Dock of the Bay: April 26-May 2, 2018

Good News from the ­Bottom of the Bay
Grasses surpass 100,000 acres
      When you get back to the water this spring, expect to see things growing in it. Rooted grasses rise in columns from the bottom. Horizontally, long fronds swim in the current. Those Bay grasses are firsthand evidence of good news proclaimed this week.
       Underwater grasses rose to 104,843 acres. Last year was the first to top 100,000 acres since annual surveying began in 1984.
      The Virginia Institute of Marine Science did the survey between May and November last year, covering 189 flight lines.
      “2017 was quite an exciting year,” said aerial survey director Bob Orth.
      Part of the reason for excitement was grass in two areas where none had been seen since 1972. One is in front of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Laboratory in Solomons.
      All or part of nine Maryland rivers surpassed their restoration goals. Also in Southern Maryland, underwater grass abundance in the Lower Patuxent River increased 301 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 32 to 130 acres.
      Recovering grasses ranged from eelgrass in salty waters to widgeon grass in mid-salinities to wild celery in fresher waters.
      Maryland’s annual Baywide survey showed 62,356 acres in the state’s tidal waters, a five percent increase from 2016. This is the fifth straight year of expansion for Maryland’s underwater grasses, which surpassed the 2017 restoration goal of 57,000 acres in 2015 and continues to rise.
      The total grassy acreage is 57 percent of the ultimate restoration goal adopted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
      “Recovery is fragile, and proposed rollbacks to federal environmental protection regulations threaten future progress,” noted Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Beth McGee. “Partners, especially EPA, must stay the course.” 
–Sandra Olivetti Martin
 
Wimsey Cove Joins Design District
Arts and events find another home
       With her new digs, Elizabeth Ramirez — owner of Wimsey Cove Framing & Art — is in love.
       “I don’t ever want to leave it, even when I have to go home at the end of the day,” she says.
        Ramirez’s new location at 209 Chinquapin Round Road in the Annapolis Design District tripled her space from 800 square feet in Edgewater to 2,200 and centered her in a growing and active art community. 
        Hoping to grow her own following of art enthusiasts, Ramirez — who is also president of the Annapolis Arts Alliance — is opening the store to regular events, including the Arts Alliance Aspirations series in conjunction with the fifth annual Petite Squares Show.
       This year’s show features floral motifs and, on the first and fourth Thursdays of May and the first Thursday in June, flower-related events with special guests. 
       First up, Thursday, May 3, is Chase Lloyd House gardener Kim Forry, who will talk about growing eco-friendly flowers.
       Art in Bloom, the fifth annual Petite Squares show, runs May 1 to June 16. Opening Reception May 6, 1-4pm, Wimsey Cove, 209 Chinquapin Round Rd., 410-956-7278; www.marylandframing.com; www.annapolis-arts-alliance.com.
–Kathy Knotts
 
If You Build It, They Will Come
Bluebird babies born to well-housed couple
       Just a month ago, you learned the who, where, when, whys and how of building a bluebird nesting box in Wayne Bierbaum’s March 22 Creature Feature.
      Bierbaum, nature photographer and physician, followed his own instructions, building a well ventilated box, protected against predators top and bottom, away from the woods’ edge. A bluebird couple accepted his offering. Now they’ve successfully hatched out four little ones.
       In Bierbaum’s photo, you can see their fuzzy heads, huge beaks and still-sightless eyes, as the babies huddle in their neatly woven nest of twigs.
        For the 21 days of their nestling lives, both parents will keep the hungry babies well fed. Then they’ll fly the nest to be guided by their father in the ways of the world. Soon after, mother bluebird will lay another clutch of eggs to raise on her own, as dad is busy with the first bunch.
–Sandra Olivetti Martin
 
 
 
 
 
Vintage Tunes
From antiques to community gathering place
      Antique shop A Vintage Deale opened its doors April 20 not for sales but for community, with live music, good food and even better company. 
       At the shop’s first evening of music and mixing, Bob Israel and Eddie Czerwinski played guitar, benefitting Deale’s Parker Creek Coalition through CD sales. “It’s a small community organization that benefits everyone living on Parker Creek,” says Israel. The First Annual Parker Creek Clean Up Day April 14 yielded more than 31 bags of trash. 
       Another wine, cheese and music night is planned for the summer solstice. 
–Shelby Conrad
 
Sailors Beware
Overhead power lines can be a lethal hazard
       For sailors in inland waterways, danger can stretch overhead.
       Many sailboats have masts of 30 feet or more, and most of these masts are made of aluminum. When aluminum masts or rigging come into contact with electric power lines, a lethal hazard is created.
       Exercise some simple measures to avoid dangers.
       When you are stepping your mast, be sure to do so in an area totally clear of power lines. Be absolutely certain that the path you take to the launching ramp will not allow your mast to come into contact with overhead lines. The National Electrical Safety Code requires that power lines maintain a certain clearance over water or posted launching areas suitable for sailboats. This doesn’t guarantee that your mast will not come into contact with the lines. Take the responsibility yourself to see that your mast and rigging stay at least 10 feet away from all power lines. 
      When determining overhead clearances, make sure to take the tide into consideration. Overhead clearances that are adequate for your boat at low tide may not be adequate for your boat at high tide.
       Once out in the water, you should still look for overhead lines because power lines do cross over waterways. You will need to make sure that your boat has proper clearance from any overhead lines; your mast must never make contact with power lines.
      When fishing, make sure to check for overhead power lines before casting your line.
      Should your boat come in contact with a power line, don’t jump into the water. The electrical charge may pass through your boat and electrify the surrounding water. If your boat does touch power lines, the U.S. Coast Guard advises you to stay in the boat and avoid touching anything metal. Leave the boat only after it has moved away from the line.
       When you’re removing your boat from the water, be sure to inspect the area for possible power lines that may come into contact with the mast as you step it and store it for travel.
–SMECO
 
Reach into the Future
Nominate yourself as an AACo citizen planner
       Right now, you’ve got a better chance at shaping the future than you do at winning the lottery. If you live in Anne Arundel County, that is, and if you’re interested enough to spend two to four hours per month in meetings for 14 months.
      From July until September 2019, seven citizens will join county planners in writing the County’s General Development Plan to guide land use decisions, capitalize on assets and conserve critical resources for the next two decades.
      These seven will be slightly more than half of the 13-member General Development Plan Citizen Advisory Committee advising Office of Planning & Zoning pros on the developing plan. As well as citizens from each County Council district, the Commission will consist of a chair, vice-chair and representatives from the environment, education, building and planning sectors.
      To count yourself among their number, apply before May 15. Diversity of background, profession, gender, geography and ethnicity is sought. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be too opinionated — you’ll need to collaborate with people of diverse perspectives and experiences — or a member of another county board or commission.
     Find the application form at www.aacounty.org/Plan2040.
–Sandra Olivetti Martin
 
Celebrating a Half-Century
Quarterly raffles to feed the hungry, reward customers of Medart Gallery
       Medart Gallery and Framing, the family business founded by William and Annamaria Radosevic, is celebrating 50 years of art by giving back to the community where they’ve found support. 
      To celebrate their success, the Calvert County multipurpose arts hub is holding a year of quarterly raffles to encourage food bank donations. The first quarterly collection yielded more than 150 pounds of food for the Ladies of Charity Food Pantry in North Beach. 
       “The Medart Family has been pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm our customers and community have shown,” says Teresa Schrodel, who with her brother Frank Radosevic now oversee the day-to-day operations of the business their parents started. “The St. Anthony’s Ladies of Charity Food Pantry is always happy to accept another delivery.”
       Everyone who donates is entered in a raffle for a $500 Medart Gallery gift certificate and a Penny James sterling silver pendant. Drawings will be held June 30, September 30 and December 31.
      “Folks have until the end of June to enter the second drawing,” Schrodel said. “And everyone can enter each quarter.” 
–Shelby Conrad
 
Way Downstream
      In the Arctic, NASA scientists spotted something strange from the air near Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta: peculiar circular holes in the ice.
      The three holes (you can see them at www.livescience.com), surrounded by tear-dropped ridges of piled ice, evoked memories of crop circles that appeared mysteriously in farmers’ fields a few years back. 
      “We saw these sorta circular features only for a few minutes today,” NASA’s John Sonntag wrote in his research notes. “I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere.”
      Echoed colleague Nathan Kurtz: “I have never seen anything like that before.”
      What could it be?
      Warm water might be arriving via currents or from the shore. Chris Shuman, a University of Maryland at Baltimore County glaciologist posted at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said it might be warm springs flowing from nearby mountains.
     Another theory is that creatures are causing them: perhaps seals gnawing upward to create breathing holes. Their splashing when surfacing might creates those weird ridges.
       But truth is, Arctic veterans — who may or may not have entered the Twilight Zone — don’t know.