News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Opens Oxford Lab To The Public This Saturday

Annapolis, MD (April 21, 2010) — The Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), will open its doors to the public on Saturday April 24 from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. The event will highlight the 50th anniversary of the lab on the town of Oxford’s 16th annual Oxford Day celebration.

“Once a year we are pleased to open the doors of the lab to kids and families for a few hours to show off the compelling environmental work that is accomplished here,” said Oxford Lab Deputy Director Steve Early.

The Oxford Lab was established in 1960 to investigate oyster diseases in response to a dramatic decline in the oyster population in the Bay. The resulting scientific work propelled the Oxford Lab onto the world stage of marine science and established the lab’s researchers as ascending experts in shellfish management.

In 1987, NOAA joined the Oxford Lab as a partner with DNR to foster joint marine organism research and to further the lab’s mission of combining science, response and management capabilities to secure the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

The lab is also a key partner in the National Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network and, beginning this year, the staff will open the Oxford Environmental Science Training Center in partnership with the University of Maryland to train educators in cutting-edge ecological science.

Family-friendly features at the open house will include hands-on activities for kids, Chesapeake Bay critter tanks, live animal displays, scientific research exhibits and tours of the Laidly, the NOAA research vessel based at the Oxford Lab.

The famous Oxford Day Parade begins at 11:00 a.m. to kick off the town’s celebration, which will include a flower basket competition, a 10K run, a 5K fun walk, a dog show and dog walk, a Civil War drill, Kid’s Olympics, wine tasting, live music, and plenty of food and drink.

The lab is located at 904 South Morris Street, Oxford, Md.

For more information on Oxford Day go to

For information on the Oxford Lab go to

   April 21, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at