A Public Tree Planting Project – Port Tobacco River Park

Preserve Plant Play

 

Residents are invited to help plant trees along the Port Tobacco River as part of a month-long celebration of Earth Day. Grab the kids and join us for a few fun-filled hours of improving our local environment!
The Conservancy for Charles County and the Port Tobacco River Conservancy have partnered with Charles County Government to develop a natural tree buffer area to help protect the important wetlands that surround the Port Tobacco River. With the assistance of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Charles County recently acquired 149 acres of undeveloped land along the headwaters of this historic river. Initial plans call to convert the existing agricultural fields into natural forest buffer areas in an effort to create watershed protection and natural wildlife habitat. This public tree planting event is the first step towards that goal. In time, the Port Tobacco River Park will offer public access to hiking trails and outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities.
Four separate event dates are available:
• Saturday, April 2 9:00 a.m. – Noon
• Sunday, April 3 Noon – 3:00 p.m.
• Saturday, April 9 9:00 a.m. – Noon.
• Sunday, April 10 Noon – 3:00 p.m.
Due to parking limitations, preregistration is required. To sign-up, please call the Charles County Parks Division Office @ 301-932-3470 or register online using Volunteer Spot. Go to http://vols.pt/nZdkcc
Port Tobacco River Park is located on Chapel Point Road in Port Tobacco, Maryland (approximately 1 mile from Rte. 6). With the exception of special events, this park is currently not open for public access.

Join Us April 16 for the 28th Annual Potomac River Cleanup

Trash Free Potomac Network - Connecting for a Trash Free Watershed - Event - Port Tobacco River Cleanup at Chapel Point State Park 2015

Cleanup Is from 9 am to noon

The Port Tobacco River Conservancy is teaming up with the Alice Ferguson Foundation for the 28th Annual Potomac River Cleanup on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

We will be at Chapel Point State Park, 8160 Pisces Rd, Port Tobacco MD 20677. We will supply bags, gloves, drinking water and snacks.

Please come join us to have fun and to help make our river more beautiful.

For more information please visit http://trashnetwork.fergusonfoundation.org/event/3077/show, or contact Julie at jsimpson@porttobaccoriver.org or Krupa at krupa@porttobaccoriver.org

Welcome Tina Wilson, our Newest Board Member

Tina

We are very pleased to have Tina Wilson as the newest member of the PTRC Board of Directors. Tina joined the Board on January 7.

Tina is a lifelong resident of Charles County. She grew up on a small farm along Neale Sound near Cobb Island, where she nurtured her love of the water. After attending college on the eastern shore, she pursued a career in the Army, retiring in 2005. She served as a logistics officer on a variety of assignments, including at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, and in Stuttgart, Germany, and Skopje, Macedonia. She is a veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Several of Tina’s assignments involved providing water to villagers as part of humanitarian support, and this work brought home to her the importance of clean water and how so many take it for granted.

Upon retiring from the service, she renewed her love of boating and moved to Port Tobacco. While on a boating trip to Chapel Point, she learned of the dangers of a high bacteria count in the river from fellow boaters, which lead her to join the PTRC. Monitoring the river provides wonderful opportunities to see the watershed in ways many locals don’t get to see. Once you have muddied your boots and collected a few samples, the river as well as many of its contributing streams is no longer just a feature you drive by and take for granted; you begin to take ownership of it. It is Tina’s hope that many more people will become members of the PTRC and learn to better appreciate the Port Tobacco River. In addition to being a member of the Board of Directors, Tina serves as PTRC’s Water Monitoring Coordinator.

Public Hearing on Mallows Bay November 4

Mallows kayaker

Maryland DNR has posted the following information:

In a first for the state of Maryland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on October 5 declared its intent to designate Mallows Bay in Charles County as a National Marine Sanctuary, and is seeking public input on how the site should best be used and managed.

Located in Nanjemoy, an area of the Potomac River, Mallows Bay features a host of archaeological, recreational, historical, cultural, educational and environmental qualities, and is home to one of the largest assemblages of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. Known as the “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay, this collection totals nearly 200 vessels dating back to the Revolutionary War and World War II.

“The state of Maryland and its partners in this effort are thrilled that such a multipurpose and unique site on the Chesapeake Bay is on its way to becoming a National Marine Sanctuary,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Mark Belton said. “We believe that the designation serves as a tremendous opportunity to promote our state’s world-class recreational fishing, boating and tourism, to advance our efforts to protect and restore the bay watershed, and to educate the public about our nation’s maritime and cultural history. This was and continues to be a community-driven process.”

“The Maryland State Historic Preservation Office has long been seeking the best means of managing the important and diverse cultural resources in and around Mallows Bay,” State Historical Preservation Officer Elizabeth Hughes said. “Cognizant of the role these resources have come to play in the environment, both as a haven for natural resources and from a recreational perspective, the opportunity to build partnerships throughout the Maryland community and with NOAA has provided a timely and elegant means to ensure an appropriate and comprehensive approach to their long term management.”

DNR’s Chesapeake and Coastal Service, the Maryland Historical Trust, Charles County and a number of other partners submitted the Mallows Bay nomination to NOAA in September 2014. In early 2015, the nomination became the first to be successfully added to the inventory of areas considered for designation.  The next phase of the process will include a public feedback period that may last up to two years. Feedback will be used to help create a draft plan for the site.

Partners will host public input meetings in:

  • Charles County on Nov. 4, 2015, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Charles County Government Building Auditorium: 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata; and
  • Anne Arundel County on Nov. 10, 2015 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Annapolis Maritime Museum: 723 Second Street, Annapolis.

Comments may also be submitted online at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/mallows-bay and are due by Jan. 15, 2016.

“A National Marine Sanctuary designation for Mallows Bay would focus well deserved national attention on this Charles County treasure,” Charles County Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy said. “We have worked hard to promote public access to the site and to conserve its significant historic and natural resources. This esteemed recognition would stimulate those efforts and afford us the opportunity to share its beauty and historical significance with the nation.”

The National Marine Sanctuary System was established in 1972 to recognize and promote the conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, research or aesthetic values of special areas of the marine environment. The existing network is comprised of 14 sites totaling more than 170,000 square miles. They all serve as natural classrooms and laboratories for school children and researchers alike to promote stewardship of our marine resources.

Photo by Daryl Byrd.

Join Our Shoreline Cleanup at Chapel Point on August 1

Trash Free Potomac Network - Connecting for a Trash Free Watershed - Event - Port Tobacco River Cleanup at Chapel Point State Park 2015It’s time for another shoreline cleanup at Chapel Point State Park, 8160 Pisces Rd, Port Tobacco MD 20677.  We will be there Saturday, August 1, starting at 9:00 am. We will supply bags, gloves, and drinking water.

Please come join us to have fun and to help make our river more beautiful. For more information, contact Julie at jsimpson@porttobaccoriver.org or Krupa at krupa@porttobaccoriver.org

April 16 PTRC Meeting — Restoring Streams and Rivers to Health

Join us Thursday, April 16, as Kirk Mantay, Watershed Restoration Director of the South River Federation, tells us how they are bringing Church Creek back to life and how we can use the same practices in Charles County watersheds. The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: Holiday Inn Express Banquet Hall, 6860 Crain Hwy, La Plata, MD 20646

PTRC Potomac River Cleanup is this Saturday from noon to 3:00 pm

Trash Free Potomac Network - Connecting for a Trash Free Watershed - Event - Port Tobacco River Cleanup at Chapel Point State Park 2015

Port Tobacco River Conservancy is teaming up with the Alice Ferguson Foundation for the 27th Annual Potomac River Clean Up on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

We will be at Chapel Point State Park, 8160 Pisces Rd, Port Tobacco MD 20677, from noon to 3:00 pm. We will supply bags, gloves, drinking water and snacks.

Please come join us to have fun and to help make our river more beautiful.

To sign up go to: Trash Free Potomac Network – Connecting for a Trash Free Watershed – Event – Port Tobacco River Cleanup at Chapel Point State Park 2015.

For more information, please contact: Julie at jsimpson@porttobaccoriver.org or Krupa at krupa217@gmail.com

First Day of Water Monitoring

Monitoring for fish eggs in a tributary of the Mattawoman Creek
Monitoring for fish eggs in a tributary of the Mattawoman Creek

Tina Wilson, PTRC’s new water monitoring coordinator, joined Jim Long and others from the Mattawoman Watershed Society on Sunday in sampling for anadromous fish eggs at five locations in the Mattawoman Creek watershed. Anadromous fish are those, like yellow perch and herring, that migrate from the sea to fresh water to spawn. The team also measured water temperature, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen levels.

It was a bracing day to be outdoors, with gusts of wind high in the trees and swift currents in the creek and its tributaries. There were vernal pools at almost every site and many contained clusters of frog and salamander eggs. The spring peepers and wood frogs could be heard in the surrounding woods.

PTRC will be participating in the Stream Waters program sponsored by Maryland DNR this year, beginning in the next couple weeks. We will be sampling for benthic macroinvertebrates. These insect larvae, worms, crustaceans, and other small critters live in stream sediments and are indicator species of stream health. Contact ptrc@porttobaccoriver.org if you would like to help out.