Tag Archives: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

WET & WILD AUCTION

Oct 14-17 – CBEC WET & WILD AUCTION-goes virtual. 10/14-preview of auction items. 10/15-10/17 bidding open. Info: vianna@fishergate.com or www.bayrestoration.org.

WET & WILD AUCTION

Oct 14-17 – CBEC WET & WILD AUCTION-goes virtual. 10/14-preview of auction items. 10/15-10/17 bidding open. Info: vianna@fishergate.com or www.bayrestoration.org.

WET & WILD AUCTION

Oct 14-17 – CBEC WET & WILD AUCTION-goes virtual. 10/14-preview of auction items. 10/15-10/17 bidding open. Info: vianna@fishergate.com or www.bayrestoration.org.

WET & WILD AUCTION

Oct 14-17 – CBEC WET & WILD AUCTION-goes virtual. 10/14-preview of auction items. 10/15-10/17 bidding open. Info: vianna@fishergate.com or www.bayrestoration.org.

“Denim and Diamonds” Fundraiser Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center September 20

 

CBEC-Auction-2013-9-Edit-X2CBEC-Auction-2013-27-Edit-X2“Denim and Diamonds” Fundraiser Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center September 20

Tired of dressing up in tuxedoes and gowns to raise money for charities? Then put on your blue jeans and attend “Denim and Diamonds,” a fundraiser for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, on September 20.

Tickets are now on sale for the 10th annual fundraiser that includes a “Wet & Wild Silent and Live Auction.” You can pick up a ticket — and diamonds — at Paula’s Fine Jewelry in Chester. Paula’s will donate diamond jewelry for a special raffle. The winner can select a diamond bracelet, pendant or ring. The cost of a raffle ticket is $100 and only 100 tickets will be sold.

“The auction is not only a fun event, but the proceeds provide CBEC the opportunity of continuing its services to the community,” said Judy Wink, executive director.

The price of a $90 ticket to the event includes a buffet dinner catered by The Narrows Restaurant, wine, beer and cocktails. Music will be provided by Bird Dog and the Road Kings.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in western clothing and wear their finest diamond jewelry. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. in CBEC’s Education Building.

Auction items will include a trip to Bonita Springs, FL, hand-painted ice tub with imported beer and wine, a skeet shooting package. Felix The Cat Sailing trip, antique glasses and decanter, a room-size antique Persian rug, tickets to events, services and a case of wine.

To become a sponsor, donate an auction item or buy a ticket, go to CBEC’s website at BayRestoration.org or call Judy Wink at 410-827-6694.

CBEC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting stewardship and sustainability through environmental education and habitat restoration. To become a member, visit our website BayRestoration.org.

Photos By Tom Sullivan

 

Chicken for Charity! Bok-Bok!

168Chicken for Charity! Bok-Bok!

Bridges General Manager Michael Moon created the bird for a local charity benefit auction which took place at the 65th Annual Delmarva Chicken Festival.  Multiple birds throughout the Shore went on the block with all proceeds benefiting local charitable organizations.  The Bridges bird benefited the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville, MD.  CBEC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmental education, research and restoration for the benefit of the Chesapeake Bay.  CBEC offers unique hands-on, feet-wet educational programs for students from pre-school age into adulthood.  To learn more about CBEC and all that they do for our community and the Bay visit: www.bayrestoration.org

PNC Bank Gives Grant to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

imgresPNC Bank Gives Grant to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center 

PNC Bank has given a $5,500 grant to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center to fund a gardening program for young children.

The grant from the bank’s “Grow Up Great” program will go towards CBEC’s Creepy Crawlers Gardening Project for kids aged 1 to 5 years old. Participants will be taught the difference between fruits and vegetables, how to plant them, and learn about soil and plant growth. Included will be a visit to a farm and grocery store.

The classes will extend through April 2015.

“What makes this gardening program beneficial is the emphasis on joining the child in hands on interaction, play and discovery rather than imparting information,” says Judy Wink, CBEC’s executive director. “The gardening project and PNC’s ‘Grow Up Great’ mission are a perfect fit for the children in instilling a positive attitude about self.”

To register, go to CBEC’s website at www.bayrestoration.org and click “Creepy Crawlers” under Education Programs.

CBEC is a non-profit environmental center on the Kent Narrows in Grasonville, MD.

 

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center open for spring, summer activities

Untitled UntitledaChesapeake Bay Environmental Center open for spring, summer activities

People looking for some outdoor fun in Queen Anne County, need to look no farther than the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) in Grasonville. Although the center — a 510-acre preserve and wetlands center — is open year-round, the activity escalates in the spring and summer when people head outdoors. There is a lot for a family — and their pets — to do at this public facility.

This year CBEC added new kayaks to its fleet for public use — free to members. There is also fishing, birding, geocaching or just hiking one of many paths on the facility’s 510 acres.

Kayaking

Kayaks are usually available from the end of April through the end of October, when the water temperature is around 60 degrees or warmer. There is no charge for members; non-members can rent a kayak for just $15.

There is no time limit on these vessels, so bring a lunch and enjoy the day. Simply sign in at the visitor’s center, select your seat, paddle and personal flotation device, then enjoy a short hike to the launch area near Marshy Creek where you will choose either a single or tandem kayak. Users are required to remove and replace the kayaks themselves and CBEC will collect a driver’s license to ensure all kayakers are safely off the water and the equipment is returned.

Kayaks are also used for educational programs at CBEC, so reservations are encouraged, especially on holiday weekends. For a schedule of guided kayak tours offered to beginners and intermediate kayakers, visit the CBEC website at www.bayrestoration.org.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted for the general public and also incorporated into CBEC’s educational classes. Maryland’s Fishing Regulations must be followed (season, license, size, limits, etc.) while fishing at CBEC. Rockfish, white perch, spot and croaker are among the most commonly caught species. The fishing is great from the shore or water but most general public fishing happens at the artificial reef in the Prospect Bay area.

Birding

The diversity of habitats existing here makes birding worthwhile all year. As spring arrives, you’ll witness the migrant waterfowl leaving. They’ve been here all winter and have come from as far as New England and the Canadian tundra. Mid-March to early April is the best time to see this departure of tundra swans, canvasbacks, redheads, widgeon, pintails and more.

Approximately 23 different species of waterfowl winter at the Marshy Creek region of CBEC. After these wintering birds have left, the neotropicals will begin their return.  Neotropical birds are those that spend their summer breeding phase in North America, then return to Central or South America for the winter. There are more than 200 species that are considered neotropical and include warblers, hummingbirds and shorebirds. Look for them around late April and early May.

Over land you’ll notice the usual woodlot birds; Yellow-rumped warblers and brown-headed nuthatches are just some examples. Over marshes you’ll see northern harriers and eagles among many others passing through. As you can tell, the variety of birds’ changes depending on the season, so bring your scopes, binocular and camera and hit the trails. You’ll also find binoculars available to borrow at the Visitor’s Center. Check out the CBEC website for year-round birding events.

Geocaching

If you are new to the term, www.geocaching.com defines it as “the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you” — and its happening at CBEC. It’s fun, it’s physical, and it’s for everybody. There are 20 geocaching sites on the property and you’ll find them by using a hand-held GPS device. The coordinates and more details about this hobby are on CBEC’s website. In each cache, you’ll find a treasure and you need to leave one too. The best way to find out what geocaching is to try it.

Photography

The natural beauty at CBEC lends itself to be photographed. The diversity of habitats offers many opportunities for that perfect shot: woodlots, meadows, marshes, water areas, and transition zones. This assortment of terrain includes a multitude of wildlife, especially birds.

There are two bird blinds that allow you to get up close to your objective or you can simply hike or kayak the property. CBEC alerts to the public via their website of unusual wildlife that visitors might be able to spot. Periodically, CBEC education staff incorporates photography into their educational classes for school groups and professional photographers will volunteer to teach this art to CBEC members and visitors.

Hiking

Hiking might be why you visit — or just how you get from one adventure to the next at CBEC. There are 4.5 miles of clearly marked trails and you’ll find maps at the Visitor’s Center. There are short trails for those looking for a quick hike; the longest trail is a mile.

Whether you prefer the beach, the marsh or the woods, you’ll find the trail here. Along these trails you’ll be able to relax on the benches or observe nature from the observation decks spread out at various spots across the property. Bathrooms are available near the Visitor’s Center and leashed dogs are welcome. Just sign in so the CBEC staff and volunteers know you’re there. Admission is free to members and $5 for non-members.

For more information, see CBEC’s website at www.bayrestoration.org.

NASA is using CBEC for a pilot project that teaches kids to monitor water with the use of NASA-engineered, remotely controlled boats

roverimageNASA is using CBEC for a pilot project that teaches kids to monitor water with the use of NASA-engineered, remotely controlled boats

Students participating in programs at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center this fall will have an opportunity to learn more about science with the assistance of a remotely controlled boat developed by NASA.

CBEC will be the first and only environmental center to introduce the Rover X-3 to its student programs.

NASA engineers visited CBEC on April 17 to demonstrate the use of the Rover X-3, the third generation of a 40-inch craft equipped with sensors to measure dissolved oxygen, Ph levels. temperature, salinity and more. It is driven by an air turbine powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries and operated remotely by toggle switches on a device that resembles a Playstation. Tiny cameras, including one that can operate beneath the surface,  beam images from the vessel to screens on the remote.

The tests are recorded aboard the craft on LabQuest2 computer interfaces and downloaded for analysis once the craft returns to shore.  It has a range of about  1,000 feet and can travel 5 miles per hour.

Patrick Coronado, who helped to develop the craft for NASA, said he hopes the craft will add fun to science.  “NASA’s mission is to inspire the next generation,” he said.  “We are able to provide kids the cool tools to reel them in and get them excited about science.”

NASA chose CBEC for the program because it has been working with the Grasonville center on other environmental  projects with the assistance of the Howard B. Owens Science Center in Prince George’s County.

Twenty adult volunteers and staff were trained on preparing and operating the craft as well as downloading the data recorded on the craft. They will supervise students using the device beginning in September.

Judy Wink,  CBEC’s executive director, said the Rover “adds a STEM component to our education endeavors for school kids.”

Monitoring the environment with remote controlled craft is not new for NASA.  Coronado said NASA spends one-fourth of its budget on earth sciences.  They already have drones and even a kite that will record data. A wind-powered sailboat with data-collecting devices is nearing completion.

Coronado said the watercraft is necessary to validate what they are seeing aboard aircraft.

He thought CBEC was an ideal partner to introduce the Rover X-3 to a younger generation because it has experience in teaching kids about science. About 10,000 to 15,000 children attend CBEC programs each year.

The project took nearly a decade to develop and comes at a cost of about $75,000.

“This platform in one of a kind,” he said. NASA expects to add two more Rovers to CBEC’s fleet.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Shoreline Restoration

baybagphotoChesapeake Bay Environmental Center Shoreline Restoration

Efforts to plant marsh grass along eroding shorelines are often undone by fierce winds, tides and long fetches that conspire to rip up young seedlings. However, a pilot project recently completed on the Kent Narrows shoreline will provide better protection for seedlings by planting them in specialized biodegradable burlap bags known as Bay-Saver Bags.

If the program is successful, it could be introduced in other parts of the state’s vast coastal wetlands.

More than 30 volunteers recently joined environmental engineers on a cool Sunday morning to plant marsh grass along an eroding shoreline at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville.  Assembled by the Restore the Earth Foundation, Bay Saver Bags were filled with a custom mix of soil and composted humus that will feed and stabilize the native plants installed.

Founders of the Ithaca-based foundation — Marv and P.J. Marshall — were on hand to show volunteers how to use the bags on a 170-foot stretch of Kent Narrows shoreline.  A double row of bags were buried flush with the surface of the coastal wetland, then slit open to plant three seedlings of Spartina alterniflora or Smooth Cordgrass , a native marsh grass.  The volunteers, including several from CBEC’s Legacy Institute For the Environment class, spent several hours hauling 225 bags to the shoreline and planting 675 plant seedlings over a 2,000 square foot area.

Mrs. Marshall said the bags, first developed by the Army Corps of Engineers, give the plants nutrients and stability from incoming tides and waves. They have been used since 2008 on many coastal sites, including the Gulf Coast.

The project is being managed pro-bono by New Jersey-based Matrix New World Engineering. It was funded by a grant from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Lawrence Malizzi, vice president of Matrix, said, “The goal of this pilot project is to demonstrate that the Bay-Saver Bags are a useful method to create living shorelines along the Chesapeake Bay by reducing erosion and sequestering carbon.”

The newly planted Spartina plugs, once established, will begin to spread throughout the project site within 4 months. Monitoring efforts at CBEC will continue for 5 years and baseline data will be gathered on the long-term effectiveness of the Bay-Saver Bags as a restoration tool and its ability to aid in sequestering carbon.

Vicki Paulas, assistant director at CBEC, said, “CBEC has aided numerous scientists, colleges and corporations in researching and testing cutting edge tools and techniques that can advance Bay restoration. I think the Bay-Saver Bags could be lower cost  alternative for shoreline restoration and a better solution for stabilization and growth rate acceleration versus bare plug plantings.”