With the campaign season heating up, candidates’ materials are coming to our mailboxes every day. We want to make it clear that the Port Tobacco River Conservancy is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization that has not and does not endorse candidates for office. However, PTRC does not hesitate to take positions on issues that affect the health of the Port Tobacco River and its watershed, such as our support for the Watershed Conservation District. The eastern end of the WCD includes 1,160 acres that is within the Port Tobacco Watershed and includes headwater streams that are important to maintaining the health of the river and the plants and animals it supports, as well as protecting the economic and recreational value of the river. We encourage all Charles County voters to become informed about the issues and the candidates for office and to exercise their right to vote.
Join us Thursday, March 15, for a public program on funding sources such as the Bay Restoration Fund that may be available to address failing septic systems in the Port Tobacco River watershed. The program will feature speakers from the Charles County Office of Planning and Growth Management, the Town of La Plata, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
The U.S. Geological Survey and the Port Tobacco River Conservancy conducted surface and groundwater studies several years ago, http://porttobaccoriver.org/about-the-port-tobacco-river/surface-and-ground-water-study/ Sampling and analysis of soil sediment cores, groundwater, pore water and surface water showed how septic contaminants in groundwater could move through soil layers, discharge to intermittent streams in ravines, and be transported to the Port Tobacco River. These contaminants included enterococci bacteria, nitrates, ammonium and organic wastewater compounds. Soil conditions in many areas are such that septic pumping and nitrogen removal retrofits are not long-term solutions. Many of these communities are not near sewer mains, so homeowners in those communities cannot take advantage of current programs to connect individual homes to existing sewers.
The program will take place on Thursday, March 15, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Historic Port Tobacco Courthouse, 8430 Commerce St, Port Tobacco MD 20677. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Every year, the Port Tobacco River Conservancy hosts a Potomac River Cleanup at Chapel Point State Park. This year’s cleanup is Saturday, April 14, and is a great opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in the community. Every year, foam packaging makes up a substantial portion of the trash we collect.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam food packaging is a major component of the litter recovered during stream cleanups throughout Maryland’s waterways. Unlike other forms of packaging, EPS foam is impossible to fully clean up once it is thrown away. It is a petroleum-based product that does not biodegrade. Instead, it crumbles and breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces each time it is touched or disturbed. Once in the water, it will absorb 10 times more pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals than other kinds of plastic, increasing toxin exposure to fish and other aquatic animals, and potentially making its way into the food chain. It is not capable of being recycled in an environmentally effective or economically feasible manner.
PTRC supports a bill that has been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to restrict the sale and use of EPS foam packaging in Maryland. Beginning January 1, 2019, HB 538 and SB 651 would prohibit food service businesses and institutions from serving food in EPS foam packaging (cups, plates, clamshells). The bill would also prohibit the retail sale of these products in the state. Grace periods for using up existing stock and state outreach programs would help businesses through the transition.
A 2017 study of retailers of varying sizes in Washington, D.C., after similar legislation was passed in 2016, found that retailers were able to offer other types of packaging at a comparable price, and did not experience ill effects due to the legislation.
Now is the time to encourage our legislators to reduce trash and litter pollution in our neighborhood streets, communities, and waterways, including the many Charles County streams, creeks, and rivers that flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Click here for contact information for Charles County Delegates Sally Y. Jameson, Edith Patterson, Susie Proctor, and C.T. Wilson. Click here for contact information for Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton.
Local historian and painter Don Zimmer returns to present his latest research, “Three Stories from the Port Tobacco River in the Mid-18th Century: Trade, the quest for religious freedom, and the slave trade.” Don will display four new paintings inspired by his research. Don’s presentation last year was standing room only! Complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks and light refreshments will be served. The program is free and open to the public.
Thursday, January 18, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Historic Port Tobacco Courthouse
8430 Commerce St
Port Tobacco MD 20677
Thursday, November 16, 2017
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Historic Port Tobacco Courthouse, 8430 Commerce Street, Port Tobacco
Please join us as we welcome La Plata Mayor Jeannine E. James. Ms. James will discuss the Town’s efforts to protect water quality and improve public spaces in the Port Tobacco Watershed. A brief question and answer session will follow.
The event will be free and open to the public. Complimentary snacks, soft drinks, beer, and wine will be served.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 934-2025.
On Sunday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., we will hold our next shoreline cleanup at Chapel Point State Park, 8160 Pisces Rd., Port Tobacco MD 20677. Meet us at the parking lot for the boat launch area, where we will provide bags, gloves, water, and snacks. Come out to enjoy the park and help make our river more beautiful.
Weather permitting, some of us will be taking our kayaks out after the cleanup. Feel free to join us even if you can’t participate in the cleanup.
Pictures from Saturday’s shoreline cleanup of the Port Tobacco River at Chapel Point State Park. It was a beautiful day on the river and our volunteers made a big difference. A park visitor who would not give his name pitched in by loading all the trash we collected into his truck for disposal. We also saw some interesting native plants — rose mallow, prickly pear, and the dreaded poison ivy.
On Saturday, July 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., we will hold our next shoreline cleanup at Chapel Point State Park, 8160 Pisces Rd., Port Tobacco MD 20677. We will provide bags, gloves, water, and snacks. Come out to enjoy the park and help make our river more beautiful.
We will hold the first of our monthly shoreline cleanups at Chapel Point State Park, 8160 Pisces Rd., Port Tobacco MD 20677, on Saturday, May 27, from 10:00 am to noon. We will provide bags, gloves, water, and snacks. Come out to enjoy the park and help make our river more beautiful.