Maryland's Tributary Teams Hold Annual Wade-ins
Cool off during the hot summer months at one of these great outdoor events
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Roll up your pants and lace up your sneakers with members of the Maryland’s 10 Tributary Teams as they once again hold their annual Wade-In events during the months of June and July.
The Wade-Ins are inspired by former State Senator C. Bernie Fowler, who began wading into the Patuxent River 16 years ago with family and friends to highlight concerns about declining water quality in Maryland’s tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay.
“What better way to appreciate the majesty of the Chesapeake Bay than to wade-in and experience the way this amazing body of water looks, feels and smells,” said DNR Secretary C. Ronald Franks. “We invite everyone to come out and experience these truly unique events. Come on in – the water’s fine!”
Senator Fowler remembered that, as a child, he could wade into the Patuxent and easily see his shoes. The event became known as a Wade-In and is characterized by participants wading into a stream, river, or the Bay, and measuring the point at which they can no longer see their white sneakers. Fowler challenged the other nine tributary Teams to host Wade-Ins or similar water quality awareness events of their own.
The goal of the Wade-Ins became to restore sneaker visibility to chest depth. Fowler's "Sneaker Index", it turns out, has proved useful; in part because it makes an important concept related to water quality understandable to a wide audience, and there's excellent anecdotal and historic data based on Bernie's experience. The Bernie Fowler "Sneaker Index" has shown a trend of steady improvement in water clarity over the past ten years. However, according to Fowler, "although this is not a scientific measure, it puts restoring the river on a human scale".
The 2004 Wade-In schedule is as follows. These events are open to the public and will be held rain or shine.
- Upper Western Shore Wade-In, June 5, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, Baltimore
- Lower Potomac Wade-In, June 12, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mirant Mid Atlantic Generating Plant, Morgantown
- Upper Eastern Shore 6th Annual Wade-In, June 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Grasonville
- Choptank Team Wade-In, June 12, 11 a.m. On the Strand, Oxford
- Lower Western Shore Wade-In &Terrapin release, June 27, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Herrington Harbor South Marina Resort, Friendship
- Upper Potomac Wade-In &, July 9, 1 p.m., Potomac River Sojourn Kick Off, Cumberland
Established in 1995, the Tributary Teams assist with the implementation of the state’s watershed-based plans to reduce nutrient pollution to Maryland’s rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The Wade-Ins are just one of the ways the Teams highlight local water quality and get the community involved. Check out the Tributary Teams on http://www.dnr.state.md.us/bay/tribstrat/locator.html
Posted June 1, 2004