It is also available in e-book format.