Celebrate Heroes of Conservation with the Horn Point Laboratory

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The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) invites you to join their 7th annual Chesapeake Champion celebration.  The Hutchison Brothers are this year’s Chesapeake Champion.The event takes place Thursday, May 30 from 5 to 7 pm at the Waterfowl Building, 40 S. Harrison St., Easton.  Proceeds benefit the research of HPL graduate students and faculty.

Imbibe! Savor delicious hors d’oeuvres, sip a Chesapeake Champion cocktail with old friends and new acquaintances while you explore inspired demonstrations by HPL graduate students and celebrate the Hutchison Brothers.

“The Horn Point Laboratory is delighted to honor the Hutchison Brothers for their innovative agricultural practices benefiting water quality and soil health. They have been leaders in sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship while maintaining a successful business,” said Mike Roman, Horn Point Laboratory Director.

The Hutchison Brothers are true Champions of the ChesapeakeThey are farming advocates respected by farmers and environmentalists alike.  For four generations and 250 man years the Hutchison family has farmed their land. Today, the family’s farming operations are run by 3 of 5 brothers who farmed together, Bobby, Richard, and David, along with Bobby’s son, Travis, and Richard’s son, Kyle.  Their father, Earl, was a founding board member of Talbot County’s Soil Conservation District.  The family was inducted into the Governor’s Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2005.  Bobby is member emeriti of the Harry Hughes Agro-Ecology Center.

Hutchison Brothers family members working the farm today. Left to right; Kyle (Richard’s son), David, Richard, Bobby, and Travis (Bobby’s son).

Travis says, “Environmental stewardship has been the key to pass on the farm from generation to generation.  It is critical to success when a family wants the farm to continue.”  The Hutchison’s apply innovative conservation practices and the latest technology to their farming business.  Their outlook is, “to be a farmer you have to be an optimist – always plan for a good year, if you plan for a disaster you will get one.”Today the family farms about 3,400 acres in Talbot and Caroline counties.  They continue to explore new technologies and sustainable practices to leave the land better than they found it.

Past Chesapeake Champions include; Amy Haines the first recipient in 2013, followed by John E. (Chip) Akridge in 2014, C. Albert Pritchett in 2015, Alice and Jordan Lloyd in 2016, Jim Brighton in 2017, and Jerry Harris in 2018.

The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) is an environmental research facility of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). The Lab is located on 880 acres on the banks of the Choptank River, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UMCES is the only institution within the University System of Maryland focused entirely on advanced environmental research and graduate studies. Its research primarily focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and restoring coastal health.

Mark your calendar and join us Thursday, May 30th to honor the Hutchison Brothers, 2019 Chesapeake Champion, and celebrate their leadership for sustainable agriculture and it benefits for a healthier Bay.

Tickets are $50/ person.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, visit www.umces.edu/events/chesapeake-champion-2019 or contact Carin Starr at cstarr@umces.edu, 410-221-8408.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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. www.umces.edu

WC Bird Banding Lab Joins International Motus Wildlife Tracking System

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Washington College’s Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory (FBBO) has become part of an international network that is revolutionizing scientists’ ability to understand the lives and migratory patterns of birds, bats, and even large insects. Two stations installed in late April, one atop a grain elevator at the River and Field Campus and another on the James Gruber Banding Laboratory, are among the first ten Motus Wildlife Tracking System stations in the state and the only ones associated with a college or university in Maryland.

Motus is Latin for “movement.” Developed in Canada, the Motus Wildlife Tracking System now has more than 500 stations—and counting—that can track animals tagged with nanotags, digitally encoded radio transmitters which emit a specific signal with an individual identifier. As it passes within range of a station, a tagged animal can be identified, and as the network expands, it’s giving scientists the opportunity to ask entirely new questions in their research into migration patterns and methods.

“While this system probably won’t replace banding in the near future because of economics, it will clearly play a role in tracking a single bird’s migratory pathway from start to finish and return, now and in the future. It will require numerous towers throughout the country to accomplish that,” says Jim Gruber, founder and master bander of FBBO. “With the antennas in place, Washington College students could potentially develop their own localized studies using not only birds, but insects, bats, and other small flying organisms.”

“Once you let a bird go from [traditional] banding, only a handful are picked up,” says Luke DeGroote, avian research coordinator at Powdermill Nature Reserve and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. “But the Motus network can detect 50 percent or more of the birds we tag.”

The new stations at Foreman’s Branch are part of a $500,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant, coordinated through a collaboration of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and eight organizations, to dramatically expand—by 46 stations—the Motus network in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This expansion is aimed specifically at eight species deemed in need of conservation in the mid-Atlantic—Bicknell’s, Swainson’s, and wood thrushes; blackpoll and Canada warblers; rusty blackbirds; American woodcock; and northern myotis bats.

An American woodcock that was stunned after hitting a building in Baltimore. Credit: Lights Out Baltimore

“These two stations will provide a whole new way for our students to understand bird migration, life cycle, and how what we do at Foreman’s Branch contributes to that knowledge base,” says Maren Gimpel, field ecologist and outreach coordinator at Foreman’s Branch. “Maps at the banding lab already show where birds we have banded have been recovered, but Motus takes this data to a much more detailed resolution for some individual birds, and students and faculty can use the Motus website to see examples of these migratory pathways for birds that we band here.”

The Foreman’s Branch stations are supporting DeGroote’s first-of-its-kind, three-year study into the long-term effects of what happens to birds after they’ve survived a collision with a building. While the greatest threats to birds include habitat loss and climate change, billions of birds are killed every year directly by cats and buildings. According to a 2014 study led by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approximately 600 million birds are killed annually in the U.S. in building collisions, a direct human threat second only to birds killed by feral and domestic cats.

Still, thousands of birds that hit buildings survive, and many are found and brought to rehabilitation centers and then released. No one knows, though, how well they survive after rehabilitation, DeGroote says.

Along with Gruber and Gimpel, DeGroote is working with Lights Out Baltimore and the Phoenix Wildlife Center in Phoenix, Maryland, which rescue and rehabilitate birds injured in building collisions in Baltimore. Specifically, he’s studying American woodcock and wood thrushes, two of the species identified as in need of conservation.

When a wood thrush or woodcock that’s been hurt through a building collision is ready to be released from Phoenix Wildlife Center, it will get a Motus network nanotag. At the same time, Gruber and Gimpel will similarly tag a woodcock or wood thrush at Foreman’s Branch. Since the birds are likely on the same migratory path and timing in the same region, DeGroote will be able to track differences in their behavior.

“It makes sense that birds may be affected by this terrible collision, not unlike concussions in humans,” he says. “The question is, are the rehabilitated birds surviving, are they migrating, how many days does it take until they migrate, and when they do migrate, do they have a normal migration?”

Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory, on Washington College’s River and Field Campus, is part of the College’s Center for Environment & Society. It’s the only bird banding station on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In 2018, staff and student interns banded 16,064 new birds of 135 species; as of the end of 2018, the station’s 20th year in operation, it had banded 272,446 birds of 174 species.

Lights Out Baltimore is a nonprofit project of the Baltimore Bird Club, a local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society. Its mission is to make Baltimore safe for migratory birds by turning out decorative lighting in the city during peak migration months, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and to advocate for bird-safe building design that makes glass and windows visible to birds. Each migration season, volunteers walk downtown Baltimore to rescue injured birds from collisions and collect the dead. Injured birds are taken to Phoenix Wildlife Center and dead birds are taken to Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and John Hopkins University School of Medicine for research. Since 2008, 4,000 birds have been collected and more than 1,000 have been rescued and released.

Click here for more information about Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory, here for theMotus Wildlife Tracking Network, and here for information on Lights Out Baltimore.

ShoreRivers Presents the State of the Sassafras River May 17

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Sassafras Riverkeeper Zack Kelleher

ShoreRivers will host the annual State of the Sassafras River on Friday, May 17, 2019 in the “Jewel of the Chesapeake,” Betterton, Maryland. The event takes place at the Betterton Volunteer Firehall located at 2 Howell Point Road. Doors open at 5:00pm for the Sassafras Riverkeeper’s casual monthly Sassafras Sips happy hour, featuring beer from Chesapeake City’s Bayheads Brewing Company, wine, and delicious light fare from local restaurants. Admission is free and open to the public.

The presentation begins at 6pm and will report on the current state of the Sassafras River and major new water-quality projects in Betterton. Also presented will be ShoreRivers’ plans for expanded coverage to four creeks in northern Kent County flowing directly into the Bay: Fairlee Creek, Worton Creek, Churn Creek, and Still Pond Creek.

Refreshments for the State of the Rivers program will be provided by favorite Betterton restaurants Barbara’s on the Bay, Marzella’s by the Bay, the recently re-opened Fish Whistle at the Granary, and the Kitty Knight. Thank you to supporting sponsors John and Ellyn Vail, Dock Street Foundation and The Easton Group and the Easton Branch at Morgan Stanley.

ShoreRivers welcomes and encourages the community to join this evening of conversation and informative discussion as it releases its 2018 River Report Card. The report card reflects data collected at nearly 200 sites by ShoreRivers’ scientists, Riverkeepers, and more than 100 volunteers in ShoreRivers’ water quality monitoring program. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about the health and challenges of our local waterways and how the most recent grades compare to previous years.The State of the Sassafras River will feature ShoreRivers’ Sassafras Riverkeeper, Zack Kelleher, who will give interpretations of 2018 water quality results.

“The Sassafras was under siege from both ends this year,” Kelleher states.“Record-setting levels of nutrients and sediment washed into the river from throughout the watershed, as well as trash and pollution that entered the mouth of the river from the Conowingo Dam. The good news,” he adds,“is that the data shows resiliency, thanks in part to our restoration and outreach efforts. I look forward to discussing our beautiful river, as well as how each and every one of you can play a part in protecting and restoring it.”

The Betterton event will be the fifth and final event in a series of ShoreRivers presentations that began in April and continued through May, unveiling the results of extensive water quality monitoring in the region. For more information, visit ShoreRivers.org/events or contact Julia Erbe at jerbe@shorerivers.org or 443.385.0511 ext. 210.

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.

ShoreRivers Presents the State of the Wye and Chester Rivers and Eastern Bay

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ShoreRivers will host the annual State of the Wye and Chester Rivers and Eastern Bay as well as the 2018 Report Card Release on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The event takes place in the Green Building of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, at 600 Discovery Lane in Grasonville, Maryland. Doors open at 5:30pm, presentation begins at 6pm. ShoreRivers staff will report on the current state of the Wye and Chester Rivers and Eastern Bay. Admission is free and open to the public. Light fare and refreshments will be provided. The event is sponsored by Dock Street Foundation and The Easton Group and the Easton Branch at Morgan Stanley.

ShoreRivers welcomes and encourages the community to join this evening of conversation and informative discussion as it releases its 2018 River Report Card. The report card reflects data collected at nearly 200 sites by ShoreRivers’ scientists, Riverkeepers, and more than 100 volunteers in ShoreRivers’ water quality monitoring program. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about the health and challenges of our local waterways and how the most recent grades compare to previous years. This presentation will feature ShoreRivers’ Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer and Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Elle Bassett giving interpretations of 2018 water quality results.

Riverkeepers Zack Kelleher (Sassafrass), Tim Trumbauer (Chester), Matt Pluta (Choptank), and Elle Bassett (Miles-Wye).

“This is an opportunity for community members from these local watersheds to come together and learn more about what we can do as a group to improve our local water quality,” said Bassett. “Our goal is to clean our rivers, and we can only do that with the steadfast support of our members, volunteers, staff, and fellow river stewards.”

The Kent Island event will be the fourth of five ShoreRivers presentations throughout April and May, unveiling the results of extensive water quality monitoring. The final presentation of the series will take place in Betterton, Maryland, detailing the state of the Sassafras River. For more information, visit ShoreRivers.org/events or contact Julia Erbe at jerbe@shorerivers.org or 443.385.0511 ext. 210.

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.

ShoreRivers and Washington College Present State of the Chester May 2

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Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer

ShoreRivers and Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society will co-host the annual State of the Chester River and 2018 Report Card Release on Thursday, May 2, 2019, in the Hynson Lounge of Washington College, located at 300 Washington Avenue in Chestertown, Maryland. Doors open at 5:30pm, presentation begins at 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. Light fare and refreshments will be provided, including local oysters by Orchard Point Oyster Company. The event is sponsored by Dock Street Foundation, The Easton Group and the Easton Branch at Morgan Stanley, and Dukes-Moore Insurance Agency, Inc.

ShoreRivers welcomes and encourages the community to join this evening of conversation and informative discussion as it releases its 2018 River Report Card. The report card reflects data collected at nearly 200 sites by ShoreRivers’ scientists, Riverkeepers, and more than 100 volunteers in ShoreRivers’ water quality monitoring program. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about the health and challenges of our local waterways and how the most recent grades compare to previous years. The State of the Chester will feature ShoreRivers Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer, who will give interpretations of 2018 water quality results. Notably, Trumbauer will discuss pollution reduction and the record-setting rainfall experienced in 2018.

“At ShoreRivers, we’re working hard to reduce pollution and protect the fragile Chester River ecosystem; but we face significant challenges such as the recent record rainfall,” says Trumbauer. “I invite the community to come learn about the latest Chester River water quality trends—good and bad—and hear about our latest restoration efforts, as well as ways the community can help.”

The Chestertown event will be the second of five ShoreRivers presentations throughout April and May, unveiling the results of extensive water quality monitoring. Subsequent presentations will take place in St. Michaels, Grasonville, and Betterton. These events will detail the state of the Choptank, Sassafras, Miles, and Wye Rivers, and Eastern Bay, depending on location. For more information, visit ShoreRivers.org/events or contact Julia Erbe at jerbe@shorerivers.org or 443.385.0511 ext. 210.

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.

ShoreRivers Presents the State of the Miles, Wye, and Choptank May 3

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Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Elle Bassett collects water quality samples.

ShoreRivers will host the annual State of the Miles, Wye, and Choptank Rivers and 2018 Report Card Release on Friday, May 3, 2019, in the Small Boat Shed of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, located at 213 North Talbot Street in St. Michaels, Maryland. Doors open at 5:30pm, presentation begins at 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. Light fare will be provided by Blue Heron Catering. Local oysters will be provided by Valliant Oyster Company and refreshments by Hair O’ the Dog Wine & Spirits.The event is sponsored by Dock Street Foundation and The Easton Group and the Easton Branch at Morgan Stanley.

ShoreRivers welcomes and encourages the community to join this evening of conversation, informative discussion, and release of its 2018 River Report Card. The report card reflects data collected at nearly 200 sites by ShoreRivers’ scientists, Riverkeepers, and more than 100 volunteers in ShoreRivers’ water quality monitoring program. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about the health and challenges of our local waterways and how the most recent grades compare to previous years.The presentation will feature ShoreRivers Director of Riverkeeper Programs and Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta, as well as Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Elle Bassett. Bassett and Pluta will give interpretations of 2018 water quality monitoring results. Notably, Bassett will discuss new restoration and outreach opportunities that mitigate the decline in water quality in surrounding communities.

“Based on last year’s water quality results, which showed interesting declines in the Eastern Bay region,” Bassett explains, “we focused our efforts on new projects in the Kent Island and Prospect Bay region. We secured funding for multiple new projects that emphasize River-Friendly Yard stewardship practices, as well as nutrient and sediment pollution reducing practices. Considering the latest data from last year’s sampling, we will continue to focus our efforts in these regions and seek new opportunities in the headwaters of the Wye East and Miles rivers.”

The St. Michaels event will be the third of five ShoreRivers presentations throughout April and May, unveiling the results of extensive scientific water quality monitoring across the Eastern Shore. Subsequent presentations will take place in Grasonville on May 16 and Betterton on May 17. These events will detail the state of the Chester, Sassafras, and Wye Rivers, and Eastern Bay, depending on location. For more information, visit ShoreRivers.org/events or contact Julia Erbe at jerbe@shorerivers.org or 443.385.0511 ext. 210.

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.

Maryland Officials Join Opposition to Seismic Tests in the Ocean

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Maryland officials have joined a host of congressmen in opposing the Trump administration’s plan to start underwater seismic testing along the Atlantic coast, operations that could lead to increased domestic production of oil and gas, but also could be harmful to marine animals.

The offshore seismic testing would be part of oil and gas exploration from Florida up the East Coast to Delaware, including the coast of Maryland.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and eight other attorneys general joined as parties to a lawsuit aimed at stopping the testing, which they said would subject marine creatures such as whales, porpoises and dolphins to extremely loud sounds.

“While the (Trump) administration continues to place the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of our precious natural resources, attorneys general up and down the Atlantic coast will continue to fight these and other efforts to open the waters off our shores to drilling for oil and gas,” Frosh said in a statement. “Our filing seeks to prevent any seismic testing going forward while our lawsuit is pending.”

Frosh’s coalition includes attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Governor Larry Hogan, who called for President Donald Trump to remove Maryland from the states involved in seismic testing, authorized the lawsuit against the federal government.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, also supports the suit against the administration.

“Seismic testing that blasts the ocean floor with high powered air guns threatens marine life, including commercial fisheries that are vital to the economy of Maryland’s coastal communities,” Van Hollen said in a statement to the Capital News Service. “That’s why I have repeatedly opposed proposals to allow this practice – and subsequent oil and gas drilling – off the Atlantic.”

The Trump administration’s plan was initially challenged by National Resources Defense Council, which said the testing violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Seismic testing includes underwater blasts that would occur approximately every 10 seconds for weeks or months at a time, the NRDC said. Right whales, a species that has seen its population dwindle to roughly 400 in the Atlantic, could be fatally harmed, according to the organization.

“Should (seismic testing) go forward, this blasting will irreparably harm marine species, from tiny zooplankton—the foundation of ocean life—to the great whales,” the NRDC said. “The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has authorized one company to harm more than 50,000 dolphins and another company to harm 20,000 more.”

The NFMS, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, gave clearance to these companies under the condition that there be guidelines to protect nearby marine life. Stipulations require acoustic monitoring in the area where seismic testing is being conducted as well as a crew of observers onboard to alert operators if a protected species comes within a certain distance.

“NOAA Fisheries is clear in the documentation related to (authorizations) that we do not expect mortality to occur as a result of these surveys,” said organization spokeswoman Katherine Brogan.

The agency also requires testing to be shut down when “certain sensitive species or groups are observed” in the area.

Michael Jasny, director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project for the NRDC, told Capital News Service that the lawsuit is currently awaiting a decision from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

While the administration and environmentalist groups wait for a decision on the lawsuit, seismic testing has yet to begin. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) hasn’t issued the necessary permits, but those permits could come out “any day,” according to Jasny.

If the BOEM issues permits to these companies, they would be required to give 30 days notice before beginning seismic testing. If the 30-day grace period passes and no decision is reached on the lawsuits, the companies would then have the green light to begin testing.

Five companies – ION Geophysical, Spectrum, TGS, WesternGeco, and CGG – have received clearance from the Trump administration and now await permits from the BOEM, Jasny said.

ShoreRivers Presents State of the Rivers Benchmark

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ShoreRivers Director of Riverkeeper Programs Matt Pluta conducting water quality sampling.

With data collected by four professional Riverkeepers and nearly 100 citizen scientist volunteers, ShoreRivers is proud to present its annual State of Rivers Series and Report Card Release. A series of five presentations will feature water quality grades, regional trends and data points, and strategies and solutions to clean our rivers. Maryland’s Eastern Shore waterways are being choked with nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff from both residential and commercial properties. Seasonal flares of bacterial contamination pose risks to human health. Water quality monitoring for these and other pollutants is a signature component of ShoreRivers’ operations and the only comprehensive testing of our local rivers currently being conducted. Learn about your river at the event near you in Cambridge, Chestertown, St. Michaels, Grasonville, or Betterton; details at ShoreRivers.org/events.

ShoreRivers Director of Riverkeeper Programs and Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta remarks, “Water quality monitoring programs are the foundation on which ShoreRivers bases our advocacy, restoration, and education work. These programs allow us to keep a vigilant pulse on our local waterways. We invite all of our volunteers, landowners, elected officials, and everyone who cares about our rivers to join us as we discuss the ways we can work together to achieve clean and healthy waterways in our region.” The 2018 Report Card encompasses four watersheds that span more than 1,650 square miles of the middle and upper Eastern Shore.

All events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. ShoreRivers appreciates its 2019 Marquee Sponsor, Dock Street Foundation, and 2019 State of the Rivers Sponsor, The Easton Group and the Easton Branch at Morgan Stanley. Thanks also to the individual event sponsors:Dukes-Moore Insurance Agency, Tow Jamm Marine Towing & Salvage, and Bayheads Brewing Company.

State of the Rivers presentations will be as follows:

Thursday, April 25, 5:30pm – State of the Choptank
Robbins Heritage Center, Cambridge

Thursday, May 2, 5:30pm– State of the Chester
Washington College Hynson Lounge

Friday, May 3, 5:30pm– State of the Miles and Choptank Rivers
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels

Thursday, May 16, 5:30pm – State of the Chester and Wye Rivers, and Eastern Bay
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Grasonville

Friday, May 17, 5:30pm– State of the Sassafras
Betterton Volunteer Fire Hall

For more information, contact Julia Erbe at jerbe@shorerivers.org or 443.385.0511 ext. 210.

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.

shorerivers.org

Land Conservancy’s Planning Conference to Focus on Regional Transportation Issues

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a key artery that moves people and goods throughout the state, keeping Maryland’s heart pumping. Unfortunately, increased traffic has clogged that artery and continues to hurt Marylanders from the perspectives of business, quality of life, and more. From beach travelers to daily commuters, all would benefit from a suite of solutions reducing traffic congestion as soon as possible. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) believes that now is the time to have that conversation.

Held on Thursday, April 18th from 9am to 4pm and (fittingly) hosted at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club with the bridge as a backdrop, ESLC’s 19th Annual Planning Conference – Congestion Ahead: Rerouting… – will stimulate conversation around ways to reduce traffic congestion today. Through interactive panel discussions and keynote speakers, guests will leave with a better understanding of this regional issue and the possible solutions for traffic congestion.

Tickets for the affair are $55 ($25 students) and are available for purchase at www.eslc.org. Attendees will be treated to a delicious, locally sourced buffet, as well as a mindfulness session entitled “Meditation for Road Rage Relief”, courtesy of Easton’s Ebbtide Wellness.

“We encourage planners, commuters, and any resident concerned about this pressing issue to not sit on the sidelines while decisions regarding the future of transportation affecting the Chesapeake Bay region are being decided,” says ESLC’s Director of Communications David Ferraris. “This is your opportunity to learn more about all of the traffic mitigation concepts on the table – from high-speed toll lanes and potential mass transit options to creating tech-friendly workspaces where commuters can work remotely – there are solutions that can be incorporated now and we intend to focus on them.”

Speakers and panelists include regional decision makers from organizations such as Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Transit Administration, American Farmland Trust, engineering/infrastructure firm AECOM, and others.

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