The St. Mary’s River Project holds several workshops throughout the year that are directly related to the project.
Topics have included:
- Freshwater fish identification
- Fish electroshocking
- Marsh ecology
- River seining
- GPS/GIS training
We are currently working on an outreach project to map all the trails at Calvert Cliffs State Park and the St. Mary’s River State Park using GPS (Global Positioning System). The Parks Department wishes to use our data to distribute trail maps to visitors of the parks.
Breton Bay and Cherry Cove are two areas also being monitored by citizens working with the St. Mary’s River Project. There are four sites in Breton Bay that are sampled for chlorophyll and nutrients and one site in Cherry Cove. In addition, there are a number of programs and opportunities available if you would like to get involved in environmental work in your area. This site provides a list of only a few of them. If you have suggestions for additional programs that you would like to see listed, please contact us.
- Those who own farm lands have the option of participating in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) program through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Through CREP, you will receive money for installing certain conservative measures on your land.
- Low-impact development is a way to minimize the affect buildings have on the river, particularly through run-off.
- Volunteer at Historic St. Mary’s City. There are a number of areas in which to volunteer in, including trail maintenance, working at the museum shop, maintaining the recreated Dove, and more.
- Volunteer with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. There are a number of diverse programs that you can volunteer in. You can volunteer in stream monitoring, state parks, as historical re-enactors, with the natural resources police, or as environmental educators.
Help the River
While state and federal agencies can do a lot to initiate pollution control programs, much of the responsibility to control non-point source pollution lies with citizens. Listed below are several everyday things you and your family can do to limit your contribution to non-point source pollutants.
- Wash your car or boat only with non-toxic, phosphate free detergents
- Use pesticides or fertilizers sparingly-only when needed and at the appropriate time of year. Get your soil tested to determine what it really needs. This will ultimately save you money and time, and help protect the watershed
- Pick up after your pets. This is a source of nutrients, fecal matter, and pathogens that go directly into the water untreated during runoff events
- Prevent soil erosion at downspout outlets using splash blocks, rain barrels, or drain tiles
- Plant ground cover vegetation in shaded areas where grass may be difficult to establish in order to prevent soil erosion
- Leave a buffer of un-mowed vegetation between your lawn or fields and rivers or lakes. This “buffer strip” will trap sediments and nutrients before they enter the stream
- Plant crops or gardens along the contours of hills to prevent soil erosion
- Plant rows of trees to prevent wind-generated soil erosion
- Don’t mow lawns too short; longer grass is more effective at trapping sediments and nutrients, slowing runoff water, and generally has a healthier root system, which will help prevent soil loss through erosion