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:


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 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!

Sunday Afternoon Kind of Music on Back Creek

When we were looking for musicians for the Back Creek Conservancy’s Feet for the Creek Walkathon on May 21, we envisioned some happy kind of Sunday afternoon on the creek music that would work for both adults and kids… and we found just the right Annapolis band: Guava Jelly.

So when you’re done doing the 6K walk around the creek—or the shorter version for families with small children—you can come back to the starting point at Annapolis Sailing School, check out the food truck, enjoy a beverage, and relax to happy music with an island vibe. Below, find a promo video to give you a taste of the band’s style.

For registration and more information on the Walkathon, click here. For more about Guava Jelly, click here.

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!


Finding the Mattie F. Dean in Back Creek



The Back Creek Conservancy, in partnership with the Ocean Research Project, is launching the Schooner Mattie F. Dean Expedition to locate and if possible to identify wooden sailing vessels abandoned in Back Creek, Annapolis, at the end of the sailing era, between 1933, when the Hurricane blew open the mouth of Back Creek, to the early 1970s, when the boat shows began. The number, location, and the extent of the remains of these vessels is unknown.


Water Sampling, Research, Mapping and More Summer Projects

BCC_Intern Luncheon - 2016-08-12 - 26_50p

Did you know that Back Creek Conservancy’s summer interns participated in water sampling, research, mapping, and more?

The 2016 Back Creek Conservancy intern luncheon Friday, August 12, was a success with 22 people in attendance, including representatives from EYC Foundation, Eastport Civic Association, the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE), and Maria Broadbent from City of Annapolis office of environmental policy. Everyone was enthusiastic about the intern program and BCC!


Join Us for the Last Marine Debris Monday of the Summer

IMG_4110_50pThe Back Creek Conservancy hopes you will join us for the last Marine Debris Monday of the summer on Monday, August 29 at 5 p.m… or whenever you are free to get out on the creek. The goal is to pick up some trash from a small boat (canoes and dinghies or jon boats work best, but kayaks and paddleboards are acceptable). We recommend gloves and toed shoes in case you want to step off your boat to pick something up in the shallows…. and a trash bag!

At 6 p.m., we’re hosting a creek-side BBQ for burgers, hot dogs, and beer for all participants. Find us by boat at the third dock on the right from the SPCA at the back of Back Creek.

RSVP HERE. All are invited! …. If you do come to the BBQ, make sure you bring a flashlight and headlamp for a safe boat ride home!


Where on Back Creek Do We Do Water Quality Monitoring?

Back Creek water samplingAs the Back Creek Conservancy becomes more well-known in the community, we have been fielding questions about our water quality monitoring and where exactly we’re testing.

Yesterday, our board president David Barker and interns made a technological breakthrough to help show the public where we’re working. Check out this interactive story map and click on the eight sampling sites. More to come about results later…