The Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) connects landowners with conservation programs, including the Rural Legacy Program, Program Open Space, and others. The MCBP, the State and Worcester County are currently developing specific land conservation targets for the Newport/ Chincoteague Conservation Area. MCBP has helped protect some 8,000 acres in the watershed over the past 10 years. Another four projects totaling 1,300 acres are currently in the works.
Ayres Creek Kayak Launch MCBP is working with Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences (DLITE) to create a kayak launch and wetland restoration with interpretive trails on 40 acres owned by the town.
Bishopville Dam Modification and Wetland Restoration
This project is a dam modification to allow fish passage for river herring and white perch, the opening of seven miles of upstream habitat for spawning, and restoration of a nearby abandoned gravel mine to an Atlantic white cedar wetland along Bishopville Prong.
Shoreline construction and its associated practices are modifying local habitat and impacting the local environment. MCBP and its partners have worked with local landowners to install living shorelines on ten properties, including several restaurants in Ocean City. MCBP continues to bring information to local landowners about the benefits of living shorelines.
Perdue Property Restoration
This initiative will restore forests and wetlands on a 89-acre former agricultural property as part of a conservation easement that was acquired by the MCBP in Showell. Wetlands and contiguous forest are being restored with help from NRCS and MDE.
At left, Matt Patey from Patey Excavation, Willards, installs drainage tile as Mike Dryden, MD Dept Agriculture, oversees the project. The tile was installed at the Maryland Coastal Bays property in Showell to allow high water flows to enter low lying areas in the forest, then drain as high flows recede.
Volunteer Horseshoe Crab Monitoring
Since 2002, MCBP has assessed the current population status of Atlantic horseshoe crabs, the only such survey in the state of Maryland. Roughly 200 volunteers have participated in the May and June monitoring outings. This year, MCBP will produce a report on the last eight years. Click here to view the 2011 Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey Results.
This ongoing monitoring of terrestrial habitat includes a project management structure, a set of key ecological indicators for the region, a regional monitoring methodology, a data repository infrastructure and recommended data flow.
Tidal Marsh Hydrology
This project fills marsh mosquito ditches to restore natural marsh community. MCBP has already worked with DNR to restore marsh on 300 acres and is currently working in the northern part of the watershed on another 200 acres.