AccessDNR December 2019 – Maryland Department of Natural Resources

[Sounds of Gulls] Happy Holidays and welcome to AccessDNR, the
video newsletter from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. In this episode we have a look at a major
marina renovation, celebrate the designation of the newest national marine sanctuary, work
to improve amenities along a legendary trail – and more! I’m Gregg Bortz – your host for this edition
of AccessDNR! [AccessDNR Theme Music] We begin this episode at the Port of Chestertown
Marina in Kent County with a ceremony to celebrate a major renovation. Event speakers included Mayor Chris Cerino
and our very own Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio who recognized and honored department staffers
involved with the project. Despite a little trouble with dull scissors
– good times abounded, as participants could also take in the popular Sultana Downrigging
event which coincided with the unveiling. The marina is now nearly two feet higher and
offers improved accessibility to multiple amenities as well as a long list of upgraded
utilities. The project was made possible, in part, by
the department’s Waterway Improvement Fund. Next up – We head to the banks of the Potomac
River in Charles County to commemorate the designation of Mallows Bay as the nation’s
14th National Marine Sanctuary. A large crowd gathered to take part in the
official ceremony which featured remarks by Governor Larry Hogan, NOAA officials, and even a blessing by the Piscataway-Conoy Indian community. Afterward, participants had ample opportunity
to enjoy the park and its stunning views, learn about its compelling history, paddle
out for a guided kayak tour, search for native wildlife and more. Mallows Bay has long been celebrated as one
of Maryland’s can’t-miss destinations and is best known for the indelible presence
of a “ghost fleet” – hundreds of World War I Ship hulls left behind after being decommissioned,
scrapped, and burned in place. For our next story, we head to Washington
County where Park Service Staff and Maryland Conservation Corps Members are making improvements
to the Appalachian Trail’s Pogo Campsite. The work begins with crews loading up a variety
of gear and prepping for an intense hike to an otherwise inaccessible worksite at the
top of the Thurston Griggs Trail – high in the mountains of Western Maryland After getting guidance on specific project
deliverables, and some on-site equipment maintenance, sawyer teams worked to address safety hazards
by clearing fallen trees and debris. Elsewhere, other corps members were tasked
with clearing rocks and cutting in new, sustainable trails throughout the entire campsite. Additional workdays will be held throughout
the month until the full scope of improvements has been made. For our last recap, we travel to Merkle Wildlife
Sanctuary in Prince George’s County to celebrate the arrival of migratory waterfowl and Native
American culture with the Greeting of the Geese. The event was lead by members of the Piscataway
Conoy community – who opened the event by sharing their history and heritage. Later, traditional singing and drumming
inspired several attendees to join tribal dancers, and learn some new moves to help usher in
the season. Inside the visitor center, there were opportunities
for some hands-on crafting, ample displays of art & jewelry, and park staff was on hand
to provide biological information about the event’s namesake guests who arrived throughout
the day across the sanctuary. Looking forward – We want to remind you that
there’s still plenty of time to find the perfect gift for everyone on your shopping
list – or even yourself – at Inspire those you love to get outside for
adventure, learn more about our precious natural resources, or just enjoy the beauty of Maryland’s
Native flora and fauna. And don’t forget to make plans now to join
us on a 1st day hike. On January 1st of each year, thousands of
individuals and families alike get the jump on their resolutions and get outside to enjoy
mother nature! With more than 43 hikes offered at 31
parks and public lands across the state – you’re certain to find the perfect opportunity to
put your best foot forward and get a healthy, happy start to 2020! Well that’s a wrap for this month. For the latest news and programs, please follow
us on social media, subscribe to our magazine, newsletters, and youtube channel and download
our free mobile app. Please, give us a like, leave us a comment
and don’t forget to share our videos with family and friends. I’m Gregg Bortz, thanks for joining us – we’ll
see you next YEAR on AccessDNR!

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