Chesapeake Bay is one of the most beautiful estuaries in the world, so while you’re in Annapolis for WSC2020 and ISBW14, we want to make sure you see some of our favorite places. We’re offering five day-long field trip options to sites around the Bay – some remote, some urban. Field trips will take place on Wednesday, 12 August and depart from the conference hotel at approximately 8:00 am, although times for each may vary. Lunch and transportation are provided, but be sure to bring your own sunscreen and hat!
Review the field trip descriptions below so that you can select your preference during registration. Tours are weather dependent and will be on a first come, first served basis.
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary- Boating & Kayak Tour
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, on the Patuxent River, is one of three components in the over 6,000 acre Maryland Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR). The tidal freshwater marshes and forested wetlands provide a beautiful habitat to a high diversity of fish, invertebrates, mammals and birds such as great blue heron, osprey and sora rail. Rich plant life both above and below the water’s surface form the foundation of the valuable ecosystem. Coontail, hydrilla, pondweeds, star grass and other species can be readily observed, as found during over a decade of monitoring by the CBNERR staff. Field trip participants will explore Jug Bay’s dense submerged aquatic vegetation beds from a pontoon boat tour and optional kayak paddle provided by Patuxent River Park.
Susquehanna Flats SAV Adventure
The Susquehanna Flats are home to one of the largest and most iconic beds of SAV in the Chesapeake Bay. During this fieldtrip, participants will take a bus to Havre de Grace, Maryland, a quaint little town right on the upper Bay. From there, we’ll boat out to the Flats to explore the incredible diversity of freshwater SAV found there. While the SAV bed is dominated by wild celery (Vallisneria americana), you can find a dozen or more other species in any given area. We’ll discuss the species present, what makes the bed so resilient, and what threats it faces. Participants will have an opportunity to swim, collect specimens to press onboard, and take beautiful pictures of the many waterfowl – including ospreys and bald eagles - that call the Susquehanna Flats home.
Anacostia River Cruise and Monument Tour
Join the DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) for a tour of SAV beds in the Anacostia River. The Anacostia River has long been considered one of the most polluted urban rivers in the United States. In recent years, thanks to reductions in combined sewer overflows, improved stormwater management, and habitat restoration, SAV beds have greatly rebounded. DOEE and AWS will discuss all of these efforts, as well as other initiatives being undertaken (e.g. freshwater mussel restoration) to restore the Anacostia River. The boat tour will be approximately two hours long and will leave from the District's Aquatic Resources Education Center. Participants will also get beautiful water views of some of Washington DC’s most famous monuments, including the National Monument and U.S. Capitol Building.
This field trip will take place in two stages and also include free time to explore Washington, DC. While one group is touring the SAV beds and the monuments from the Anacostia River, the other group will be able to roam around the Anacostia waterfront. Everyone will meet back at the education center for lunch, and then the groups will trade places and partake in whatever adventure they weren’t on in the morning session.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center- Canoe and Hike Trip
Get outside and explore the 2,600 acres at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center campus! On this excursion, you'll experience both aquatic and terrestrial habitats! You will enjoy a 2-3 hour guided canoe trip in the Chesapeake Bay, viewing various wetland features, native plants, and animals along the way. You will also go on a guided hike along some of the beautiful SERC trails, be introduced to the biodiversity of the area, and hear about various ongoing Smithsonian research endeavors. Transportation to and from the campus is provided, as is a boxed lunch and water.
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center- Kayak and Hike Trip
The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) is a 510 acre wildlife preserve that will open your eyes, ears, mind, and heart to the wildlife and historic landscapes that characterize Maryland’s Eastern Shore. During this field trip, participants will alternate between kayaking and hiking. A guided kayak tour will take you through beautiful tidal marshes and over lush beds of SAV. The guided hike will allow participants to explore native woodlands, marshes, and meadows along 4 miles of walking trails. Transportation to and from CBEC is provided, as is a boxed lunch and water. Dress appropriately!