Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things To Do in Maryland in Winter: 27th Annual Fishing Expo and Boat Show

The 27th Annual Fishing Expo & Boat Show begins Maryland's outdoor show season with a huge display of freshwater, saltwater and offshore fishing tackle, boats, motors, trailers, marine accessories and many other fishing businesses and organizations.

With nearly 100,000 square feet of fishing equipment, the emphasis this year will be on tackle that is made for local fishing. In addition to tackle from all the major tackle manufacturers, exotic, foreign, custom and hard to find tackle from more than 50 manufacturers (most tailored specifically for this region) will be available.

The boat section will include more than 70,000 square feet of fishing boats, including saltwater and freshwater fishing boats.

A series of seminars will be presented by a lineup of 24 nationally known fishermen, local and regional fishing guides, experts and guest speakers.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Fishing Expo & Boat Show is a good way to get out and see what is new in Maryland saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maryland 2010 Deer Season

Maryland deer hunters endured less than favorable weather conditions for the two-week deer firearm season and harvested an estimated 40,694 deer. The total included 13,605 antlered deer and 27,089 antlerless deer. Included in the totals were 516 antlered and 565 antlerless sika deer.Overall, the harvest was down 9 percent decrease from last year’s harvest.

Region A deer hunters (Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties) reported 4,422 deer for the two-week season, a decline of 8 percent from last year’s harvest of 4,809 deer. The antlered harvest decreased an estimated 4 percent from 2,620 deer last year to 2,528 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest decreased 14 percent from 2,189 deer to 1,894 deer.

Maryland’s two-week late muzzleloader season opens Saturday, December 18 and closes on January 1, 2011.

source: MD DNR

Maryland Law Defines Local Produce and Seafood

Proposed rules regulating the advertising of "local" foods have been published in the Maryland Register and are available for public comment. The regulations were drafted by MDA as part of a new Maryland law which seeks to bring clarity to consumers as to what constitutes local.

The law authorizes the Secretary to regulate the use of the terms "local" or "locally grown" when used to advertise agricultural and seafood products.  It aims to support Maryland farmers and provide transparency to consumers interested in purchasing local foods by informing Marylanders about their local foods purchases.

In recent years, interest in locally produced foods has surged, leading to the rapid growth of farmer's markets, and the appearance of Maryland products in restaurants and grocery stores.  However, there has been little agreement as to the definition of "local" foods.  A task force of farmers, retail representatives, consumer advocates, and other interested stakeholders provided input for the proposal.

The 2010 Policy Choices Survey by the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that 78 percent of Marylanders are more likely to buy produce that is identified as having been grown by a Maryland farmer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

DNR Invites Waterfowl Artists To Enter 37th Maryland Game Bird Stamp Design Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging  Maryland waterfowl artists to enter the 37th Annual Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest.

All entered designs must be the artist's original work, neither copied nor duplicated from any previously published paintings, drawings, prints, or photographs of the contestant, or any other artist. Each contestant may submit up to three entries.

The entry fee, signed Agreement to Enter Form, and entries with completed Entry Identification Forms attached to the back, must be received via mail by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 21, 2011 at The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest, Friends of Patuxent, Patuxent Research Refuge/National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop,
Laurel, MD 20708-4027.

Entries will be judged at noon on Saturday, March 26, 2011 in conjunction with the 22nd Annual Patuxent Wildlife Art Show at the National Wildlife Visitors Center in Laurel, Md. Contestants and the public are invited to attend the contest judging process. Admission is free.

For a list of species eligible for depiction and full contest rules and forms visit:

Artists can also contact Patricia Allen, Contest Coordinator, at or call 410-260-8537.

source: MD DNR

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maryland Releases Seafood Holiday Brochure

The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Seafood & Aquaculture Program is offering a brochure filled holiday meal planning ideas. The brochure features several seafood recipes from the state, including crab ball, fried oysters, traditional Maryland oyster stew and smoked bluefish spread.

The Maryland Seafood Holiday Brochure is available on line at, by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Maryland Seafood Holiday, 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401, or by calling toll free in Maryland at 888-841-5828. Outside of Maryland call 410-841-5972.

The following recipe is from the Maryland Seafood Holiday Brochure:

Smoked Bluefish Spread

1   pound smoked Bluefish
1   tablespoon horseradish
1   tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
2   tablespoons mayonnaise
1   tablespoons dried parsley flakes

Skin the bluefish, remove any bones, and place the meat in a mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Place in serving bowl or mold and garnish.  Serve chilled.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Aquaculture Financing Loan Program Re-Opens

The Maryland shellfish aquaculture financing program will be accepting a second round of applications between January 2 and January 31, 2011. The program received 16 applications totaling more than $1.3 million during the first round, which closed on November 30.

There is a total of $2.2 million currently available for the program, which is a cooperative effort among the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the University of the Maryland Sea Grant Extension (UME) and the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO).

The new shellfish aquaculture loan program is a subsidized program with principal payments returning to a revolving fund to support additional shellfish aquaculture funding needs in the future. The loan program offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers meeting certain performance conditions. MARBIDCO is pricing the loans at a fixed annual interest rate not to exceed 4.5 percent. A Shellfish Aquaculture Financing Committee, including representatives from DNR, MDA, UME, a Maryland farm credit association, and MARBIDCO, has been established to evaluate applications and proposed business plans.

To begin the application process, interested parties may contact Karl Roscher of the Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Office (MDA) at 410-841-5724. An application and aquaculture business planning template are available at

source: MD DNR press release

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

31st Annual Havre de Grace Seafood Festival

Maryland’s oldest seafood festival, the 31st Annual Havre de Grace Seafood Festival will be held August 12-14, 2011.

Festivities Include:

Over 25 vendors serving more than 150 different foods with an abundance of mouthwatering seafood delicacies and other great foods; 100 Arts & Craft Vendors featuring artisan self-made products; A Charity Raffle with a great prize; 22 hours of free live entertainment; Silent Auction with interesting items and Sports Memorabilia; A historic City located where the Chesapeake Bay begins; Our wooden promenade on the waterfront; The Concord Point Lighthouse; Local storefronts to browse; Enjoy a relaxed day with over 30,000 of your closest friends.

The event was nominated one of America’s top 10 Festivals for 2009.


Friday, August 12, 2011  4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Charlie Daniels Band in Concert at 8:00 pm Friday
Saturday, August 13, 2011  10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 14, 2011  10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding

The Chesapeake Bay Trust recently approved $1.3 million in grants to 64 organizations and schools throughout the area to fund Bay restoration activities and environmental education programs. 

Recommendations for four of the Trust’s major grant programs and initiatives, including its Living Shorelines program, Green Streets-Green Jobs initiative, Watershed Assistance Grant Program and Mini Grants Program, were approved by the Trust’s Board of Trustees and will fund projects that protect eroding shorelines, promote green infrastructure, and engage Maryland’s students in meaningful environmental and outdoor educational experiences.

For more information on these grant programs and what the Trust funds, visit

source: Chesapeake Bay Trust press release

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where to Buy Used Kayaks in Maryland

The following is a list of possible places to buy used kayaks in Maryland:

During the Fall season, several outfitters in Maryland run outstanding end of season sales.

The Pocomoke River Canoe and Kayak Company on the Pocomoke River sells used kayaks every fall. They offer top quality used kayaks in good condition.

During their Annual Used Kayak and Gear Sale, Potomac Paddlesports offers new and used 2010 model year kayaks and equipment. According to the seller, used gear is 2010 model-year with minimal wear.

Annapolis Canoe and Kayak typically offers a selection of used paddlecraft at the end of each season.

Near Assateague Island, Island Adventure Kayaking usually offers end of season deals on used Crescent kayaks which are equipped with padded high back seats. For the end of the 2010 kayaking season, the outfitter offers used models at reduced prices.

Other sources of used kayaks in Maryland can include:

- marinas

- fishing guides

- online resources; eBay, craigslist, etc.

- flea markets, swamp meets

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Maryland Duck Hunting

Duck hunting continues to be an extremely popular sport in Maryland. Some waterfowl hunters hunt on public lands while others own land or can find a private land to lease for hunting ducks or other wild game.

Other hunting opportunities in Maryland are found by hunting clubs. These groups obtain hunting rights thru leases, land purchases or other means.

Hunting guides are another great asset for Maryland duck hunting enthusiasts. Hunting guides handle access issues, know the layout and are familiar with regulations and local hunting patterns.

Labrador retrievers and Chesapeake Bay retrievers are by far the two most popular hunting dogs used in the state. Each breed has historical significance in regional waterfowl hunting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Maryland Aquaculture Conference

Maryland is hosting an aquaculture conference in Annapolis on November 9-10, 2010.  The Maryland Aquaculture Conference will focus on the process for establishing successful shellfish aquaculture businesses that will provide economic growth and employment to rural areas while aiding the environment.

Conference participants will learn how to obtain bottom and water column leases; find and apply for financing; monitor for disease; target markets; and create profitable businesses through proper planning. Growers from other areas will discuss how they got into business, showcasing opportunities they took advantage of and highlighting how they see the future of Maryland’s shellfish industry.

The conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel, 210 Holiday Court, Annapolis, Md., (off Riva Road at Forest Drive) on November 9 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and November 10 from 8 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.  The registration fee is $75 for the full conference or $40 per day.  For more information and to download a registration form, visit: or contact Martha Milligan at 410-827-8056.  Space is limited, so register early.

source: Maryland Department of Agriculture

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New MD Law Bans Cell Phone Use While Driving

Effective October 1, using a hand-held cell phone while operating a motor vehicle on a street or highway in Maryland is prohibited.  Phone calls placed to 911, ambulance, hospital, fire or law-enforcement agencies are permitted, as are calls made by emergency and law-enforcement personnel.

NOTE:  Drivers under the age of 18 already are prohibited from using cell phones while driving.

The fine for the first offense is $40 and subsequent offenses are $100.  Points are not assessed to the first-time violator's driving record, except three points are assessed if the violation contributes to a crash.  If a violator has a second or subsequent offense, he or she receives one point plus the fine.

The new law is a secondary offense -- a driver must first be detained for another offense, such as speeding or negligent driving, before he or she can be ticketed for a cell phone offense.  Negligent driving IS a primary offense in Maryland and can be used as a precursor to citing violators of the new cell phone law.

The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use is responsible for 1.6 million crashes a year, nationally -- about 28 percent of all crashes.

Maryland one of several states (Calif., Conn., Del., N.J., N.Y., Ore. and Wash.), Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands that have banned hand-held cell phone use while driving. For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

More than 170 photographers entered 850 photographs in the 2010 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest. Debbie MacArthur of Ellicott City took overall top honors with her wildlife photograph, Chipmunk, of a chipmunk perched on a flowering tree.

There were five additional first place winners, including Chuck Durfor of Rockville (Burnside Bridge) in the Scenic category; Larry Hitchens of Easton (Belted King Fisher) in the Bird category; Christine Edwards of Annapolis (Rounding the Red Buoy) in the Outdoor Recreation category; Lori R. Bramble of Cambridge (The Sweet Smell of Pollen) in the Insect category; and Lee Swantkowski of Kensington (Lotus) in the Plants category.

MacArthur will receive the grand prize of $500, a 2011 Maryland State Park Passport, a lifetime subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine and five copies of the 2011 DNR Calendar, which will feature the winning photo on the cover.

First place winners in each category will receive a Maryland State Park Passport, a two year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine and two copies of the 2011 DNR Calendar. Second place winners will receive a one-year subscription to the magazine and a calendar.

The winning photos will appear in the winter issue of The Maryland Natural Resource Magazine, as well as the 2011 DNR calendar. The Maryland Natural Resource magazine is published quarterly by DNR.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Commercial Limited Crab Catcher (LCC) License Buy-Back Program Ends August 31

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding watermen and license holders that the August 31 deadline to submit a bid for the commercial Limited Crab Catcher (LCC) License Buy-Back Program is fast approaching. This voluntary program is in keeping with DNR’s effort to effectively manage Maryland’s blue crab population. Crabbers may receive $2,260 per license, and DNR’s goal is to permanently buy back 2,000 of the latent and active 3,676 LCC licenses.

DNR implemented the buy-back program in response to public feedback. Support for the program came from $15 million in Federal Crab Disaster Funds obtained through the efforts of U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and the Maryland Delegation to help watermen and to foster restoration solutions for the crabbing industry in Maryland.

source: DNR

Magothy Oyster Gardening

The Magothy River Association, in conjunction with the state sponsored "Marylanders Grow Oysters" program, is again recruiting oyster gardeners for the 2010-2011 season.

If you have access to a pier on the Magothy River, and can spare a few minutes every week or so, you can grow oysters.  The MGO program is free to all participants.

For more information, see:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hooray for the Bay Contest

A new contest sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Trust will reward Marylanders for showing their love for the Chesapeake Bay.

The “Hooray for the Bay” contest kicked off on July 15, and is designed to engage and educate Marylanders about the impact buying Bay Plates has on the Chesapeake Bay. The contest features 100 Bay Plate Factoids placed strategically at parks, schools and community centers around the state.

To enter, participants can email a picture of one of the factoids to, along with a short description of why they love the Bay. Additionally, participants can visit and complete the entry form, or they can text “BAYPLATE” to 24587 to enter.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust will award 100 Bay Plate prizes to the first 100 eligible entries received by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The grand prize winner will be chosen by a panel of judges who will select the best “Why I Love the Bay” message. Judging will be based on originality, creativity, relevancy, and amusement factor. Complete contest details can be found at

The contest runs until September 15, 2010, and winners of the contest will be announced in October 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maryland Farmers' Markets

A trip to a local Maryland farmers' market is a great way to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, produce, herbs, flowers, garden plants, seafood, meats, cheeses, poultry, eggs, breads, jellies, jams, arts and crafts and more.

Maryland farmers grow top quality turnip greens, cabbage, strawberries, asparagus, blueberries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, peppers, string beans, lima beans, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, squash, pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables.

Visiting a farmers' market is also a great way to find garden plants for the upcoming season. Independent growers usually offer high quality plants including tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, and other vegetables.

Herbs for planting include chives, parsley, cilantro, sage, thyme, oregano and more. Farmers' market vendors also sell house plants, annual and perennial flowers, shrubs and vines to beautify homes and yards.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, Maryland farmer's markets sometimes offer meat, seafood, dairy products and other items. Depending on the location, you may find grass fed beef, local pork, live chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, sheep, lamb, fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fish, Chesapeake Bay oysters, blue crabs, quahog clams, shrimp and more.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Maryland Fall Surf Fishing - Spot, Croaker and Kingfish

As Summer nears its end, Maryland beaches begin to thin and surf fishermen begin their fall fishing season. Spot, croaker and kingfish are among the most common fish in Maryland's surf during the early fall.

Each of these fish are known to school up and feed heavily before moving farther into the ocean for the winter. Surf fishermen in Maryland sometimes experience excellent fall fishing for these 3 species.

As the runs of fish peak, a larger class of spot arrive, known for their bronze or yellow coloring. Spot, croaker and kingfish catches usually remain consistent until hurricanes or Noreasters pass thru. During the fall runs, spot, croaker and kingfish are joined by flounder, bluefish, sea trout, rockfish and others.

Fishing for these species is easy; fishermen need only a basic surf rod and reel in good condition. Tackle is basic, consisting of top and bottom float rigs and baits such as bloodworms, squid strips, pieces of shrimp, one of the processed bait products that do not need to be kept cold.

Anglers fish where ever beach access is available. Much of the fishing occurs on Assateague Island, where beach access is available to the public. For surf fishermen, the fall runs are one of the highlights of Maryland saltwater fishing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things To Do in Maryland - Cypress Swamp Kayaking

One popular outdoor activity in Maryland is to explore some of the state's unique ecosystems. In the swamps of Maryland, bald cypress trees provide vital structure, holding soil and providing shelter for hundreds of plants and animals.

Although difficult to visit by land, bald cypress swamps usually have water access by kayak, canoe or small boat. Cypress swamps are favorite destinations of nature lovers, birdwatchers, photographers and anglers.

One of the many unusual sights in these swamps are cypress knees. These odd looking formations are part of the bald cypress root system, helping to anchor trees in the mud.

Pristine cypress swamps occur in Maryland along tidal and non-tidal stretches of rivers including the Nanticoke, Wicomico and Pocomoke. These rivers and their tributary creeks are recognizable by their dark color, a result of the tannic acid produced by cypress trees.

Local guides and outfitters offer a wide range or tours, boat rentals and other services. To enjoy some of Maryland's best largemouth bass fishing, Captain Bruce Wootten offers Pocomoke River largemouth bass fishing and a host of other cypress swamp boat trips..

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kent Island Boat Ramps Re-Open

Public boat ramps on Thompson Creek and Shipping Creek have re-opened following major renovations. Both of these popular boat ramps are located on Kent Island and have been closed since January for repairs.

The Thompson Creek Ramp was widened and has a new ADA accessible boarding pier. The Shipping Creek ramp was expanded and now has two launching lanes with a center boarding pier. The last major improvements to these facilities were made over 20 years ago.

MSSA Calls for Oil Spill Plan

The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association (MSSA) is calling on Maryland’s legislators, the coast guard, and state agencies involved with natural resources and the environment in an effort to prepare and plan for the worst should oil make its way up the East Coast and into Maryland waters.

The Gulf Stream travels from the southern tip of Florida up the east coast and is essential to the marine and coastal life that recreational fishermen enjoy. When the Gulf Loop Current carries the oil and some toxic dispersant chemicals used for oil cleanup to the tip of Florida, these toxins will inevitably travel up the coast in the Gulf Stream.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2010 Maryland Seafood Festivals

Dozens of seafood festivals will be held throughout Maryland this summer and continue through November.  Festivals range in size and diversity from St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival in Leonardtown to the 34th Annual Tawes Crab and Clam bake in Crisfield.

“Seafood festivals give residents and visitors the chance to sample a variety of Maryland’s fine seafood products and regional delicacies,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance.  “The list highlights events that benefit a variety of organizations and are sure to delight families with delicious food and activities featuring the history and culture of life on the Chesapeake Bay.”

The 2010 Maryland Seafood Festival List is available online at or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to 2010 Seafood Festival List, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Seafood Marketing Program, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beverly R. Lynch Retrospective at Water’s Edge Gallery

The Water’s Edge Gallery welcomes Beverly R. Lynch, an Eastern Shore Painter. Lynch’s retrospective opens on June 1, 2010 with an artist’s reception on Friday, June 11th from 6-9pm. Lynch’s works focus on subjects including animals, landscapes and boats.

Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Lynch has drawn and painted since early childhood. In 1968, she studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. Returning to her hometown, she worked as an architectural draftsman, wood carver, sign painter and fine artist during the 1970s and 1980s.

Since 1980, she helped her husband, a commercial fisherman, in his business, reared a daughter and has written and painted. She has completed many portraits and several limited edition prints, works as website cartoon artist and wrote Wet and Hungry, an Atlantic Fisherman’s Life, using journals she kept of her husband’s fishing stories. Her work has been shown in New York’s Salmagundi Club, America’s oldest art club, and in various Maryland exhibitions.

The Water’s Edge Gallery is located in historic downtown Berlin at 2 South Main Street across from the Atlantic Hotel and is open to the public seven days a week. The June artist’s reception takes place during Berlin’s 2nd Friday Art Stroll and the public is invited to attend. For more information, contact the gallery at 410-629-1784.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2009 Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card

Maryland released its annual Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card on May 18, 2010. The Chesapeake Bay showed broad water quality improvements in 2009, receiving its highest mark since 2002 from the annual Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card. At the same time, the state launched StreamHealth, a website to help Maryland residents learn about the health of their streams and take action to improve them.

The report card is an annual analysis conducted through the EcoCheck partnership between University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. Results are based on data collected by state and federal agencies through the Chesapeake Bay Program. The 2009 report noted improved conditions in eight Bay regions and degraded conditions in two, earning the Bay a grade of “C” for overall health.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Annapolis Nautical Flea Market

The 2nd Annual Annapolis Nautical Flea Market will be held May 29 & 30, 2010 at the Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Shoppers can find nautical items or previously owned boats looking for a new home. This is a great way to practice sustainable boating!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting entries for the 7th Annual Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest. The contest invites student, amateur and professional photographers to submit photos of Maryland’s diverse natural resources through August 31, 2010.

Photos entered into the 2010 contest will be judged within six categories: birds, wildlife, insects, scenic, floral and outdoor recreation. Winning entries will be featured in the winter issue of The Maryland Natural Resource magazine as well as the 2011 DNR calendar.

Official rules and contest entry forms are available online at:

This information is provided as a public service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Somers Cove Marina Renovation

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved $1.39 million in Waterway Improvement Funds to be used for pier upgrades and replacements at Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield, Md. “Somers Cove Marina will continue to be one of Crisfield’s greatest assets. Boaters throughout the state will reap benefits from this project,” said Crisfield Mayor P.J. Purnell.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MTU Children Fishing Clinic - April 10

The Maryland Chapter of Trout Unlimited in partnership WITH Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks will hold its annual children’s fishing clinic at the Winans Meadow Trailhead of the Gwynns Falls Leakin Park trail on April 10, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon.

GreenFest 2010

Mark your calendars now for GreenFest 2010!

Greener Choices, Greener World:
One Person At A Time
April 17th from 10am - 4pm
Howard Community College

Monday, March 29, 2010

DNR To Host Children In Nature National Web Seminar

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation to host “Be Out There: A National Summit on Children and the Outdoors.” This webcast event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, Md.

Through this webcast, Marylanders will be able to participate in the summit which is being held in Houston, Texas.

This National Summit will issue a three-fold call to state and federal leaders:

1) For federal leaders to implement policy that creates more opportunities to connect children with the outdoors;

2) For governors to issue executive orders to develop state plans and champion legislation; and

3) For parks, conservation and recreation leaders to place greater emphasis on outdoor immersion experiences such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, boating and more.

The webcast will feature National Wildlife Federation CEO Larry Schweiger, Texas Representative Carol Alvarado, and video messages from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, and Governor O'Malley. There will also be a panel discussion entitled, "New Partners and Innovative Strategies to Address the Indoor Childhood," featuring Dr. Sandra Stenmark of Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Nina Roberts of San Francisco State University, and Margo Pedroso of Safe Routes to Schools.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27

Governor Martin O’Malley is asking all Marylanders to join him in participating in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27 from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. The 4th annual Earth Hour is a global effort to raise awareness about energy usage and climate change, by having people around the world turn off their lights for one hour to show support and concern for the natural world and climate change.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eastern Section of the Ocean City South Jetty Closed

The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) announced the closure of the eastern part of the Ocean City South Jetty. The eastern third of the jetty will be closed to foot traffic; the western portion of the jetty will remain open to the public and anglers may still fish the area by boat.

There were several incidents last year, in which people were swept off the jetty into the water. Those individuals were able to climb back onto the jetty without assistance, but this event along with steadily increasing activity in this dangerous area prompted a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, Coast Guard and the Natural Resources Police. It was decided at the meeting to close the eastern part of the south jetty.

The area was closed on January 1, 2010 and signs will be posted as soon as the weather permits. The closed area will be marked in English, Spanish and Korean.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chesapeake Bay Weather Buoys

On March 15, 2010, the Coast Guard along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted seasonal buoy replacements in the Chesapeake Bay.

Weather buoys collect data and report real-time environmental information including wind speed, temperature and wave height. The buoys also serve as interpretive buoys that mark the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail that runs throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

"The weather buoys provide valuable weather information during peak recreational boating seasons," said Lt. Dave Lewald, the commanding officer of the Rankin. "The buoys also provide historical data which can benefit researchers collecting information on how to clean up the bay."

For more information visit

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dishing Up Maryland Cookbook

A first-of-its-kind cookbook featuring local Maryland products,  the farmers and watermen that grow and harvest them, and the chefs who prepare the recipes is being released on March 24, 2010 in Annapolis.

This new book captures the unique and delectable cuisine of Maryland with "150 recipes from the Alleghenies to the Chesapeake Bay.” Dishing Up Maryland is authored by award-winning Maryland writer Lucie Snodgrass.

Stunning photography by Edwin Remsberg, himself a Maryland farmer, provides the visual counterparts to stories of the farm families and chefs featured in the book. John Shields, renowned chef who embodies the buy local effort, provides an insightful foreword to the book.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Maryland's Best program to promote the purchase of locally grown and raised products for the benefit of the State's farmers, watermen and related businesses. The book is published by Storey Publishing.

Sponsors Sought for the 2010 Maryland Bay Game

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is inviting citizens, businesses and organizations to become sponsors of the 2010 Maryland Bay Game. Through games, trivia, puzzles and outdoor activities, this award-winning natural resources activity book has inspired kids to learn about and connect with their natural world for over a decade.

The Bay Game is written and designed by DNR staff, but printing and distribution is paid entirely by sponsors. There are several opportunities for businesses to sponsor the Bay Game through logos, website exposure, full and half-page sponsorships and more while also ensuring another summer filled with interactive and engaging outdoor activities for Maryland children. Donations are tax deductible, though sponsors should review the requirements outlined in IRS Publication 526 and consult their tax advisor.

For more information please visit or contact Jill Kubatko at 410-260-8007 or

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Pre-Season Striped Bass Catch & Release Rules Begin on March 22

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service will implement new regulations March 22 addressing pre-season striped bass fishing. These restrictions will be in effect until the April 17 start of the spring trophy season. The regulations are being introduced to address a serious concern over sub-lethal impacts on pre-spawn female striped bass, that are moving up the Chesapeake Bay to their spawning grounds in March and April.

“It is never easy to restrict the access and opportunity to a resource, but let’s not forget how far we have come from the striped bass moratorium of 20 years ago,” said DNR Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “We are fortunate that all sectors of our fishing community benefit today from the sacrifices of past management efforts. The latest stock assessment raises some concerns that require us to pause and evaluate how our actions may be impacting the long-term sustainability of this resource. If we remain vigilant and prudent in our management of this resource, we will ensure that our premier striped bass fishery will remain available for us and future generations to enjoy.”

Preseason recreational fishing has increased since 2002 causing concern among fisheries biologists and managers over the potential effect of the stress of being caught, handled, and released.

The restrictions apply in all open catch and release areas. The catch and release fishing areas include the Chesapeake Bay from the Brewerton Channel to the Virginia line including Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. Spawning rivers and the Upper Bay spawning area are off limits until June 1 to striped bass fishing.

The Preseason Regulations:

 - Stinger (trailing) hooks are prohibited.

 - Barbless hooks are required when trolling. Simply pinch the barb down to facilitate the careful release of your fish.

 - Non-offset circle hooks or J hooks with a gap of less than a half-inch are required when using natural bait.

 - No more than 6 lines may be employed while trolling regardless of the number of anglers on board.

The spring trophy season runs from April 17 through midnight on May 15 with a creel of one fish and size limit of 28 inches or longer. The open fishing area includes the Chesapeake Bay from the Brewerton Channel to the Virginia line including the Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. From May 16 through December 15, the creel limit is two with a minimum size of 18 inches. However, only one of those two fish may be longer than 28 inches.

To view a chart of open catch and release and spring trophy season areas go to

Maryland Seeks $4.5 Million to Benefit Mid-Atlantic Highlands

Maryland has requested $4.5 million in federal funding to benefit the Mid-Atlantic Highlands.

According to the state, the Mid-Atlantic Highlands have a long legacy of environmental and economic problems. The forest, streams and lands are in poor condition, suffering from decades of abuse and the area remains impoverished with low education levels and high rates of unemployment and poverty.

The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program is a state, local and federal effort started in 2006 to protect and restore the ecological assets, economic vitality and log-term sustainability of the Appalachian Mountains area. The program supports local projects that are models for sustainable use of natural, cultural and economic resources thereby improving the quality of life today and for future generations.

The highlands encompass 79,000 square miles of the Appalachians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and include roughly half of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This region hosts some of the most diverse and globally important resources on Earth. It is rich in natural and cultural heritage where the environment plays an important role in the quality of life.

In total, Governor O’Malley requested about $87 million in federal funding for DNR related projects.

Rupert Rossetti Receives 2010 Bernie Fowler Award

Rupert Rossetti of Garrett County was honored with the prestigious 2008 Bernie Fowler Award at Maryland’s 13th Annual Tributary Team meeting on Saturday, March 6 at the Maryland Department of the Environment in Baltimore. The so-called "White Sneaker Award" is named for the former State Senator who initiated the annual Patuxent River wade-ins more than 25 years ago to test water turbidity and bring attention to declining water quality. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions of a tributary team member to Bay health and habitat.

“It was a retraining opportunity in his early retirement from DuPont that got Rupert turned onto the field of water quality work -- he took a GIS class from the University of Delaware that keyed him into a lot of this water quality stuff,” said his wife, Cynthia Rossetti.

Established in 1995, Maryland's Tributary Teams are made up of more than 350 volunteer members comprised of citizens, business leaders, farmers and government officials, charged with helping implement pollution prevention measures in the State’s 10 major tributary basins. The ongoing work of the teams is a model for citizen involvement and action.

source: MD DNR press release

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maryland Farmers Markets - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Farms occupy one-third of Maryland's land. Farming 2 million acres, farmers produce 33.5 million pounds of apples, 3.5 million tons of peaches and 1.6 billion pounds of chicken. Maryland farms also produce corn, wheat, soybeans, nursery products, maple syrup, hay, fresh market vegetables, livestock, dairy products and other goods.

Visiting a Maryland farmers market is an excellent way to shop for fruits, vegetables, produce, herbs, flowers, garden plants, seafood, meats, cheeses, poultry and other local products.

Maryland Celebrates National Agriculture Week - March 14-20, 2010

Recognizing that agriculture is one of Maryland’s most important industries, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is celebrating National Agriculture Week March 14-20, 2010.

One-third of Maryland’s land is in farms. On those 2 million acres, farmers produce 33.5 million pounds of apples, 1.6 billion pounds of chicken, and 3.5 million tons of peaches among many other food products for citizens to eat.

“Maryland’s agriculture industry is vital to the long-term health of the state’s economy, environment and quality of life.Agriculture week is a great time to recognize the hard work of our farm families and the important role they play in providing a safe and abundant food supply and protecting the environment,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women’s History Month Program

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) will hold a program honoring the contributions and achievements of Maryland and U.S. women, with specific emphasis upon early environmental activist Rachel Carson, the author of the 1962 novel, “Silent Spring.”

The program will be held at 12 p.m. Tuesday, March 16 in the C-1-Conference Room at the Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD, 21401.

The public is welcome to attend this free event. For information or to RSVP, please contact Richard W. Allen of the DNR Office of Fair Practices at 410-260-8058.

Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Maryland Midwinter Waterfowl Survey

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have released the results of the 2010 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey. Each winter, pilots and biologists from the two agencies count ducks, geese and swans along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast. In January 2010, the survey teams observed 787,100 waterfowl, slightly lower than the number of waterfowl observed in January 2009.

“When pooled with results from other states, the Midwinter Waterfowl Survey provides a long-term measure of the distribution and population size of most waterfowl species wintering in the Atlantic Flyway,” said Larry Hindman, DNR Waterfowl Project Leader.

The number of mallards counted in this year’s survey (34,200) was significantly lower than 2009 (58,300). The black duck count (22,500) slightly declined from last winter, when 24,900 were counted.
“Extensive ice coverage of Chesapeake Bay waters, rivers and estuarine marshes led to reduced open water and lower numbers for several duck species this year," Hindman said.

Overall, fewer diving ducks were counted (102,000) in 2010 than last winter (157,600). Most of this decline can be attributed to the lower numbers of redheads, canvasbacks, scaup and ruddy ducks observed. Extensive ice in the Chester River prevented diving duck use of this major wintering area favored by canvasbacks and scaup. Other environmental factors that influence the number of canvasbacks and other divers in the Chesapeake Bay are the conditions of the staging areas on the upper Mississippi River and Lake St. Claire in southern Ontario. Above average numbers of canvasbacks were recorded on surveys of those areas this year.

There was a slight increase in number of Canada geese counted by the survey crews. Despite a poor nesting season, wintering Canada geese (519,500) remained high and were likely bolstered by migrant geese pushed south by cold temperatures and snow north of Maryland.

The Midwinter Waterfowl Survey has been conducted annually throughout the United States since the early 1950s. The survey provides information on long-term trends in waterfowl populations and is the only source of population estimates for important species such as Atlantic brant and tundra swans.

source: MD DNR press release

Elk Neck State Park Boat Ramps To Close For Renovations

The Maryland Park Service will temporarily close the boat launching ramps in the Rogue’s Harbor area of Elk Neck State Park for renovations on or after March 22, due to safety concerns during the construction project. This area will remain closed for up to 10 weeks.

The existing piers, pilings and bulkhead were damaged by several storms and those damages will be repaired. Additionally, the decking on the piers and bulkhead will be replaced. The project will provide a safe and user friendly launching facility accessible to the public.

For further information contact park headquarters at (410) 287-5333.

Maryland Chapter Trout Unlimited Presentation - "Secret Streams of Maryland"

If you want to learn about the excellent wild trout fishing available on some of Maryland’s lesser known streams then don’t miss the Maryland Chapter Trout Unlimited general meeting on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 7:30 PM.

Maryland native Tom Starrs will share information on many of the lesser known streams that he has fished over the last 25 years. The meeting will be held next door to Set’s Sport Shop.

Maryland Chapter Trout Unlimited Presentation - "Secret Streams of Maryland"
Wednesday, March 17, 7:30 PM
IOOF Hall, 511 York Road
Towson MD 21204

27th Annual MSSA Spring Rockfish Tournament

The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association (MSSA) has announced its 27th Annual Spring Tournament, "Championship on the Chesapeake", April 30th - May 2nd, 2010. The event is said to be the largest spring rockfish tournament in the country.

"Trophy Season" is marked by the first weekend in May as the coastal stock of striped bass make their way through the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic after spawning in our rivers. With the "Trophy Season" just starting, this tournament is guaranteed to provide three days of fun and excitement on the Bay, as over 650 boats and nearly 4,000 anglers get an opportunity to catch one of these magnificent beauties. The winning fish could be worth $100,000!

All cash and merchandise prizes are for rockfish. The heaviest rockfish on the scales shall be declared the winner of the main tournament. In addition to all main tournament prizes there will be several "Tournament within Tournament" (TWTs) to compete in.

It is important to note that participants should enter in all of the "Tournament within Tournament" (TWTs) to have a chance at the huge cash prize for heaviest rockfish. While this may require more money to enter, this will give anglers a shot at a huge sum of money.

The Spring Tournament is an amateur tournament; however, there is a Professional Division with separate cash prizes and awards. All monies collected from the "Professional Division’s" will be deposited in a special account for their cash prizes. The amateur participants will not have to compete against the Pros.

As the MSSA continues to fight for better fishing in the Bay and elsewhere, the organization asks that participants practice conservation and take part in the "Catch and Release Division" as well. The association asks anglers to release sub-legal rockfish and fish over the daily creel as carefully as possible.

This event is the principle source of revenue for the MSSA. The proceeds from the tournament enable the MSSA to conduct many activities and enhance recreational fishing opportunities for Maryland. The MSSA has been recognized as the "Official Voice of Maryland Recreational Anglers."

For more information, visit:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

DNR Launches Largemouth Bass Choptank River Initiative

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Inland Fisheries Division has assembled a team of engineers, biologists and anglers to develop a largemouth bass improvement strategy for the Choptank River, which has seen a decline in black bass reproduction in recent years.

The first step of the program includes the temporary installation of nesting boxes, which will provide sanctuary for the fry. Male bass usually build and guard nests so juvenile fish may survive and grow. However, the persistent flow of runoff silt from the cleared properties that surround the upper Choptank has impaired the deep water nesting areas, leaving just the shallow spots as suitable nesting habitat. These shallow spots can make juveniles more vulnerable to predators, such as herons, ospreys, and other birds.

Maryland Bass Federation volunteers and DNR staff are working together to build wooden nesting boxes for placing this month.This experiment will begin in the Watts Creek area. It’s important that anglers and other boaters remain aware of these boxes so they can be left alone and, as tempting as it may be, it’s important for anglers to avoid fishing for the protective males that are guarding these nests.

If the program is successful, DNR will expand the program to other parts of the river. DNR is also working with the State Highway Administration and local residents to temporarily stock local ponds near the river
with bass ready to spawn. Once these fish have reproduced, they will be returned to the river, leaving offspring behind to feast on plankton and grow in the absence of large predators until they are big enough to fend for themselves.

DNR’s long-term bass stocking program will add more than half a million fry and fingerlings to the Choptank River system over the next ten years. The Largemouth Bass Choptank River Initiative is a partnership of DNR Division of Inland Fisheries, Maryland Bass Federation Nation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maryland State Highway Administration, and the residents of Greensboro and Denton, Md.

source: DNR press release

Maryland Watermen Collect Ghost Crab Pots

Maryland watermen have pulled nearly 1,500 abandoned crab pots from the West, Patuxent and Patapsco Rivers as a part of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Ghost Crab Pot Retrieval program. The Program, which is a partnership between DNR, the Oyster Recovery Partnership, Versar inc. and more than 360 watermen started on February 22, and is a part of a plan to help mitigate economic losses from the declining blue crab fishery, while also helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Estimates based on side-scan sonar surveys conducted by the Maryland Geological Survey, and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office indicate that there are thousands of ghost pots on the bottom of Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. The problem with these abandoned pots is that they may still be catching and killing crabs and finfish. Additionally, captured fish and crabs essentially become bait for other predators that will enter and also become trapped. Some studies indicate that the average crab pot will last about two years in saltwater.

Approximately 450 watermen have been offered contracts for up to $400 per day plus an additional $150 for a helper to recover and dispose of ghost pots from selected sights. The initial working areas will be the Patuxent, West and Rhode Rivers where concentrations of ghost pots were found.

source: MD DNR press release

Maryland Tributary Teams 14th Annual Meeting

The Maryland Tributary Teams 14th Annual Meeting will be held Saturday March 6, 2010 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

The meeting will be held at:

Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd,
Montgomery Park, Baltimore, MD 21230       

This year’s annual meeting will focus on the Bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) currently in development, with presentations covering the TMDL process and content, the watershed implementation plans, modeling and monitoring, and financing and funding. Interactive sessions will include the local implementation plans, local funding opportunities, trading, stormwater and more.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Request for Proposals

The State of Maryland is now accepting proposals for the 2012 fiscal year, for projects to curb polluted runoff and move the State toward its 2-year milestones. The deadline is 5:00 p.m., May 28, 2010. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold two workshops in March, to cover specific information on what will be in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Request for Proposal (RFP), what has changed from the first round, what a great proposal should include and an overview of technical resources available.

The workshops will be held on March 19 at the 4-H Center in College Park, and on March 23 at the Wye Research Center in Queenstown.  Both workshops start at 10 a.m. and run to 12 p.m.  Registration is open and a webinar registration is available for those who cannot attend in person.

For more information regarding the trust fund, Workshops and/or a copy of the RFP, please visit, or contact Jennifer Raulin at 410.260.8745

Sunday, February 28, 2010

8th Delmarva Charter Boat Operators Workshop

8th Delmarva Charter Boat Operators Workshop

"Charter Boat Business Management for Your Future"

Harrison’s Chesapeake House

21551 Chesapeake House Drive, Tilghman Island, Maryland

Thursday, April 8, 2010 — 9 am to 3:00 pm

Organized jointly by the Sea Grant programs at the University of Maryland and the University of Delaware, the workshop will focus on business management, marketing, safety, and fishery resource issues pertaining to the charter and head boat industry and also to eco-tourism based charter businesses

$40 registration fee includes a buffet lunch and all educational materials.

Workshop Registration Deadline: Friday, April 2, 2010

Registration information is available online at:

Walk-ins will be taken as space allows, but registration fee will increase to $50

Overnight accommodations are available at Harrison’s Chesapeake House

see or call 410-886-2121 for reservations.

For additional information about the workshop, contact

John W. Ewart    (302) 645-4060 or Michelle Scorziello    (302) 645-4346

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shoreline Licensing For Waterfront Property Owners Opens

(February 22, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service announced that shoreline license applications are now being accepted from riparian (waterfront) property owners. Anyone owning riparian property, or persons who have the permission of the riparian property owner, may license their shoreline for the purpose of establishing stationary blinds or blind sites for hunting waterfowl, or to prevent others from licensing the shoreline at a later date.

All applications and fees must be submitted by mail or in person and received by the close of business June 1, 2010. Riparian property owners may now license their shoreline for a period of one year ($20) or three years ($60). Landowners who miss the June 1 deadline may participate in the “open” licensing process that begins August 3.

Applications and information on laws related to shoreline licensing for riparian property owners are available at the DNR website or by calling the Wildlife and Heritage Service at 410-260-8540, toll free at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367).

source: MD DNR press release

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birdwatching on Assateague Island Maryland

Mid-Winter on Assateague Island Maryland might seem like the least enjoyable time to visit, but for birdwatchers, waterfowl enthusiasts and photographers, there are excellent opportunities to enjoy activities.

Among the most common winter birds seen are mallards, black ducks, pintail, teal, shovelers, buffleheads, mergansers, goldeneye, scaup, Canada geese, brant, snow geese, trumpeter swans and the ever present herons, egrets and gulls. In addition to waterfowl and songbirds, there are sika deer, whitetail deer, muskrats, otters and wild ponies.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Maryland Chesapeake Bay Seafood

The Chesapeake Bay is famous for its seafood, especially oysters, blue crabs, hard clams, soft shelled clams and a fish, especially the rockfish or striped bass. Other Chesapeake Bay fish include gray trout, speckled trout, croakers, spot, flounder, sea bass, white perch, yellow perch.

Ocean City Maryland Deep Sea Fishing

Ocean City Maryland is famous for deep sea fishing. Private anglers and fishing charters target a variety of tuna, dolphin(mahi mahi), billfish, and other species.

In the summer months, fishing can be excellent. Inshore fishing spots include the Jackspot, Hot Dog, Parking Lot and other hot spots as well as deep sea structure including the Wilmington, Baltimore, Poor Man's, Washington and Norfolk Canyons. These hotspots vary from 25 - 100 nautical miles from port.

Maryland Seafood Festivals

This is a list of some of the seafood-related festivals that are held annually in Maryland:

Maryland Seafood Festival

The Maryland Seafood Festival is a rich tradition in the State and has been held annually for 40+ years, with the most recent 30 years being held the weekend after Labor Day at Sandy Point State Park.

J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield Maryland

Held every year on the third Wednesday in July at Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield, this annual celebration is named in honor of Crisfield native, J. Millard Tawes - the 54th Governor of the State of Maryland. This event is an outdoor all-you-can-eat affair featuring crabs, clams, fish, corn on the cob, and watermelon and politicians.

Crisfield Waterman's Festival

The Crisfield Waterman's Festival serves steamed crabs, oysters, fried and on the half shell, fried fish, clam strips, grilled chicken and more. This October event is held on the Somers Cove Marina grounds.

St. Mary's County Crab Festival

The Crab Festival is a celebration of St. Mary's Crab Culture and Cooking. The event has steamed hard crabs, crab soups, crab cakes, and other seafood dishes available for purchase.

Maryland Festivals

Each year, Maryland has an exciting schedule of festivals. Most Maryland festivals offer foods, drinks, music, crafts, artwork, gifts and collectibles. Specialized festivals celebrate subjects such as fishing, hunting, boating, harvests, seafood, arts, crafts, music, regions, history, holidays and others. Check the tags pages (festivals, events) to find more Maryland festival information

An Overview of Maryland

Maryland is a great state to visit. The state is very diverse. The middle of the state is the most populated, with Baltimore, Annapolis and the other metropolitan areas.

To the west is the Garret and Allegany counties, known for its beauty, woodlands, lakes, streams and rocky terrain.

Moving east, visitors find gentle hills and open grasslands in areas like Hagerstown and Frederick. This area has seen tremendous population growth in the last few decades.

 Southern Maryland is more relaxed, with a mix of developments, small towns, marinas and farms.

The eastern shore of Maryland is quite different, with farming, commercial  fishing and tourism. Beaches, wildlife and lure of the Chesapeake Bay make the eastern shore a favorite vacation destination. Like other areas of Maryland, the eastern shore has seen tremendous growth and development, much of which has strained the natural environment. Still the area is considered to be Paradise by many of its residents.