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Ahoy, Maryland! A Guide to Responsible Boating

Anyone who lives in Maryland knows we are a water state. With 623 square miles of inland waterways plus the Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays behind barrier islands to the Atlantic Ocean, and three miles offshore of the ocean itself, it’s no wonder that 160,000-plus boats were registered in Maryland last year.


Maryland DNR 2021 Photo Contest Now Open

Entries for Annual Contest Taken Until August 5 The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting entries for its annual photo contest. Photographers, novice or professional, can enter for the chance to win cash, park passes, and other great prizes.







Tools of the Trade: Telemetry

Here’s a tough question. How do we know where fish go or which underwater habitats they prefer when they are out of sight? Biologists have developed some special techniques to monitor fish and track their whereabouts. One method that helps biologists monitor fish populations is telemetry, which is the process of obtaining data remotely by  Read the Rest…


Outside Perspective: Fall 2020

Autumn is a time marked by cooling weather, falling leaves, and, of course, elections. While the pandemic has initiated an important discussion on how to hold elections, historically, Marylanders gathered in election houses to cast their votes. Election houses were small, purpose-built structures constructed specifically for voting. Today only a handful of them survive. One  Read the Rest…


Earth Day 2020: Love Letters to Earth

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 marked the birth of the modern environmental movement. In response to the movement, the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were all created and Congress authorized the Environmental Protection Agency. On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we continue to focus our concern on sustaining  Read the Rest…


Fishing for Conservation: Rules and Commonsense Tactics Protect Striped Bass

Here in Maryland’s section of the Chesapeake Bay, gamefish such as striped bass are under constant pressure both from fishing and large fluctuations in environmental conditions like high temperatures and low oxygen. Striped bass, known colloquially as rockfish, are Maryland’s state fish. Pursuing this fish for sport is a time-honored tradition, as is protecting them,  Read the Rest…



Estuaries by the Sea: Maryland Coastal Bays Program Builds on Partnerships

Dedicated to protecting the five coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague Island, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) conducts research, restoration, monitoring, and education and outreach opportunities thanks to powerful partnerships. Maryland’s coastal bays make up one of the richest, most diverse estuaries on the eastern seaboard. For more than a century, agriculture, forestry,  Read the Rest…


Tools of the Trade: Electrofishing

It’s electric! Electrofishing is a technique used by fish biologists to collect fish in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes. This tool uses an electric field, emitted from a pulser, to temporarily stun fish. The fish can then be collected via dip net for identification. Data collected from electrofishing can be used to determine abundance, density,  Read the Rest…


Outside Perspective

As we conclude the 50th anniversary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, we head into commemorating more important milestones. This April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Throughout this edition of The Natural Resource, we highlight the important work our staff, volunteers, and partners are doing on behalf of our mission to  Read the Rest…


The Nature of Change

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; a time to renew our commitment to the responsible stewardship of our environment. Maryland is fortunate to be home to countless natural assets, and our administration has made it a top priority to protect them.


Flow of Information: Surveying the Health of Maryland Streams

Maryland has more than 10,000 miles of freshwater streams—an extensive system of waterways flowing downstream where (depending on their geography) they ultimately contribute freshwater to the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Coastal Bays, the Ohio River, or the Delaware River. The condition of these streams is vitally important to downstream waters. But these streams also possess  Read the Rest…




Investing in Resilience: Trust Fund Shores Up a Successful Decade

For decades, environmental advocates have been working to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Recognizing the detrimental impact of impervious surface and forest loss on the watershed, this group of passionate scientists, engineers, fishermen, and others pulled together shoestring budgets and devoted hours to lay the groundwork for a restoration economy in  Read the Rest…



Restoration Update: Status Report on the Chesapeake’s Essential Bivalve

The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement committed Maryland and Virginia to restore native oyster habitat and populations in 10 bay tributaries by 2025—five in each state. The five Maryland tributaries containing these sanctuaries are: • Harris Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River, Talbot County • Little Choptank River, Dorchester County • Tred Avon River,  Read the Rest…



Planting for Success: Forest Service Helps Marylanders Get Trees in the Ground

Ah, springtime. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and foresters across Maryland are planting trees! Whether it’s through the Maryland Forest Service’s seedling giveaway program Backyard Buffers, or getting students and schools planting through Tree-Mendous, the Forest Service’s mission of getting trees in the ground never stops. With at least 72% of forests  Read the Rest…



Save the Bay: Eat Invasive!

Maryland’s infamous invasive fishes — blue catfish, northern snakehead, and flathead catfish — were introduced to bay waters without Maryland Department of Natural Resources authorization. These species now pose an array of potential problems for the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Even with increased fishing pressure, controlling the abundance of invasives after  Read the Rest…


The Nature of Change

Maryland is abundant with natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources that contribute significantly to our economy and quality of life. I have long held that conservation and economic growth need not be at odds with one another, and we are making great strides to that end.



Outside Perspective

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, a time to enjoy the cooler weather and changing leaves. One thing never changes, though —  the stewardship that Maryland citizens show in support of our natural resources. In this edition of our magazine, we feature the work of our 2019 Natural Resources Photo Contest winners, which captures  Read the Rest…


Ask an Expert: Moon Names

I’ve heard full moons referred to as Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon, and others – where do these names come from and what do they signify? Jack in Frostburg Nicknames for full moons have an ancient history, and it is closely tied to the cycle of natural resources. In North America, native tribes and later early  Read the Rest…


Recipe: Venison Steaks with Chimichurri

Herby and colorful, chimichurri is a traditional Argentinian sauce. It’s great on venison but can also nicely complement grilled fish, chicken, and beef. Alternatively, use this chimichurri as a marinade and let the venison marinate for a few hours or overnight.








Timeline: Our Story Begins

The units that make up today’s Department of Natural Resources mostly date back farther than 1969, many having gone through numerous names and structural changes before and even after becoming part of the department. The earliest version of what is now a Department of Natural Resources function is the Maryland Geological Survey, which originated with  Read the Rest…



From the Field: Biologist Brooke Landry

Brooke Landry’s passion for biology started early. “I was a little science geek,” she laughs. Her interest in underwater grasses really picked up as she snorkeled around coral reefs and beds of seagrass on a middle school class trip to Belize. A few undergrad summers spent studying salt marshes on Maryland’s Eastern Shore immersed her  Read the Rest…


Outside Perspective

Fifty years ago, Governor Marvin Mandel replaced the former Board of Natural Resources with the cabinet-level Department of Natural Resources and our operations began. As we celebrate this milestone, DNR is proud of the fact that our work is making a difference in every county and community across Maryland.



The Nature of Change

Maryland has changed quite a bit in the past 50 years, but one thing has remained the same: the dedication and hard work of the employees of the Department of Natural Resources. Since its official founding on July 1, 1969, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has conserved, protected and restored the critical areas of  Read the Rest…


Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas: Now Available!

Calling all reptile and amphibian enthusiasts! The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas is now available through Johns Hopkins University Press. This collaborative atlas is a result of over 1,000 community scientist volunteers and biologists working together to document distributions of reptiles and amphibians across Maryland. The guide contains over 85 natural history accounts of reptiles  Read the Rest…








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