Where We Work

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Maryland has three components throughout the state: our Otter Point Creek site is home of Anita C. Leight Estuary Center located in Abingdon (Harford County), our Jug Bay site is made up of Patuxent River Park near Upper Marlboro (Prince George’s County) and Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary (Anne Arundel County) located near Lothian, and our Monie Bay site is located near Deal Island and Princess Anne in Somerset County.

Bring your family or friends to one of our exciting public education programs. Or just bring yourself and your binoculars for a quiet nature walk to look for birds, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs…whatever suits your fancy!

Please check our hours and call ahead, because some parts of the Reserve are open only with a reservation. We look forward to seeing you soon.


A woman grabbing a bird from a nest.

Patuxent River Park

Operated by the Maryland National Capitol Parks and Planning Commission, the Park is 7,000+ acres of tidal freshwater wetlands along the Patuxent River. It is located in Croom, southeast of Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County, 20 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. and 15 miles north of Waldorf.


Two girls in tall grass.

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Operated by the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Park, the Sanctuary is 1,600 acres of tidal freshwater wetlands, forests, meadows, and fields along the Patuxent River. It is located in Lothian, southern Anne Arundel County, 20 miles east of Washington D.C. and 18 miles south of Annapolis.


Photo links to Anita C. Leight Estuary Center

Anita C. Leight Estuary Center

Operated by Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Izaak Walton League of America, the Otter Point Creek component is 704 acres of shallow freshwater marsh, forests, and wooded wetlands. It is located at the headwaters of the Bush River in Abingdon, southern Harford County, 23 miles northeast of Baltimore and 8 miles south of Bel Air.


Kids touching a reptile.

Monie Bay

Operated by the department's Wildlife and Heritage Service, the Monie Bay component, which is part of the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area, is 3,426 acres of tidal, salt marsh. It is located near Princess Anne in Somerset County, 22 miles southwest of Salisbury, and 20 miles northeast of Deal Island.