The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL), a research and
education facility of the University of Maryland System, will host our
exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Tidewater. CBL is ideally
located in Solomons, Md., at the mouth of the Patuxent River. The area,
currently a mecca for the yachting community, has a long history as a community
of watermen who earned their livelihood by harvesting the bounty of the Bay.
Scientists at CBL play a crucial role in providing the scientific information necessary
for the development of informed management policies regarding the Bay and its
fisheries. The laboratory is at the technological forefront of real-time water
quality analysis. Its fishery scientists are investigating the Bay's
productivity and trophic structure, while its geochemists study the cycling,
loss and accumulation of materials in the Bay sediments. CBL is also the home
of the Maryland Institute for Ecological Economics, a leader in the arena of
natural resource economics and public policy.
While at CBL, we will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of
estuarine ecology of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers. The Bay has been
the center of U.S. esturine research and restoration efforts for over two
deades but the problems facing the Bay began many decades before. Their study
encompasses a wide variety of disciplines ranging from paleontology, geology
and history, to literature, folklife and anthropology.
CBL is a member of a six-institution research and education consortium known as
SEARCH, the Solomons Environmental and Archaeological Research Consortium. We
will cooperate with scholars of the SEARCH institutions to delve into the
history, literature and culture of Tidewater. We will explore the paleontology
and archeology of the area at such locations as the Calvert Marine Museum and
the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory. A historical
reconstruction of the first settlement in Maryland, St. Mary's City, will
enable students to learn, first-hand, about the early tobacco farming practices
that set into motion the pattern of land use and development with which we live
To learn more about the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, click here.
Link to Calvert Marine Museum: http://www.calvertmarinemuseum.com
Link to St. Mary’s City: http://www.stmaryscity.org
Trawl samples from the Chesapeake Bay yield finfish, crabs and other invertebrates for further study.
Shoreline seining provides students with a close look at shallow water
inhabitants in the Bay.
Student monitoring of oyster population levels is a necessary component for
understanding the issues confronting the Bay.
Students conduct dissections to assess oyster disease levels and body condition.
Local watermen provide their first-hand knowledge of fishery resources on the
Students hoist the sails of an historic skipjack while cruising the St. Mary’s river.