Boating in Maryland
Boats on Magothy River, Pasadena, Maryland, September 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Boat rack along St. Mary's River, St. Mary's City, Maryland, May 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Maryland is defined as much by its waterways as by the geographic boundaries of its land. Most important is the Chesapeake Bay around which land joins into the Eastern Shore and Western Shore of Maryland.
Skipjack H. M. Krentz on Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland, February 2005. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Here, in the summer of 1608, Capt. John Smith (1580-1631) led two voyages exploring the Chesapeake Bay and wrote of the peoples, wildlife, and land surrounding its waters. Along the Bay too, from 1865 to 1959, but particularly in the 1880s, Maryland watermen fought Virginians during the Oyster Wars.
Fishing at Little Round Bay, Crownsville (Anne Arundel County), Maryland, November 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Boats and later ferries plied Bay waters as the only form of transport until the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952. A second Bay Bridge opened to traffic in 1973. Also named the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge, this three-laned parallel bridge is called the westbound span, while the original bridge is the eastbound span.
Sailboats at City Dock (State House dome in background), Annapolis, Maryland, June 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
The extensive coastline that edges the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay is riddled with rivers, bays, and creeks that merge with other Bay tributaries. It is the fourth longest tidal coastline in the continental United States.
While the Chesapeake Bay lies at the central heart of Maryland, the State's many rivers, bays, and creeks form its arteries, and sustain the "Land of Pleasant Living" and its economic life.
Boats at Bayridge on the Chesapeake, Annapolis, Maryland, August 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
The waterways of Maryland are of particular concern to the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays. In conjunction with local governments, the Commission seeks to protect the "critical areas" around the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic coastal bays of Assawoman, Isle of Wight, Sinepuxent, Newport, and Chincoteague. Moreover, water quality programs form part of the work of the Department of the Environment, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Maryland Environmental Service.
Male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Annapolis, Maryland, April 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Water quality standards for the Chesapeake Bay and other State waters are set and maintained by the Water and Science Administration of the Department of the Environment.
Dragon pedal boats, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in pond, Annapolis, Maryland, April 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
© Copyright October 20, 2020 Maryland State Archives