Outside Perspective: Summer 2020
One thing that working with nature and natural resources provides is perspective. As we endure a difficult and unprecedented year, the wonder of our natural world has not stopped, nor have the responsibilities of those entrusted to care for it.
In this edition of The Maryland Natural Resource, you will find highlights of the department’s recent accomplishments. Those achievements are directly attributable to the work of our staff, our partners, and our volunteers. To continue that important work during the pandemic, we have been taking extra measures to help protect our citizens and staff. Thanks to new safety protocols and some creative solutions, we have been able to maintain the operations of our department, continue our commitment to customer service, and keep important field work on track.
Among that important field work is data collection for our world-class water quality monitoring system. Our crews are back on the Chesapeake Bay monitoring hypoxia and overall health conditions of our nation’s largest estuary. Fisheries scientists are also maintaining a heat advisory system, an awareness campaign launched to reduce striped bass mortality caused by heat stress. The department posts a color-coded recommendation system on our website that advises the public of fishing conditions, allowing anglers to plan their striped bass fishing trips up to seven days in advance.
And wildlife specialists are working in every part of Maryland to support our native species and their habitats. One of those conservation specialists on our team, biologist Beth Schlimm, has been restoring the Eastern Shore’s Delmarva bays, a habitat that provides tremendous biodiversity including the endangered tiger salamander. In this “Year of the Woman” as declared by Governor Hogan, we are especially proud to profile Beth for her leadership and the important work she is doing.
Last but not least, we have kept our state parks open throughout the state of emergency, which has given people a chance to enjoy the outdoors—even while social distancing. While many things are changing in these uncertain times, we want our department to be a constant for the citizens of Maryland and for future generations.
Article appears in Vol. 23, No. 2 of the Maryland Natural Resource magazine, summer 2020.