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Patapsco/Back Tributary Team’s Seventh Annual Wade-In Set For May 17
Citizens Encouraged to Participate
Kingsville, MD — Members of the Patapsco/Back Tributary team will host their seventh annual Wade-In on Sunday, May 17 from 10:30 to 2 p.m. During the event, Marylanders are invited to wade into the water at North Point State Park to demonstrate the level of visibility and water quality and bring attention to the serious impact of nutrient pollution.
“The work of our Tributary Teams mobilizes a crucial component of our watershed clean-up efforts,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By engaging local communities and hosting events like Wade-Ins, they lead restoration efforts on a grassroots level that gives every Marylander the opportunity to become involved in our collective commitment to preserve our Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”
In what has become an annual event for each of Maryland’s 10 Tributary Teams, the Wade-Ins are inspired by former State Senator Bernie Fowler, who began wading into the Patuxent River 17 years ago with family and friends to highlight concerns about declining water quality in Maryland’s tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay. Senator Fowler remembered that, as a child, he could wade into the Patuxent and easily see his shoes. The event became known as a Wade-In and is characterized by participants wading into a stream, river, or the Bay, and measuring the point at which they can no longer see their shoes, commonly known as the Sneaker Index. Fowler challenged the other nine Tributary Teams to host Wade-Ins or similar water quality awareness events of their own.
This year’s event also marks the 7th time Joe Stewart, a member of the Patapsco/Back Tributary Team, will lead a benefit swim to help raise funds for local watershed groups in the Baltimore County area. The event is rain or shine and free of charge. More information is available by Christopher Aadland at (410) 260-8736.
The Patapsco/ Back River basin drains approximately 630 square miles of land, including all of Baltimore City and portions of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, and Howard Counties. Larger water bodies in the basin include Back River, Gwynns and Jones Falls, the North and South Branches of the Patapsco River, Lake Roland, Piney Run Reservoir, Liberty Reservoir, and Baltimore Harbor, a tidal embayment formed at the confluence of the Patapsco River and the Jones and Gwynns Falls.
Nutrient pollution can be divided into two major categories – point sources (pollution that comes from a single, definable location, such as a wastewater treatment plant or industrial discharge) and nonpoint sources (pollution that cannot be attributed to a clearly identifiable, specific physical location, such as runoff from land and atmospheric deposition). Runoff from different land uses, point sources, and atmospheric deposition are the major sources of nutrients within the Bay watershed.
On the day of the event, please call 410 260-8736 for directions or if you have questions.
DIRECTIONS FROM NORTH BALTIMORE:
Take Baltimore Beltway 695-south towards Essex/Key Bridge. Follow 695 to Exit 42 (151 Sparrows Point/North Point Boulevard). Exit and bear right onto 151 South to first light. Make left onto North Point Road (Route 20). Follow through Edgemere for 1.9 miles to Bay Shore Rd where you will see North Point State Park on left.
DIRECTIONS FROM SOUTH OF BALTIMORE:
Take Baltimore Beltway 695 North towards Glen Burnie/Key Bridge. Follow 695 over Key Bridge to Exit 43 (Bethlehem Boulevard/Sparrows Point). Get off at Exit 43 and make left at first blinking light (Bethlehem Boulevard). Follow Bethlehem Boulevard/158 East for one mile to North Point Boulevard. Cross over North Point Boulevard onto North Point Road (Route 20). Follow Route 20 through Edgemere for 1.9 miles to park on left.
Since 1995, Maryland’s Tributary Teams have assisted with the implementation of the state’s watershed-based plans to reduce nutrient pollution to Maryland’s rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Support for the Tributary Teams is provided by staff at DNR, however the members are volunteers whose tireless energy results in invaluable contributions to restoration efforts. The Wade-Ins are just one of the ways the Teams highlight local water quality and get their communities involved. Visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/bay/tribstrat to explore all of their programs.
Monday, on a tour of the Bush River, Governor O’Malley and senior scientists discussed two new strategies to accelerate Bay restoration in Maryland. Citing what scientists call a “tipping point” — a stage at which progress within a tributary can begin to promote self-healing — the Governor announced plans for a major new outreach effort to enlist local governments, businesses and citizens to take a more active role in restoring the health of Maryland’s waterways. At today’s Executive Council meeting, Governor O’Malley will announce Maryland’s new 2-year milestones, short term goals developed over the past several months by the Governor and his BayStat team to better target, focus and accelerate efforts on the ground, and measure results.
May 12, 2009
Contact: Josh Davidsburg
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov