March 2, 2010
Environmental groups filed suit in federal court Tuesday accusing an Eastern Shore chicken farm and poultry giant Perdue Farms with polluting waters that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The Assateague Coastkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance contend that harmful levels of bacteria and nutrient pollution are flowing from a drainage ditch on the farm into a branch of the Pocomoke River, a bay tributary. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, comes two months after the environmental groups formally warned Hudson Farms in Berlin and Perdue that it would sue them for water pollution violations after spotting an uncovered pile of what the groups said appeared to be chicken manure draining into the ditch.
August 16, 2009
Take away the boardwalk fries, the crowded streets, the saltwater taffy, the "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts, and what do you have? Pocomoke River State Park. Granted, there are some other trade-offs involved in swapping Ocean City for the greater Pocomoke City metropolitan area. But if you didn't get around to planning the specifics of a late-summer camping vacation (that is, lodging) until now and would still like to fish and hike, with a day trip or two to mingle with the boardwalk hordes, then the state park 25 miles south of Ocean City could be the answer.
June 22, 2008
Adventure should be shared. What would Lewis be without Clark? Mason minus Dixon? Hillary sans Norgay? Even that adventure stud Indiana Jones didn't go solo, although Harrison Ford once played Han Solo. But I digress. So when it came time to compete in the Maryland Park Service's new Park Quest contest, I expected to be at the helm of Team Spartacus, with three trusty friends by my side. Wishful thinking. Commitments - prior, last-minute and fabricated - reduced the hearty team to me. With apologies to Kirk Douglas, I was Spartacus.
September 16, 2007
An unexpected result of this summer's drought was an explosion of toxic algae linked to at least 15 fish kills in the Chesapeake Bay since July, according to a University of Maryland scientist. The microscopic organism, called karlodinium, is a peculiar bean-shaped predator with two whip-like arms. It thrives in the salinity that results when there is little rainfall and more ocean water enters the bay, said Allen Place, a biochemist at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.
August 4, 2006
ON THE POCOMOKE RIVER -- Joseph Fehrer Jr. paddled through dirt-black water and past islands of gnarled roots to an ancient cypress tree. On one side of the colossus stretched 1,000 acres of farmland where a developer plans to build 2,170 homes, a grocery store, a movie theater and shops that would triple the population of Snow Hill. On the other side of the tree, across the Pocomoke River, sits a 9,300-acre nature preserve that Fehrer's father helped create to protect this rare and vanishing cypress swamp.
July 30, 2006
Driving across the flat farmlands of the Eastern Shore can seem boring, if not completely frustrating, on a busy summer day. Perhaps it is the price we feel we must pay to reach "more scenic" destinations such as Ocean City. But as the cornfields zoom by and the tires rumble over the hot highway asphalt, natural treasures are passed hardly noticed in the swamps and wetlands that hide beyond the trees and farms. The Pocomoke River, only a short diversion from the course to the sea, is such a treasure.