Friday, December 13, 2013

Snowy Owls in Delaware

Snowy owls have appeared in Delaware recently.

Snowy owls range from nearly all white (adult males) to white with many dark bars across the forehead, breast and belly (juvenile female), and have a distinctive black beak. Adult females and juvenile males display a mixed coloration. Snowy owls have a wingspan of up to 5 feet. Males are smaller than the females.

Typically, snowy owls prey on small rodents called lemmings, which are known for their drastic population fluctuations.

When lemming populations fluctuate, snowy owls may irrupt, or disperse widely, in order to find alternative food sources.

Snowy owl irruptions may also occur when high lemming populations enable snowy owls to produce large broods that are unsupportable locally.

In either event, this year, snowy owls appear to be dispersing well beyond their normal range.

Snowy owls in Delaware are not unheard of, according to DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife biologist Anthony Gonzon: "In any given year, one or two owls may show up throughout the course of the entire winter. For example, a single snowy owl was observed in late 2012 near Rehoboth Beach, but it remained here only for a short time.

"This year, however, is quickly shaping up to be extraordinary and unprecedented,” Gonzon said. "Over the course of six days surrounding Thanksgiving, at least six snowy owls have been sighted, providing Delawareans a great opportunity to share in this phenomenon."

In particular, the owls seen along Delaware Seashore State Park have remained in the same general area since being first observed on Friday, Nov. 29, providing hundreds of visitors from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey many opportunities to see and photograph them.

Snowy owls have also been spotted along Route 9 near Port Penn, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna, Port Mahon Road near Little Creek, and Cape Henlopen State Park.

source: Delaware, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mid Atlantic Recreational Saltwater Fish Landings 2012

Saltwater fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in the Mid Atlantic region. According to Fisheries of the United States 2012 (NOAA Fisheries), Mid Atlantic anglers caught and released considerable amounts of saltwater fish during the 2012 fishing season.

North Carolina was the top Mid Atlantic top state in terms of fish harvested while New Jersey anglers caught and released the most fish.

State        Harvested (thousands)        Released (thousands)
New York     3593                15138
New Jersey     6033                23749
Delaware     495                2059
Maryland     4052                11904
Virginia     7851                13695
North Carolina     8473                18536

source: NOAA Fisheries

North Carolina Oyster Reef Project

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) recently announced that the agency will fund an oyster restoration project in North Carolina.

North Carolina Coastal Federation, Inc. will receive $35,000 in funding. During the project, the Federation will work with local fishermen  in North Carolina to create new oyster reefs from recycled derelict crab pots.

source: NOAA Fisheries

Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 National Wildlife Refuge Week Events - Mid-Atlantic Region

The Big Sit!
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
Sunday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Big Sit! is one of the nation's most popular bird counts. During the annual event, teams count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle.

“Go Wild,”
Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, VA (Hutchinson Tract)
Sunday, October 13, 1 to 5 p.m.

Events include bluebird house building, a guided kayak tour, and more, hosted by Friens of Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends. 

Wildlife Festival
Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy live animals, ,children’s crafts, tram tours, scientific demonstrations and behind-the-scenes research tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center located on the refuge.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 National Wildlife Refuge Week Events - Mid-Atlantic Region

The following National Wildlife Refuge Week Events are scheduled in the Mid-Atlantic region:

The Big Sit!
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
Sunday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Big Sit! is one of the nation's most popular bird counts. During the annual event, teams count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle.

“Go Wild,”
Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, VA (Hutchinson Tract)
Sunday, October 13, 1 to 5 p.m.

Events include bluebird house building, a guided kayak tour, and more, hosted by Friens of Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends. 

Wildlife Festival
Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy live animals, ,children’s crafts, tram tours, scientific demonstrations and behind-the-scenes research tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center located on the refuge.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Raritan River Dam Removals

Three dam removals on the Raritan River will open up 10 miles of migratory fish habitat along a stretch of the river which runs through the communities of Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Bound Brook, Somerville and Manville.

The dam removals will also will allow spawning fish to access about 17 miles of tributaries, including the Millstone River.

American shad, American eel, herring, and striped bass are among the species which historically migrated up the Upper Raritan.

Completed and pending dam removals include:

 * Calco Dam, demolished in 2011, was located at river mile 20.9

 * The Robert Street Dam was located at river mile 27.9

 * The Nevius Street Dam, located at river mile 27.0

source: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 Southern Maryland Blues Festival Bands Update

Chesapeake Bay Events recently announced that 14 year old Blues/Guitar prodigy "KINGFISH" has been added to the Sunday September 8th lineup of the 2013 Southern Maryland Blues Festival. Christone "Kingfish" Ingram will be a featured guest of the Daryl Davis Band.

Kingfish was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi which has gained much notoriety as the birthplace of the Blues. It’s reputation is well known the world over for spawning such notable legends as Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Gospel and Soul singer Sam Cooke, Ike Turner, and many others. The legendary town of Clarksdale is located at the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 49.

The Southern Maryland Blues Festival is a two day festival featuring 12 national, international and local bands. There will be Arts, Crafts, Kids Activities, a variety of food, beer and craft beer tasting by local hosted breweries, wine and wine tasting hosted by local wineries.

The 2 day event is being held on September 7th and 8th at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Barstow, Maryland. The festival will benefit the less fortunate of Southern Maryland through a contribution of ALL net proceeds to End Hunger in Calvert County.

For more information, visit: www.somdblues.org

Monday, July 1, 2013

Delaware Beaches Rated Number 1 in USA

Delaware’s beaches have been recognized for having the cleanest water quality in the nation. Delaware is also the location of two of the country’s few “Superstar Beaches,” according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The advocacy group annually assesses all beaches in 30 coastal states.

Beaches at Rehoboth and Dewey were awarded 5-star ratings as Superstar Beaches for their perfect swimming water quality for the past four years. They were two of only 13 Superstar Beaches so designated by the NRDC among beaches of the coastal states.

In its report, ”Testing the Waters” in Delaware, the NRDC also recognized DNREC’s Recreational Water Quality Testing Program as one of the most comprehensive in the nation.

Delaware attracts more than 7 million visitors each year, many of them drawn to the state’s scenic Atlantic beaches. According to a recent report, The Contribution of the Coastal Economy to the State of Delaware, by Delaware Sea Grant College Program at the University of Delaware, the state’s coastal economy has a significant impact on Delaware’s overall economy – generating almost $7 billion annually.

Delaware ranked first out of 30 states for cleanest water quality overall. The NRDC report cited Delaware State Park beaches (Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island) and the state’s Atlantic community beaches (Rehoboth, Dewey, Bethany, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island) for having excellent swimming water quality, with only a single swimming advisory (of less than 24 hours) issued among all those beaches in 2012.

source: DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Little Patuxent Restoration Grants

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has awarded a $1 million grant to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for restoration projects in the Little Patuxent watershed.

The funding will go towards wetland and stream restoration projects at the Sunrise-Navy Dairy Farm in Gambrills. The project will include planting trees along 20 acres of stream to filter polluted runoff, clean and enhance wetlands, and restore nearly 7,000 linear feet of stream.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Monday, June 3, 2013

Delaware National Recreation Trails

Four Delaware trails recently received designations as national recreation trails:

Junction and Breakwater Trail (Cape Henlopen State Park)

The 4-mile Junction and Breakwater Trail follows a section of the former Penn Central Railroad between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. The trail is essential in connecting the two communities and gives residents and visitors an alternative to driving a vehicle. Interpretive signs along the trail provide information about the area’s plant and animal life.

Northern Delaware Greenway Trail (Brandywine Creek)

The 2.5-mile section of the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail in Brandywine Creek State Park plays an important role in connecting recreational, historic, and natural resources, while providing the community with a safe place to be active. Trail users can experience Piedmont wooded landscapes, spring wildflowers, and wildlife, view unique geologic features, and picnic, fish, and canoe along Brandywine Creek.

Northern Delaware Greenway Trail (Wilmington)

The 7.22-mile Wilmington section of the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail links existing parks throughout northern New Castle County between the Delaware River and the Brandywine River. The trail serves people in the greater Wilmington area, giving residents in nearby neighborhoods access to park land.

Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail

This rail-trail provides a connection between Newark's central business district, city parks, the University of Delaware, and White Clay Creek State Park. The 4.18-mile trail improves pedestrian safety and mobility, promotes cycling and non-motorized transportation, relieves traffic congestion, and encourages physical fitness.

source: U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Maryland Outdoors Days

In 2013, Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days events will provide families with opportunities to get outside amd enjoy the outdoors.

During the period, Maryland is encouraging organizations to post and promote their nature-inspired events.

The two-week statewide collection of activities kicks off in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day on June 8 and culminates with the Great American Backyard Campout on June 22.

Visitors can choose from a wide variety of activities which support the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. These two weeks in June will highlight opportunities for bird-watching, archery, kayaking, fishing, gardening, camping, hiking and more.

The Great American Backyard Campout on June 22 encourages families to experience their natural world through camping.

Maryland State Parks with campgrounds are offering special campfire and s’mores programs. In addition, select parks are offering unique programs including Scales and Tales, guided hikes, campfire cooking, owl prowls and kayaking.

More information on Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days is available at dnr.maryland.gov/cin/CMO

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Anacostia River - Watt's Branch Restoration

The Anacostia watershed is one of the most urbanized watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin. Because of its cultural importance, the watershed has been identified as a priority area for interagency cooperation in both President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

In 2010, a group of federal agencies, local organizations, and others formed a partnership to restore a section of Watts Branch, a tributary of the Anacostia.

Completed in 2011, the restoration project was funded largely by the District of Columbia's Department of Environment and also carried out by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the National Park Service, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Water and Sewer and several local organizations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners restored eroded stream channel while nearby sewer lines were relocated and improved.

After the restoration, a local nonprofit, Washington Parks and People, has begun using Watts Branch as an outdoor classroom to prepare an emerging workforce for jobs in urban and community forestry.

A follow-up analysis of the Watts Branch restoration by the U.S. Geological Survey found that the effort has had a substantial impact on the local economy, directly or indirectly. The study estimates that the project added 45 jobs, $2.6 million in local labor income and $3.4 million in value to the local D.C. metropolitan area in 2011. 

source: U.S. Geological Survey

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Delaware River Bristol Borough Waterfront Project

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will partner with the Bucks County Riverfront Program to install 25 new day slips on the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey.

The ADA-compliant project will include new educational signage, lighting, and breakwater structures to protect the facility. The project is part of a larger effort to improve the waterfront in Bristol Borough.

Funding for the project consists of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boating Infrastructure (BIG) grant of nearly $1.5 million, matched with nearly $1 million in non-federal funding.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Monday, April 8, 2013

Delaware Fisherman Information Network - FIN

In Delaware, resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number.

The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free F.I.N. number.

source: DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Southern Maryland Blues Festival

The 1st Southern Maryland Blues Festival will be held September 7th and 8th, 2013 at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick, Maryland.

The festival will feature ten acts over the two days, local food vendors, wine, beer, a crafter village, kids’ activities, and more.

Tickets will go on sale June 15th, 2013. Net proceeds from the festival will go to End Hunger in Calvert County. End Hunger in Calvert County (EHCC) is a grassroots partnership of over 50 Calvert County businesses and community leaders

source: Chesapeake Bay Events

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

American Littoral Society Montauk Spring Getaway

American Littoral Society Montauk Spring Weekend
June 7-9, 2013
Montauk Manor
Montauk, New York


The American Littoral Society (ALS) is sponsoring a spring weekend at the Montauk Manor in Montauk, New York. The event will begin with an orientation and slide show on Friday night.

Activities include: hiking, birding, tide pools, butterflies, rocky cliffs, a visit to Montauk Light, and an optional whale watch.

The Montauk Manor features well-appointed rooms, restaurant, hot tub, pool, and views of the Atlantic.

For more information, visit www.littoralsociety.org

Additional Grant Money Available for Recreational Boating Facilities in North Carolina

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries will be accepting proposals for the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program until April 24. This is a second funding opportunity for this program for federal fiscal year 2013.

The Boating Infrastructure Grant is a program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that reimburses up to 75 percent of costs for projects that construct, renovate or maintain tie-up facilities and related amenities for recreational transient vessels that are at least 26 feet long. The grant program was authorized by Congress in 1998 and is funded by excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.

The state Division of Marine Fisheries serves as the liaison between projects in North Carolina and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for this program. Proposals must be submitted to the division to be considered for this funding opportunity.

Some examples of potentially eligible activities include transient slips, mooring buoys, day-docks, floating and fixed piers and breakwaters, dinghy docks, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, retaining walls, bulkheads, dockside utilities (water, electric, telephone, Internet), sewage pump-out stations, recycling and trash receptacles, navigational aids and marine fueling stations. Applicants must have or intend to construct dedicated dockage for transient vessels to receive funding for these eligible activities.

For information about grant availability, project eligibility, and proposal development, please visit the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf or contact Kelly Price, federal aid coordinator for the division, at P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557-0769. You may also contact Price at 252-808-8168 or 800-682-2632 (in North Carolina only) or by e-mail at Kelly.Price@ncdenr.gov.

Applications should be sent to the state Division of Marine Fisheries and must be received by April 24. Electronic submission is preferred.

source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 North Carolina Recreational Bay Scallop Season

In North Carolina, recreational harvesting of bay scallops will be allowed in 2013. The approved harvesting area includes Bogue Sound and internal coastal waters south of Bogue Sound to the South Carolina state line.

The Bogue Sound bay scallop season will open at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 28 and close at 4 p.m. April 1.

Recreational harvest will be allowed from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each week. Recreational fishermen may harvest a limit of one bushel per person per day, not to exceed one bushel if two or more fishermen are working from one vessel.

During this time, commercial harvest will be allowed from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday of each week. Commercial fishermen may harvest 10 bushels per person per day, not to exceed 20 bushels per vessel, regardless of the number of licensed fishermen working together on a vessel.

Recreational harvest limits cannot be combined with commercial harvest limits.

For specific regulations, see Proclamation SC-1-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations

For more information, contact Tina Moore, with the Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8082 or Tina.Moore@ncdenr.gov.

source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

Friday, January 4, 2013

ALS Montauk Winter Weekend

American Littoral Society Montauk Winter Weekend
January 11-13, 2013

The American Littoral Society is hosting a trip to Montauk during peak seabird and seal season. The trip fee of $375/person includes 2 nights at the Manor House (includes double occupancy, single rooms are $120 extra), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs & star watch plus free pickup at the LIRR station in Montauk.

The Manor House has an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, restaurant and a spacious lobby where we meet. Suites are large with kitchen, living room & bedroom. Many have 2 baths and 2 separate entrances. Two-bedroom suites are available for 3 -4 people.

For more information call (917) 371-8577.
 
source: American Littoral Society