Busy and Successful Year for Phillips Wharf Environmental Center

Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s has had a busy and successful August despite Hurricane Irene’s brief visit. In recent weeks, we held our Second Annual Auction and Fundraiser, launched our newest program – Tilghman Islanders Grow Oysters – and now look forward to the Fifth Annual Critter Release Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.

“We thank all attendees, donors and volunteers who helped make our auction a success,” said Kelley Cox, founder and executive director. “Funds raised from the event enable us to move forward into our 2011 – 2012 season during which time we’ll continue our efforts to Inform, Inspire and Involve the 16 million people living in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to become stewards of the Bay.”

Phillips Wharf Environmental Center launched Tilghman Islanders Grow Oysters on Friday, Sept. 2 with the assistance of more than 20 volunteers. Under the direction of TIGO Program Manager Carol McCollough, volunteers loaded and placed about 160 cages containing spat at docks of residents of Tilghman Island. During the next several months, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer Kristin Buter will coordinate the program, which also will track growth, mortality and disease of these oysters.

Next month, we celebrate the end of our summer season with the Fifth Annual Critter Release Day when children will release our volunteer critters back to the Chesapeake Bay for winter hibernation. These critters spent the summer in the center and on the Fishmobile, a mobile aquarium that this year has provided about 10,000 visitors with hands-on experience with marine creatures native to the Bay.

The event features various environmental exhibits, live music, games and food. Critters will be released about 1 p.m. Environmentally friendly vendors are urged to participate as are those who support preservation and restoration of our beautiful watershed.

Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is a nonprofit, volunteer run organization based in the last surviving crab shanty on Knapp’s Narrows. The center’s Fishmobile operates year-round to provide exhibits of living crabs, oysters, horseshoe crabs, diamondback terrapins and various fish at schools, festivals and private events. The center is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday from April to mid October. We are located at 21604 Chicken Point Road, Tilghman, Md. Visit www.pwec.org or call (410) 886-9200 for information.