Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Damage in Maryland

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene began lashing Maryland with high winds, rain squalls and storm surges.

The storm continued thru the night, with many residents experiencing power outages throughout much of the night.

On Sunday, August 28, 2011, residents awoke to find a variety of damage from Hurricane Irene.

Conditions early in the day were still bad, with most areas experiencing heavy rainfall, high winds and minor flooding.

By late morning, the skies cleared, winds decreased and many businesses opened.

In Ocean City Md, minor storm damage and flooding was reported. The famous navigational light on the Ocean City's North Jetty was reported to be destroyed by the storm.

Hurricane Irene greeting

a downed in Maryland

an eastern shore river flooding

water rushes thru a flooded Maryland forest

an older photo of the famous light on Ocean City Jetty

Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011-2012 Maryland Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced details of the 2011-2012 late waterfowl hunting seasons.

Waterfowl hunters may take up to six ducks per day during the season’s three segments: October 15-October 22, November 12-November 25, and December 13-January 28.

The Atlantic Population Canada goose hunting season will include a daily bag limit of two geese and will be split into two segments: November 19-November 25; and December 15-January 28.

Greater and lesser snow geese and Ross's geese are collectively referred to as “light geese”. These birds have become so abundant that they are causing harm to wetland habitats throughout their range.

During the Conservation Order season, hunters may use unplugged shotguns, electronic calls and hunt from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset with no daily bag or possession limits.

The Light Goose Conservation Order season will run November 28-December 10 and then again January 30-April 14. Hunters are required to purchase a Snow Goose Conservation Order Hunting Season Permit to participate in this special season.

All waterfowl hunters, including landowners who are license exempt, must possess proof of purchase of the 2011-2012 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp (HIP certification permit included). They are available at or by calling 1-800-918-2870.

All waterfowl hunters age 16 and over must also possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) while hunting waterfowl.

Federal Duck Stamps are available at most U.S. Post Offices, National Wildlife Refuges, and some DNR sport license agents. Hunters may purchase an electronic Federal Duck Stamp from Maryland DNR sport licensing agents. Hunters may also purchase a stamp by either calling toll-free 1-800-DUCK499, 1-800-STAMP24 or order online at

The Federal Duck Stamp must be signed across the face by the hunter to be valid, but they do not have to be attached to the hunting license.

More information about the Maryland 2011-2012 late waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits may be viewed at

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Maryland Hurricane Irene Evacuations - Closures

The threat of Hurricane Irene is affecting operations across much of Maryland. The State has declared a state of emergency and a variety of evacuation plans are underway for Ocean City and low lying areas.

The Maryland Park Service is closing Assateague State Park, including the park’s campground, in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene. The campground will close at 11 a.m. on August 26 and will remain closed until the morning of August 31, depending on the severity of damage caused by the storm.

The Assateague State Park day-use facility and the road onto the island (Route 611 prior to the Verrazano Bridge) will be closed to all visitors and traffic at 7 p.m. on August 26 and until further notice.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Maryland Elk Reintroduction Study

The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation (MLSF), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) recently announced the formation of a partnership to determine the viability of elk reintroduction to Western Maryland.

The biological, social and economic feasibility assessments will require a minimum of 12 months to complete and will be thoroughly evaluated before any decision is made.

According to MLSF Chairman David Sutherland, "Elk once roamed Maryland but have been absent since the 1700s."

The Sportsmen’s Foundation will contract with a professional consulting group to conduct a formal survey of public opinion on the question of returning elk to the State. DNR will oversee development of the survey, which will include outreach to farmers and other stakeholders that may be impacted by a return of the species

In addition, the agency will conduct an assessment of potential elk habitat in western Maryland.

source: MD DNR

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maryland Fall Foliage

Maryland is one of the top states in the Mid Atlantic for viewing fall foliage. In several areas, fall colors are spectacular, especially in October.

Maryland flora includes not only deciduous trees but countless species of shrubs, bushes, vines and other plant life.

Throughout much of Maryland, viewing fall foliage can be as simple as a tour of back roads in rural areas. State parks and national wildlife refuges are also good places to experience the State's outstanding plant life.

Attending a fall festival is another way to enjoy fall colors in Maryland. Some of the best fall festivals held in the State include the Maryland Renaissance Festival (Annapolis), Annapolis Fall Festival, Autumn Glory Festival (Garret County), Maryland Fall Home & Garden Show (Timonium), and the Fall Harvest Festival & Crafts Show (Farm Museum at Susquehanna State Park - Havre de Grace).

One of the best ways to see fall foliage is to take a river tour in Maryland. Many of the State's tidal rivers are lined with trees, shrubs, berry plants and other flora that cannot be seen otherwise.

From September thru November, trees and other plants along the banks of Maryland's rivers and creeks are ablaze with red, orange, yellow, gold, green, and other colors.

bald cypress trees in bloom

red maple leaves

red maple leaves

gum tree leaves

shades of green, red, yellow and gold

berries along a river bank

poison ivy

Monday, August 15, 2011

Maryland Aquaculture Permits

Maryland is implementing a new streamlined and centralized aquaculture permitting process for growing oysters and other shellfish in Maryland waters. Thanks to a realignment of State requirements approved by the General Assembly earlier this year and a cooperative effort between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, qualifying applicants will now be able to submit a joint state-federal application and the Corps is expediting the approval process through issuance of the Regional General Permit.

As of July 1, all aquaculture functions have been consolidated and transferred to DNR, which now coordinates all aquaculture permitting, issues water column leases and staffs the Aquaculture Coordinating Council and Aquaculture Review Board.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District approved the new permit, which goes into effect on August 15. The permit will be available for aquaculture projects up to 50 acres placed directly on the water bottom, 5 acres for aquaculture cages on the bottom and 3 acres for floating aquaculture projects. This covers activities such as shellfish seeding, rearing and cultivation as well as the installation and deployment of aquaculture structures including cages, floats, racks and trays.

The Corps administers Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. These authorities require that a Department of the Army permit is issued for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waterways and wetlands; and for the placement of structures in, over, or under navigable waters.

A copy of the public notice and permit can be found online here:

source: MD DNR

Thursday, August 11, 2011

End of Summer in Maryland

With the days getting shorter, the nights cooler and the first red leaves appearing, Maryland outdoor enthusiasts are beginning to realize that the fall season will soon be here.

During late August, flocks of blackbirds, mourning doves, Canada geese, mallards, and other migratory birds will start to appear in the skies over Maryland. 

This sweetbay magnolia bloomed brilliant white in May.

By mid August, magnolia seeds are turning bright red, signalling the impending end of summer.

In forests and along river banks, Maryland red maples are beginning to turn colors.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Maryland Environmental Trust Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants

The Board of Trustees of the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) have awarded $26,000 in grants to 11 community groups and schools to restore streamside habitats, create community gardens and educate citizens about the environment across the State as part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award is given to ongoing projects or activities that have demonstrated success in solving an environmental issue, whether local or statewide. The 2011 recipients of the Margaret Rosch Jones Award are Antietam Creek Watershed Association, Braddock Run Watershed Association, C.A.R.E Community Association, Friends of Pataspco, Maryland Public Television, Marley Middle School, the National Aquarium and St. Mary’s River Watershed Association. Projects include community gardens, invasive plant removal, stream clean-ups, rain gardens and conservation education programs.

The Bill James Environmental Grants are awarded to nonprofit youth groups for new environmental education projects in their community. The 2011 recipients of the Bill James Grants are Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School Green Club, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, Red Wiggler Community Farm and Manchester Valley High School Science Research. Projects include reducing stream erosion, native tree nursery and planting programs, blue crab and water salinity science projects and on-farm learning opportunities in educational programs.

The Keep Maryland Beautiful program is funded in part by the Maryland State Highway Administration, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

For more information on Keep Maryland Beautiful, visit

source: MD DNR

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011 Maryland State Fair

Among the exhibits at the 2011 Maryland State Fair will be a variety of information presented by Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Some highlights of the DNR exhibit at this year’s fair include:

The Maryland Park Service will display live birds of prey and native Maryland reptiles, through the Scales and Tales program.

Young people will learn more about connecting with their natural world through science, new experiences and volunteering, as part of Maryland’s Children in Nature initiative. The 2011-2012 Maryland Bay Game activity book will also be available.

Maryland State Park Rangers will share stories about family adventures in State Parks and the best hikes, water trails, campsites and secrets Maryland State Parks have to offer.

A fish tank with common native species will inspire anglers of all ages to enjoy recreational fishing in Maryland.

Citizens can help Maryland reach its goal of 100,000 trees by the end of 2012 through the Marylanders Plant Trees program and obtain a $25 off coupon to plant a tree from the Maryland Forest Service.

Natural Resources Police officers will provide tips on boating and hunting safety.

Wildlife & Heritage staff will showcase outdoor programs for men, women and children, including Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Junior Hunting Field Days, Junior Rangers, archery and the Envirothon.

Boating Services staff will provide information on State boat taxes at work, including public boating access sites, water trails and clean boating

The Maryland State Fairgrounds is located at 2200 York Road in Timonium. The DNR building is next to the 4-H Home Arts facility. Visit or call 410-252-0200 for more information.

source: MD DNR

Monday, August 1, 2011

Greg Latta to Perform at Deep Creek Lake State Park

Deep Creek Lake State Park will host an evening with award-winning musician Greg Latta at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 13 at the Park’s Discovery Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Greg Latta is a singer/songwriter who plays the hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar, Irish bouzouki, cittern, harmonica, recorder, Appalachian dulcimer and concertina. He is a three-time Mid-Eastern Hammered Dulcimer Championship winner and a two-time runner up in the National Hammered Dulcimer Championships. Greg is also an award winning banjo player.

For more information, visit or call 301-387-7067.