Preservation Group Announces Phillips Packing House a New Preservation Project

As a part of Preservation Maryland’s strategic efforts to save threatened historic places, the organization recently announced its fourth class of Six-to-Fix projects from around the state. The Phillips Packing House revitalization project, spearheaded by Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Baltimore’s Cross Street Partners, is among them.

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is tackling an ambitious project to rehabilitate and reuse the historic Phillips Packing Plant. Preservation Maryland will support the effort by identifying funding to support the critical repair of the iconic smokestacks and increasing public awareness of this important preservation project on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Preservation Maryland will host a fundraiser known as Phoenix Rising in support of these projects and the organization’s work across the state on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, also the location of an on-going preservation partnership with the Museum to save the WWII crane on their property.

The Six-to-Fix program, which continues to evolve and expand since its launch in 2015, now represents a diverse portfolio of projects from around the state where Preservation Maryland has assisted in supporting efforts to preserve threatened historic resources. From cultural landscapes on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to a WWII-era crane in Baltimore’s harbor, the program has succeeded in advancing preservation at dozens of sites around the state.

Previous year’s projects are also quickly becoming a repository of best practices and case studies for community preservation – providing local preservation groups around the state with opportunities to learn from their peers. A complete list of all 24 previous and current projects is maintained at

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them. More at

CBF’s ‘VoiCeS’ Adult Education Classes Will Be Held in Centreville

Are you interested in learning how you can do more to help the Chesapeake Bay?

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation can help! Join other people who care about the environment and come “back-to-school” for a six-week course taught by scientists, non-profit leaders, and others about how to improve water quality on the Eastern Shore and in the rest of the Bay’s watershed.

Classes will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings from October 9 until November 13 at Wye River Upper School in Centreville. Registration is open on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s website.

Attendees will be able to learn about Bay science and fisheries, pollution problems and solutions, and how volunteers can help restoration efforts in their local waters and the Bay.

In this professionally taught course, you will learn from experts about crabs and oysters, farm and urban issues, Bay history and ecology, and how to play a personal role in the future of clean water restoration.

Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards (VoiCeS) is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) most comprehensive adult education program available to the public. This year CBF is offering the program in Centreville for the first time! Registration costs $25 per person or $40 per couple and includes one Saturday field trip – a guided canoe paddle on the Corsica River.

Space is limited, so register now for a deep-dive exploration of issues that affect the Chesapeake Bay. Registration is required at For more information, contact CBF Grassroots Field Specialist Hilary Gibson at or 410-543-1999.

Science Bytes with the Horn Point Lab

The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) invites you to join them for Science Bytes a witty, interactive offering where one can learn, sip, and taste.  Join us Thursday, October 18 from 6 to 7:30 pm at Piazza Italian Market in Easton.

These gatherings are designed to share science relevant to our communities in a casual, fun setting.  Mike Roman, HPL Director, will discuss with faculty member, Louis Plough, his research and its impact for the Shore.  Louis will share his research on genetics and their role in oyster adaptability to changing water conditions as well as his work with DNA sampling to identify what is in our local waters.

Louis Plough and Research Assistant, Ben Lee, in the lab testing DNA samples from local water’s to identify what has been swimming there.

Savor wine, beer, and antipasto from Italy. Get to know the scientist behind the science and mingle with old friends and new acquaintances in this casual, local setting.

Tickets are $25/ person.  To register visit or contact Carin Starr at, 410-221-8408.

This event is an activity of the University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc. (USM Foundation). Funds earned or contributed will be managed by the USM Foundation for the benefit of the Horn Point Laboratory. Please make your check payable to the University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc.”


The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Pickering Creek’s Harvest Hoedown on October 14

People around the world are celebrating 2018 as Year of the Bird. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest wildlife protection laws in the United States. In honor of this milestone, Audubon, National Geographic, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners around the world joined forces to celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird.

The CBMM’s Winnie Estelle will offer rides on Pickering Creek.

Pickering Creek Audubon Center will celebrate birds and fall on the Eastern Shore at this year’s Year of the Bird themed Harvest Hoedown on Sunday October 14. Harvest Hoedown features music at three locations, unique craftspeople, nature walks, wildlife exhibits, boat rides on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Winnie Estelle and entertaining kids and adult activities about birds as well as food prepared by the Easton Lions Club and new local food vendors. Activities and vendors will be found throughout the Center. Explore the property with wagon rides or take a stroll on the forest trail for a sampling of the Eastern Shore’s natural beauty from wetlands to 100 year-old trees, all highlighted in vibrant fall colors.

Harvest Hoedown 2018 will feature live music, puppet shows, a family friendly scavenger hunt with prizes and Year of the Bird themed fun throughout the day.  Native plants will be available for guests who participate in activities about birds, plants and habitat. From deep in the vaults of Pickering Creek the Harvest Hoedown T-Shirt Art collection will be on display, featuring the great folk art that has graced the back of each Harvest Hoedown T-Shirt for the last twenty years.  These works will be on display at the Center’s Welcome Center.  Scheduled events will include not only music on the main stage, but also brief nature talks by area naturalists including topics pertinent to the Year of the Bird, the Chesapeake Bay and life on the Eastern Shore.

Harvest Hoedown features great music for all ages!  The Harvest Hoedown main stage, framed by Pickering’s historic corncrib, will host toe tapping blues and bluegrass with four acts throughout the day. The kid’s stage is just down the lane right next to Pickering’s beautiful gardens, surrounded by a bevy of fun educational activities led by Audubon Naturalists and budding volunteer leaders.  The musical artists featured frequently perform in their own right, but Pickering puts them all together for a wonderful fall day of music and fun.

The kid’s stage features Slim Harrison and the Sunnyland Band from Western Maryland and returning for their seventeenth year. The best thing about the Sunnyland Band is that it is you!  With over 40,000 members worldwide it may very well be the biggest band around.  The main stage kicks off at 11:30 am with local favorites Fog after Midnight, followed by Baltimore musician Norm Hogeland. Playing next at Harvest Hoedown on the main stage are Slim Harrison and the Rock Candy Cloggers.

The New and Used Bluegrass Band headlines the Mainstage

Headlining the main stage is the New and Used Bluegrass band, based on the Eastern Shore with members from across the shore. New and Used Bluegrass features Alan Breeding on banjo, Jim Bieneman on bass fiddle and vocals, Toby Price on mandolin and vocals, Ed Finkner on guitar and vocals and Jon Simmons on fiddle, mandolin and vocals. New and Used Bluegrass performs various flavors of bluegrass music, ranging from the traditional  – like the Stanley Brothers “How Mountain Girls Can Love” to “Eastbound and Down” from the Smokey and the Bandit movie, to “Caravan”, a Duke Ellington tune, as well as assorted banjo and fiddle tunes and songs.  They are well known locally for their excellent bluegrass pickin’.

Harvest Hoedown is generously supported by the following sponsors: Bartlett Griffin and Vermilye, Johnson Lumber Company, Shore United Bank, Shorebancshares, Donald and Dorothy Whitcomb, Stuart and Melissa Strahl, Wye Gardens, LLC, Dorothy and Donald Whitcomb, Jo Storey, Bountiful, Hank Spies, Richard and Beverly Tilghman, The Star Democrat, the Chesapeake Audubon Society, Out of the Fire, Kelly Distributing, and Pepsi Cola. Please contact the Center for if you would like to be a sponsor.

Harvest Hoedown means fun for all ages!  Music, hayrides, boat rides, local arts, and great family activities put smiles on every face. Mark your calendar, dig up your overalls, boots and hat and make your way out to Pickering Creek on October 14.  We will be having fun from 11 am- 4 pm.

Open House at Horn Point Laboratory October 13

For the 17th year, rain or shine, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Horn Point Laboratory invites the public to a FREE Open House on Saturday, October 13, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Sustainable Solutions through Science” is this year’s theme.  Hands-on exhibits allow visitors to explore the science happening at Horn Point Lab (HPL) and its impact on Chesapeake Bay to make it healthy and keep it healthy. Learn how marshes, oysters, sediment, tiny zooplankton, computer models, and more help restore and sustain the Bay.

A scavenger hunt will enhance the kid’s exploration of exhibits and campus activities.  Come aboard UMCES research vessel Rachel Carson and explore new advances in aquaculture at the boat basin.  Hop on the hayride for a campus tour and learn how much energy is being produced by the 10-acre solar field.  It is a great day filled with educational activities for all ages. Children will receive a free t-shirt.

“This is the best day of the year for the community to learn about the science of the Bay. Everyone at the lab is on deck to explain their research with activities and displays that make it easy to understand,” said Horn Point Laboratory Director Mike Roman.

From the banks of the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore just outside Cambridge, HPL scientists engage in world-renowned research in oceanography, water quality, restoration of sea grasses, marshes and shellfish, and expertise in ecosystem modeling.  At Open House you can be a part of it all.

Visitors to the Open House will be able to:

• Play in a digital sand box to create shorelines and model weather’s impact around the Bay with laser imaging.
• See an animation of the travels of oyster larvae as they move from the reef where they spawned to their new, permanent home reef.
• Match up a DNA sequence to microscopic creatures important to the food chain.
• Observe and learn about sturgeon whose ancestors date to the Jurassic period
• Build a healthy marsh and learn who are our best partners in this effort.
• Meet and talk to graduate students about their environmental career goals.
• At the children’s activity booth, create eco-friendly animals that live in our waters. Play games that teach fun facts about the Bay. Go on a scavenger hunt through the exhibits to learn how the Bay’s lasting health starts with each of us making a cleaner environment today.

The open house is for all ages and takes place rain or shine. The Horn Point Laboratory campus is located at 2020 Horns Point Road on Route 343 outside of Cambridge, Maryland.

For more information, visit or contact Carin Starr at, 410-221-8408.


The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Eliminate Litter and Enjoy Public Lands at Blackwater NWR

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is celebrating National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 22, by hosting its annual volunteer litter cleanup day and offering free admission to the refuge. The public is invited to work with staff, Friends of Blackwater members and other volunteers as we clean up refuge roads to promote the health of the forest and wetlands. This year’s event is being held in conjunction with International Coastal Cleanup, a worldwide effort by the Ocean Conservancy to keep litter from entering our oceans. In addition, the usual entrance fee for Wildlife Drive will be waived so that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy their wonderful public lands!

Blackwater NWR’s annual litter cleanup will be held on September 22 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Trash will be collected from the roads around Blackwater NWR, beginning at the Blackwater Visitor Center, located on Key Wallace Drive near Cambridge.  Snacks and drinks will be supplied by the Friends of Blackwater for everyone who comes.  In addition, the first 30 people who register for this event will receive an appreciation gift.  Individuals and groups of all ages are invited, and low-traffic litter areas will be set aside for those with young children.  Participants are encouraged to bring gloves and wear brightly colored clothes for working along the roads.  If you, your family, or your organization is interested in registering for the Litter Pick-up please contact Tom Miller or Michele Whitbeck at 410-228-2677. Information about the refuge can be found at

More information about National Public Lands Day can be found at  If you wish to learn more about the International Coastal Cleanup, please visit .

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 29,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwoods and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife.  To learn more, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook @BlackwaterNWR.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

October Nature Walk Connects Faith and Environment

Join ShoreRivers, an environmental nonprofit, and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC), a faith-based advocacy group, for a Spiritual Nature Walk on Sunday, October 7, from 3-5 p.m. at the beautiful Bolingbroke Park in Trappe. ShoreRivers’ Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta and IPC’s Religious Educator Kolya Braun-Greiner will guide a two-mile walk through the secluded forests that meander beside Bolingbroke Creek. All denominations and ages are welcome to join and learn more about the health of the Choptank River and the call to action that congregations can make to protect Creation.

Bolingbroke Park is a pristine, little known gem of the Eastern Shore, owned by the Izaak Walton League Mid-Shore Chapter. The park has bathrooms, walking trails, and a small boat launch. Join us for an afternoon of inspiration, fresh air, fall foliage, and connecting with your local environment and faith.

A view of Bolingbroke Creek from the Izaak Walton League Park in Trappe. Photo Credit: Izaak Walton League Mid-shore Chapter

This spiritual nature walk is offered through the Stewards for Streams: Faith-Based Conservation program funded by Chesapeake Bay Trust and Delaplaine Foundation. Through Stewards for Streams, local congregations have planted native rain gardens and trees that filter and clean rain water before entering local waterways, hosted rain barrel workshops, and engaged adult and youth groups in the importance of environmental stewardship.

Visit and for more information about these community organizations.

The Spiritual Nature Walk is limited to 25 people. Registration closes Thursday, October 5. To sign up, please call Suzanne Sullivan at 443-385-0511 or email

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.

Talbot County Council Proclaims 2018 the Year of the Bird

The Talbot County Council has proclaimed 2018 as the Year of the Bird in Maryland. The declaration celebrates native and migratory birds making their way through Maryland this time of year and the Free State’s remarkable landscapes and water resources that support them.  The proclamation was delivered at the Council’s September 11th meeting at the Talbot County Public Library in Easton.

Audubon works with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland State Department of Education on Governor Hogan’s Project Green Classrooms as well as with a host of local, state and federal agencies on important bird area protection, environmental literacy and sea level rise adaptation.

Home to 42 Important Bird Areas and more than 400 observed species, the declaration recognizes that Maryland and the Eastern Shore’s natural resources provide important habitat for birds. Within Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay watershed serves as an important breeding and stopover area for millions of migratory birds each year.

Pickering Creek Audubon Center Trustees David Bent and Tom Sanders, Audubon’s Mark Scallion, and County Council member Dirck Bartlett with the Talbot County Council’s Year of the Bird Proclamation.

People around the world are celebrating 2018 as Year of the Bird. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest wildlife protection laws in the United States. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners around the world joined forces to celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird.  This year’s Harvest Hoedown at Pickering Creek Audubon Center on October 14th will be themed after the Year of the Bird and feature bird activities as well as native plants for people to take home and install in there own yards.

“Year of the Bird is an easy way people can take small everyday actions to help birds along their journeys,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO for National Audubon Society. “Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay provides wintering grounds for approximately one-third of the Atlantic coast’s migratory population including iconic waterfowl species like the Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal for centuries.”

Many conservation organizations, agencies, businesses and academics have been instrumental in protecting birds and the places they need in Maryland. In celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Bird, there is great appreciation for the efforts of many organizations, including local Audubon chapters and centers, the Maryland Ornithological Society, the Department of Natural Resources, waterfowl associations and duck clubs, and many others. For more about Year of the Bird visit

Contact: Mark Scallion, National Audubon Society,, 410-822-4903

Rod and Reef Slam Fishing Tournament Returns for Second Year

Anglers seeking a unique experience on the Chesapeake Bay should register now for the second annual Rod & Reef Slam on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The fishing tournament taking place Saturday, Sept. 22, on six oyster restoration sites near the mouth of the Choptank River, is meant to highlight the diversity of fish that thrive near oyster reefs. So rather than be rewarded for catching a specific large fish, anglers in this catch-and-release fishing tournament are tasked with trying to catch as many different species of fish to win prizes such as Engle coolers, Costa Sunglasses gift cards, Lyon Distilling Rum, and fishing tackle. If anglers tie on the number of species caught, the size of their fish will determine the winners.

Last year, anglers caught dozens of fish from 10 different species such as rockfish, white perch, weakfish and spotted seatrout.

“Historically the live bottom provided by three-dimensional oyster reefs produced an amazingly diverse fishing community,” said John Page Williams, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s senior naturalist and a seasoned angler. “Our aim here is to bring that rich diversity back to our recreational and commercial fisheries. We are starting to see that return in the reef ball field in the Choptank River and other oyster restoration areas.”

The tournament takes place from 6:30 a.m. until fishing lines will be required to be out of the water at 2:30 p.m. An after party and awards show will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Lowes Wharf Marina Inn in Sherwood. There are three divisions—powerboat, kayak, and youth. The entry fee is $50 for the powerboat and kayak division and youth can participate for free if they have a Coastal Conservation Association youth membership, which is $10 per year. The registration price covers the entry fee, after party food, giveaways, entertainment, and access to a cash bar. Tickets for just the afterparty are $10 and include food and entertainment.

The tournament is being co-sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, Coastal Conservation Association Maryland and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.The title sponsor is Curtis Stokes & Associates, Inc.

Participating anglers in this tournament will fish on their choice of six oyster restoration reef areas—Tilghman Island Reef just outside of Knapps Narrows, Clint Waters Reef at Cooks Point, reef balls at the Bill Burton Fishing Pier near Cambridge, and three different oyster sanctuaries in Harris Creek, the Tred Avon River and the Little Choptank River. Before releasing the fish they catch, anglers will use the iAngler app to record the size and location of their catch.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation in partnership with groups such as Coastal Conservation Association Maryland and NOAA have worked to preserve and grow oyster reefs in the Bay to improve water quality.  Oysters are a keystone species in the Chesapeake. They filter water and the crevices between the groupings of bivalves provide habitat for other critters such as small fish, crabs, and grass shrimp.

Small fish, such as blennies, gobies and skillet-fish that feed on the reef are natural bait for much bigger fish such as rockfish and perch as well as blue crabs.

The locations chosen for the fishing tournament are all places where conservation groups have planted hundreds of thousands of oysters over the past decade.  For example, this summer the Chesapeake Bay Foundation planted more than 120 reef ballsin the Choptank River, while more than 1,500 reef balls have been planted at Cook’s Point.

The Harris Creek oyster sanctuary is a productive example of restoration efforts. Since 2011, 350 acres of water bottom have been planted with oysters. A NOAA study released last year found that the vast majority of planted oysters were forming into stable, healthy reefs.

The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, a group of more than 40 local and regional conservation groups, aquaculture businesses, and academic partners, is working to expand oyster populations in the Chesapeake by adding 10 billion new oysters in Virginia and Maryland waters by 2025.

However, more needs to be done to draw attention to the important water quality and recreational benefits oysters provide to the Chesapeake Bay. The Rod & Reef Slam is meant to remind people about the ecosystems oyster reefs create and the recreational fishing opportunities they can provide.

More information here or at 443-482-2097 or

ShoreRivers Hosts 14th Annual Ride for Clean Rivers

On Sunday, September 16, ShoreRivers will host the 14th Annual Ride for Clean Rivers. Ride the beautiful back roads of Talbot and Queen Anne’s Counties in support of ShoreRivers’ work for clean water. This is a great way to bring summer to a close surrounded by friends, family, and fellow community members. Register at before September 8 to receive discounted pricing and guarantee an event tee-shirt!

Cyclers of all ages and levels are welcome to register for 20-mile, 35-mile, or 63-mile (metric century) routes. All routes begin and end at Chesapeake College, and include SAG support and rest stops with food and drink. The metric ride will kickoff at 8:00 am and the 35-mile and 20-mile rides will follow at 10:00 am.Upon returning to the college campus, riders and volunteers will enjoy a BBQ lunch and live music by Fog After Midnight. For the first time, every rider will be entered into a raffle to win a Garmin Edge 1030 cycling computer. A second cycling computer will be awarded to the team that raises the most money.

Cyclist prepare to leave at the Ride for Clean Rivers start line.

ShoreRivers looks forward to continued support from the community for this year’s event. Whether enjoying a Sunday bike ride, riding with friends, or promoting a business, this event is about coming together. It is not too late to create a team or sign up to join ShoreRivers in support of cleaner, healthier rivers.

Thank you to event sponsors Dock Street Foundation, KELLY Benefit Strategies, Agency of Record, Bay Imprint, Bay Pediatric Center, Bike Doctor, Blessings Environmental Concepts, The Brewer’s Art, Chesapeake 4-H Club, Chesapeake College, Dr. Computer, Easton Family YMCA, Ecotone Ecological Restoration, S.E.W. Friel, Resource Restoration Group, Sprout, and Shore Orthopedics.

All proceeds go toward ShoreRivers’ ongoing education, restoration, and water quality monitoring programs. For more information, please phone 443.385.0511 or contact KristanDroter at or Julia Erbe at

ShoreRivers will also host the Chester River Challenge in Chestertown during Downrigging Weekend. Participants may walk or run a 5K or run a half marathon to support ShoreRivers. The event will be held on Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 9am-12pm at Wilmer Park in Chestertown, MD. Register online at or on the day of the race.

5K Run/Walk: $20 before October 21: $25 after
Half Marathon: $50 before October 21; $60 after

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.