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April 2010
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June 2010

Mother Nature wants to work -- the community of Galesville gives her a hand

Written by Tom Zolper, CBF Media/Communications Coordinator, Maryland

It's time to put nature back to work. She wants to work. She's extremely skilled and productive. The forests, wetlands, native grasses and other natural areas around the Chesapeake Bay watershed are adept at slowing and filtering water running off the landscape, to mention only one talent. But we keep cutting nature back – to our detriment. 

Galesville Image #1 - Before So it was gratifying to see what happened in the little community of Galesville in southern Anne Arundel County in Maryland. Nature got her job back, and some statewide recognition to boot.

Galesville Park is a small, public waterfront park in the village. For years the shoreline of the park had been eroding. Also, stormwater from a Galesville Image #1 - Afterparking lot and nearby street had been washing into the Bay. Local residents working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), and a host of other partners, decided to create a "living shoreline" at the park. See the "before" and "after" photos on the left.

Living shorelines are waterfront areas Galesville Image #2 - Beforerestored to something like their original natural state. In the case of Galesville Park volunteers planted 6,000 native grasses and shrubs. A stone sill also was installed to further prevent erosion. Now when storms hit the beach in Galesville, erosion is minimal and rain washing off the hard surfaces nearby is trapped and filtered. Nature back at work. Living shorelines Galesville Image #2 - Afterare proven, effective alternatives to abutments and other hard shorelines protection measures that ultimately fail and often do nothing to slow stormwater pollution.

CBF has worked on various living shoreline projects around the Bay, and in Maryland CBF offers an annual workshop so homeowners and others can learn how to install their own.

The Galesville project, however, earned special recognition. The Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) recognized the project for "outstanding service to the field of parks and resource conservation."  MRPA presented its 2010 Park and Resource Conservation Branch Service Award to CBF and its partners at a ceremony in Ocean City on April 14. 

CBF will offer its annual workshop about living shorelines in June. Please contact Katie Willis at or 410/543.1999.

Conquering the Chesapeake in Virginia Beach

Tomorrow, May 14, a crew of 10 from the Naval Heritage Society will row/sail a restored 26' monomoy pulling vessel 16 miles, from Virginia Beach, VA to Cape Charles.

Conquerthechesapeake Why? The NHS wants to bring attention to the need for a cleaner, healthier Chesapeake Bay and inspire folks to sign up for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Clean the Bay Day on June 5th. And they want to put human muscle to the test! The volunteer crew will put historic seamanship skills and physical endurance to the challenge. They will need to overcome strong currents and shifting winds, and will navigate without GPS or other modern devices, strictly using time-tested seamanship skills and historic navigational practices. "Conquer the Chesapeake" also points out the Chesapeake Bay’s environmental issues, highlights two of Virginia’s beautiful coastal state parks, and the need to have clean shorelines and waterways.

The crew will launch at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening from First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, arriving at Kiptopeke State Park after midnight. On Saturday they will do their own pre-Clean the Bay Day shoreline litter cleanup at 7:30 a.m. then launch around 9:00 a.m. for the return trip to First Landing State Park around 3:30 in the afternoon.

If you have a chance to witness this event share your photos with us on our Facebook page. For more information about the event, visit the Naval Heritage Society website.