Six Things I Learned during Marine Debris Monday

marine debris mondayWhen I first conceived of Marine Debris Monday in 2016, I just thought of it as a simple way to encourage neighbors to go pick up trash by water a few times this summer. The season seemed to be speeding by us, and I knew if we waited for a BIG Organized Event to take place, we might not get anything done at all. So, I figured starting small was worthwhile. A few evenings picking up trash—with no sign up sheets, no team leader, no rules or regulations—would be better than nothing.

Now that the first Marine Debris Monday has passed, I can say I’ve gotten more out of it than the satisfaction of cleaning up my “backyard” a bit. Here are six things I’ve learned:

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Marine Debris Mondays and YOU

Photo by Mark Bandy

Photo by Mark Bandy

We would love for you to join us for three Marine Debris Mondays: July 31, August 14, and August 28, 2017.

These will be casual clean-up events with no central meeting place, no sign-up sheets. Just a bunch of Back Creek neighbors out on our creek on small boats — canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, fishing boats, whatever — to pick up trash on and along the water.

Most of us will head out at 5:30 after work by paddleboard or kayak with garbage bags in hand (but you may go out whenever you like). If you do participate, please take a picture of the trash you have picked up and send it to molly@backcreekconservancy.org so that we can have a visual of what we have found in the creek. We will participate rain or shine, unless there’s lightning. Questions? Just email.

We’ll send out reminders before each event. Hope you can join us!

Dive and Rescue Team Do Sonar Scan of Creek Bottom

On Sunday, 5 March the Anne Arundel County Fire Department’s Dive and Rescue Team, in partnership with the Back Creek Conservancy (BCC), conducted a sonar scan of the bottom of Back Creek to locate whatever might be down there.

The dive team, led by Captain David Chen, towed an advanced sonar device that looks like a rocket, about 4 feet long, that creates 3D images. The data are still being analyzed, but the good news is that there are no major hazards on the bottom of the creek. Several crab pots, something that might be a refrigerator, and two small boats were spotted.

After the imagery is refined, the next step will be to decide what to raise and remove. Thank you AAFD!

New Boat starts 2017 Off Right for the Back Creek Conservancy

Back Creek Conservancy's new water monitoring boat following her New Year's Day delivery. Photo by Rick Kissel

Back Creek Conservancy’s new water monitoring boat following her New Year’s Day delivery. Photo by Rick Kissel

On New Year’s Day the Back Creek Conservancy took a great leap forward in its ability to monitor Back Creek and the Severn River mouth. Thanks to the generous donation  of Chris and Carolyn Groobey, we now own a 13-foot aluminum launch that offers safe, year-round access to the eight water quality monitoring sites on Back Creek.

Originally built in New Zealand as a yacht tender and  life raft, the launch will also enable us to reach the shoals off of Horn Point, the sewer plant discharge point off of Chesapeake Harbour, and the NOAA buoy at Greenbury Point. Lorie Stout (standing on the dock in the photo) drove it to its new home at Port Annapolis Marina.

Thank you to the Groobeys for this generous gift and greater ability to monitor our favorite creek. Happy New Year!