News

What's New on the Chesapeake Bay

By
Alexa
Zizzi

BAY HEALTH UPDATES & PROGRESS

Chesapeake oyster lovers have a reason to cheer this summer as the region’s oyster population reached its highest level in 35 years. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) recently chose 10 sites for large-scale oyster reef restoration in Maryland and Virginia, aiming to improve tributaries by 2025.

Even though the male blue crab population was down last year, causing prices to go up, the female crab population increased. According to the 2021 Bay Barometer, “Between 2020 and 2021, the abundance of adult female blue crabs in the Bay increased from 141 million to 158 million,” reports CBF. This jump gives a boost to the Bay’s wildlife habitats.

To celebrate the success of reef restoration initiatives and the return of a healthy wildlife population, CBF will host the Maryland Rod & Reef Slam in October. This unique fishing tournament awards the biggest catch like traditional tournaments, but also focuses on finding as many species as you can. Prizes go to anglers with the most different species first, then for how long the fish measure.

A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD FOR THE BAY

To have a healthy aquaculture requires maintaining a pollution-free ecosystem. CBF pioneers marine cleanup partnerships between state and local governments and conservation groups and is crucial to implementing clean water coalitions.

This past winter, the Congress signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) containing a $238 million dollar-increase over five years for CBF. 

Funding was also granted through the EPA for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which will contribute to upgrading sewage treatment facilities to reduce the Bay’s polluted runoff. For more info or to get involved, visit cbf.org

MARITIME MUSEUM HOSTS SUMMER HAPPENINGS

Cruise to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) this season to experience fun in historic St. Michaels, MD. Events include an Independence Day celebration of fireworks and entertainment with Big Band Night in July and Watermen’s Appreciation Day on August 14 featuring live music and a “watermen’s rodeo” you don’t want to miss.

CBMM’S WORKSHOPS & EVENTS

  • “Apprentice for a Day” shipyard programs
  • Mixed-level yoga classes 
  • Artist workshops
  • Boater safety courses
  • Kayak paddle programs
  • Log canoe cruises
  • Community ecology cruises

LIVING CLASSROOMS HOSTS 34TH ANNUAL MARITIME MAGIC

This nonprofit offers interactive educational classes — or as they call it “learning by doing” — to local students of diverse backgrounds and economic means. With two locations serving both the Baltimore and Washington, DC, areas, the organization hosts seasonal maritime youth programs that benefit communities.

On September 30, Living Classrooms in Baltimore will celebrate its 34th Maritime Magic event with food, drinks, live music and seafaring history at the Frederick
Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. Located directly between Harbor East and Fells Point, this site is the former location of the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Company, the first African American-owned shipyard in the country.  

Related Articles
Underwater Museum Of Art Installation
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Quantum Reef by Chris Chubb

Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and South Walton Artificial Reef Association reveal seven designs selected for fifth Underwater Museum of Art Installation.

SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL (January 30, 2023) – The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are proud to reveal the seven new sculpture designs, chosen by jury for permanent exhibition in the fifth installation of the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA).

The 2023 installation will include the following pieces of sculpture: Quantum Reef by Chris Chubb (Tallahassee, FL), Space Nest by Frank Henderson (Evanston, IL),  Welcome Home by Zachery Long (Oklahoma City, OK), Madam Nature by Andrew Luy (Huntsville, AL), Cetacean Remains by Pat Mclain (Stone Mountain, GA), One Tree by Ann Moeller Steverson (Huntsville, AL) Opus by Allison Wickey (Santa Rosa Beach, FL).

Named in 2018 by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is presented as part of CAA’s Art In Public Spaces Program and augments SWARA’s mission of creating marine habitat and expanding fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in Walton County.

UMA sculptures are deployed with SWARA’s existing USACOA and FDEP permitted artificial reef projects that includes nine nearshore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore in approximately 58 feet of water. The 2023 installation will join the 34 sculptures previously deployed on a one-acre permit patch of seabed off Grayton Beach State Park, further expanding the nation’s first permanent underwater museum.

Deployment of the 2023 UMA installation is slated for Summer. Visit UMAFL.org for more information on timeline and events surrounding UMA’s launch. Project and sculpture sponsorships are available. Please contact Gabby Callaway at gabby@culturalartsalliance.com for sponsorship details.

2023 UMA Sculpture and Artist Details

QUANTUM REEF by Tallahassee, Florida architect Chris Chubb occupies 100 square feet of the 617,500 square MILE Gulf of Mexico. Relatively, this is similar to the infinitesimal size of a single atom compared to a dinner plate. The Quantum Reef invites the viewer to leave the human scale and enter the sub-atomic scale. Analogous to a dynamic atom, Quantum Reef is animated by schools of fish darting through the aluminum ‘shell’ and swirling about the limestone ‘nucleus’. The sculpture is intended to provide needed marine habitat, inspire multidisciplinary work and promote educational initiatives in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Space Nest by Frank Henderson

SPACE NEST designer Frank Henderson is based in Evanston, IL. The sculpture is inspired by the beautiful homes of Diatoms, which often use circle packing to generate an ornate organic geometry from silicate. The nest is created by circle-packing various sizes of circles into a dome shape. The resulting form is incredibly strong and resilient while using minimal materials to create maximum size and usable negative space. The title “Space Nest” refers to two things - the modern myth that diatoms are in-fact aliens using their silicate space ships to venture to new lands in the process of panspermia, and the sense of space and openness that this geometric form gives to the nest itself. Its use of negative space adds to a sense of mystery and opportunity that the replicated silicate form provides. Marine life can swim through and around it as part of the artificial reef, to build and grow their own homes in. It serves as a cage of protection from predatory marine life, while offering areas to move through and explore for other marine life and divers visiting the UMA.

WELCOME HOME by Illinois-based artist Zachery Long is a gesture we are all familiar with and can relate to. The sculpture has a two-fold meaning. Creating these three UMA letters is a thank you to the people making this new habitat a reality. “The Underwater Museum of Art is more important than we all know,” said Long. “It is a positive movement in the right direction leading by example to create net positives for our oceans.” Secondly, Welcome Home is a much needed greeting sign for fish looking to rehome from their previously barren sand flats. Nothing says home like giant barrel sponges, corals, and a welcoming UMA sculpture. Each concrete letter will be evenly spaced to provide passageways for water current and sea life. The concrete barrel sponges are various sizes to provide different types of shelter and living spaces to the differing species.

MADAM NATURE artist Andrew Luy has maintained multiple saltwater aquariums, bred seahorses and propagated corals through fragmentation, and has grown phytoplankton, among other ocean life maintenance. With this project he not only wants to create an aesthetically pleasing sculpture, but he also looks to create a sustainable habitat for sea life and corals. The top half will have crevices and holes similar to brain coral skeletons to allow for naturally occurring coral population and for coral plugs to be inserted to allow for any future propagation endeavors. The inner core of the globe will have a network of tunnels & holes, made of limestone and concrete to encourage invertebrates, fish, and other sea life to shelter. He designed the woman’s hair as an homage to the weedy sea dragon along with open areas to provide protective zones and to house long tip and other indigenous anemones to simulate flowing hair.

One Tree by Anne Moeller Steverson

Atlanta-based artist Pat Mclain’s hope for the CETACEAN REMAINS sculpture is for it to be an extremely interactive experience for the diver giving them the ability to swim through the piece like a tunnel. When he first heard of the museum his mind thought of something that would naturally be found on the ocean floor. Something that seemed prehistoric but was supposed to be there. Doing a simple segment of the body like the rib cage is a great stand alone piece but could also grow with additions to the skeleton frame over time.

ONE TREE is an  8' tall by 9' wide by 9' deep concrete sculpture depicting two trees grown together over time with their roots entwined from artist Ann Moeller Steverson. The fantastical branches of the trees feature four seasons, from blossoms to fruit, falling leaves, and the adornment of icicles. From the right angle, viewers would see the suggestion of a heart shape between the trunk and branches. The roots, in the style of a banyan tree, would have deep grooves that provide a perfect breeding ground/habitat for fish, algae, coral, and other marine life. The canopy of the trees would also provide an additional surface area, attraction, and shelter. The design of "One Tree" is an evolution of a painted commission that captured the hearts and imaginations of romantics worldwide and extends its story to the underwater world of Grayton Beach State Park. The painting was a gift from a husband to his wife, inspired by this expert from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

"Love is a temporary madness.
It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides, you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
....
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
And when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches
They find that they are one tree and not two.”

The piece offers a unique enchanting destination for couples who wish to have their underwater nuptials beside it or just meet up under its branches

OPUS by Allison Wickey

OPUS is the second sculpture to be installed at the UMA for Santa Rosa Beach, Florida-based artist Allison Wickey who is also a founding partner of the project. The octopus is the ultimate mystery, embodying all that the sea symbolizes in one creature. Not only are they intriguing, but they are also elegant and mesmerizing to watch. They are known to 'play' with other species, walk on two legs and befriend humans. Although they have been portrayed as scary or dangerous they are actually peacemakers in her opinion. They seem to have a silly sense of humor while also being highly intelligent and can change itself via color or shape to work its way out of bad situations. The combination of beauty, brilliance and resilience is an enviable trait and the octopus has it all. Allison thinks the octopus is a good symbol for the times, as we learn to work our way out of new and strange issues in current society while retaining a sense of humor.

About the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County

The mission of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, is to advance the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. The vision of the CAA is to make Walton County a creative place in which to live, work and visit. Membership information, grant and scholarship applications, and more can be found at CulturalArtsAlliance.com.

About South Walton Artificial Reef Association

The South Walton Artificial Reef Association is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to deploying and monitoring publicly permitted living reefs in Walton County's near shore coastal waters for the benefit, education, and enrichment of residents, visitors, and marine habitat for present and future generations. Learn more at SwaraReefs.org.

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Sailing Convention for Women Returns To Newport Beach April 1
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Learning how to rig a spinnaker is just one of many learning topics at the Sailing Convention for Women. (credit: Sailing Convention for Women)

West Coast’s premier sailing event for women now in 33rd year

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif., Dec. 6, 2022 – After a Covid hiatus the Sailing Convention for Women is back with full sails and expanded learning opportunities and slated for Saturday, April 1, 2023. Held at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona Del Mar, California, the event marks the 33rd year offering beginning-to-experienced women sailors a chance to learn and enjoy camaraderie and fun through an all-day series of on-the-water instruction and shore-based workshops.

“The Convention gives women an opportunity to meet other women sailors, discuss options for cruising, racing and recreational sailing, and find out about women’s sailing organizations in their area, as well as instructional programs available,” described by founder and producer, Gail Hine. “We have something meaningful for everyone,” one attendee claimed, “The energy level and networking opportunity at this convention is amazing!”

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). has sponsored the event for nearly three decades.

Some of the workshop topics include Suddenly Singlehanded, Steer with the Sails, Intro to AIS, Avoid Mistakes & Mayhem, Prepare for Passage Making, Basic Navigation, and the ever-useful, Docking. Three levels of on-the-water sailing instruction are also offered.

The day begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m., starting with a generous breakfast to fuel the sessions of morning instruction and workshops. A buffet lunch will launch sailors into an afternoon of continued learning opportunities, followed by a spirited happy hour. The evening is capped with dinner and guest speaker Marie Rogers, who in 2019, became the first black woman to serve as commodore at the historic Los Angeles Yacht Club, and likely one of the first to helm a major U.S. yacht club.

Rogers, who will share stories of inspiration and passion for sailing, is the 2021 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award honoree and an avid racer. She completed the 50th Transpac and races today along the West Coast aboard Marie, a Nelson Marek 55, with her husband, Bill. Closer to home she’s at the helm of her J-29, Rush Street.

Those interested in attending should mark their calendars for February 1 when convention registration opens at sailingconventionforwomen.com. A special early bird attendance for $250 will be available through February 28 and includes workshops, breakfast, lunch, dinner, souvenirs, raffle prize tickets and session handouts. Registration fees increase $20 each month through April 1. Prepaid registrations are required and for the best selection of classes women are urged to register early.

For more information on the convention, contact Gail Hine (gail@sailingconventionforwomen.com).

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Marinalife and SpeedyDock Partner to Enhance Boater and Marina Communication
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Marinalife, a company that delivers tools and resources to fully allow the boating community to embrace life on the water, has partnered with SpeedyDock.

With digital communication taking the lead, the new generation of boaters are looking for the same convenient ways to communicate with marinas. SpeedyDock, developed in 2016, is software for dry-stack marinas and boat clubs that helps simplify marina operations. The mobile app allows boaters to request scheduled launches and request fuel, drinks, ship store items, and other services offered at their marina. 

SpeedyDock keeps track of the requested actions and makes the information available in real-time. Marina employees can work with customers and also keep other employees up to date on request statuses. SpeedyDock’s software is now integrated with Marinalife Manager, allowing their marinas to engage with their customers even more efficiently. 

Marinalife Manager is the latest product of Marinalife, Inc., and enables marina managers and owners to streamline their operations. With marina management software, marinas can seamlessly connect with their boaters, manage internal operations, get real-time analytics, and more. 

“Having SpeedyDock partner with Marinalife helps achieve our goal of connecting and empowering boaters and marinas,” says Jen Leroux, CEO Marinalife. “Reservations through SpeedyDock are now not just convenient for the boater, but also for marinas using Marinalife Manager.” 

Marinalife Managers’s integration with SpeedyDock keeps customers, boats, inventory, and more, in sync. Customer Accounts and inventory are reflected in both SpeedyDock and Marinalife Manager’s system, keeping the marina staff up-to-date. 

"When I created SpeedyDock, I was mindful of the boater's experience. I also saw an opportunity for marinas to simplify their customer relationship management," says Travis Wolfe, Founder of SpeedyDock.

To learn more about SpeedyDock visit speedydock.com.

To learn more about Marinalife Manager visit marinalife.com/manager or email getintouch@marinalife.com

About Marinalife:  Founded by lifelong boaters, Marinalife delivers tools and resources that encourage the boating community to embrace life on the water. Marinalife joined with Snag-A-Slip in 2017 to create tech-enabled solutions that allow boaters and marinas to connect and transact easily. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, our crew is passionate about boating and delivering exceptional service to our customers. 

About SpeedyDock: Founded in 2016, SpeedyDock provides a cutting-edge software solution for drystack marina launch scheduling and boat club reservation scheduling. Our team in Ruskin, FL is committed to delivering exceptional service to boaters and marinas.

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