Great White by Frank Marsden Winter bird photo by Frank Marsden Clouded Underwing Moth
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The following articles are selections from our quarterly newsletter: "The Otter's Tale". The entire newsletter is available at the Estuary Center or you can download it here.

Parking Lot Up and Running -

Showcase of Stormwater Control Features

Before - Lots of hard surfaces creating runoff into Otter Point Creek.


Challenges along the way - Flood.


Gravel layers going in for permeable paver parking area.

Gravel Layers

What you CAN'T see - underground drain pipes and inlets set for the bioretention pond. Grading begun for giant rain garden.


Completed permeable paver parking area - a thing of beauty! Rain water soaks into the spaces between pavers, percolates through gravel layers and slowly drains into Otter Point Creek on its journey to the Chesapeake Bay.

Completed permeable pavers

Finished bioretention pond. Native plants and shrubs and special planting medium help to break down pollutants, uptake and infiltrate rain water.

Finished bioretention pond


Reserve News: Aloha and Kokua!

by Jenn Raulin, MD DNR Reserve Manager

"Aloha" is the Hawaiian word for love, affection, greeting, or salutation. It's probably a word you're quite familiar with. "Kokua", on the other hand may be a bit more foreign to you; it's the Hawaiian word for help. The National Estuarine Research Reserve system (NERRs) has been through a lot of ups and downs over the past several months and we are reaching out to you to not only celebrate a new Reserve, but also ask for your help in showing your love of Otter Point Creek and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR-MD).

He'eia NERRFirst, the good news! In January, the NERRs said Aloha to a new member of the family! The He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve (HNERR) became the 29th Reserve in the system. The 1,385 acres of protected waters and lands encompasses upland forests and grasslands, wetlands, reefs and seagrass beds, as well as the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain. It is located within the Kaneohe Bay estuary on the windward side of Oahu and includes significant historic and cultural resources (NOAA NOS 2017 [press release]). HNERR is also special to the Reserve System as it represents a biogeographic subregion, the Insular Hawaiian Islands, which was previously not represented in the system. A biogeographic region is a large area that shares similar species; CBNERR-MD is located in the Virginian biogeographic subregion.

Although we are very excited to be expanding our Reserve family, a 29th Reserve comes with additional costs and the NERRs budget is at risk. Upon the release of the President's Skinny Budget in March, it became known that the Trump Administration is urging drastic cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that would include the elimination of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) and Maryland's Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Approximately 98% of federal funding to the NERRs from NOAA goes out the door to communities like ours and it is vital to our way of life. Without the funding and considerable programmatic support that NOAA provides, CBNERR-MD would cease to exist. This would result in a loss of jobs and leveraged funds to our community. It would also cut off NOAA science, training, and technical support that is essential to keeping our community safe and thriving.

You are among the many who benefit from the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Reserves are special places that communities can count on to educate children, adults, and decision makers about their environment. Nationwide, reserves provide STEM education to more than 8,500 kids and 250 teachers annually; they deliver coastal resiliency training services that reach more than 2,500 communities; and they maintain more than 110 water quality stations and 30 weather stations that collect data every 15 minutes to manage hazardous spills, shellfish industry operations, and emergency response to storm surge and flooding.

We are reaching out to you for help, kokua. Our request is pretty simple. Visit the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association's (NERRA) website: and follow the 5 easy steps to help support Otter Point Creek and the other Reserves in the Nation. Mahalo, thank you.



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Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.



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Anita C. Leight Estuary Center / 700 Otter Point Road, Abingdon MD 21009 / 410-612-1688