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June 18, 2014 Update
Northern Calvert County Beaches Reopened

The Calvert County Health Department has lifted restrictions at the northern Calvert County beaches recently closed due to a release of untreated waste from the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant June 12. Samples from all of the north county beaches now show safe conditions for swimming and other water activities.

The Health Department will continue to perform weekly water quality testing from North Beach to Brownies Beach/Bayfront Park between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The department also conducts routine testing at all public bathing beaches in Calvert County.

June 16, 2014 Update:

Announcement from Calvert County Health Department

Test results from the state lab last night (June 15, 2014) showed elevated bacterial levels along the 4 closed beaches in Northern Calvert. These bacteria can be dangerous to human health.

The Health Dept will continue to test water samples this week. We will notify you when the results show the water is safe for contact.

If you go fishing in an area close to Chesapeake Beach, including nearby tidal creeks, do not eat any raw seafood.

Remember that if a fish has bacteria on its skin, it can contaminate whatever it comes in contact with (kitchen countertops, sinks, etc.) until it is fully cooked.

Make sure you wash very well with soap and water if you handle anything that is in contact with the waters (including tidal creeks) in the area until we have clear lab results.

June 13, 2014

Due to a release of untreated waste from the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant late Thursday night (June 12), the waters of the following beaches are closed to wading and swimming until further notice:

• North Beach
• Windward Keys Beach
• Chesapeake Station Beach
• Bay Front Park/Brownies Beach

It is possible that contact or accidental swallowing of bay or tidal water in the area could lead to serious illness. Children are particularly susceptible to bacterial illness that can result from untreated sewage.

The Health Department wants to emphasize that well water for nearby residents is safe to drink and use for bathing. The discharge from the treatment plant does not contact the aquifer that supplies wells in Calvert County. The Health Department will continue to monitor the safety of the surrounding waters and notify the residents of Calvert of any changes.

The Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant operates under authority of the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE). MDE has been working with the Treatment Plant to upgrade the facility and prevent future untreated discharge. Any questions about the operation of the Plant should be directed to the Plant or to the Maryland Department of Environment.


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West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is June 7-8, 2014

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. West Virginia's Free Fishing Days are June 7 and 8, 2014.

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. West Virginia’s Free Fishing Days are June 7 and 8, 2014.

National Fishing and Boating Week 2014 will be highlighted by the 24th annual Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). During these two days, residents and nonresidents can fish in West Virginia without a license.

“It is a great opportunity to remind people of the fun of fishing, especially with family and friends. If you already have a license, take someone fishing — it may be your children, spouse or co-worker – and introduce them to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment,” Jezioro said.

DNR participates in a number of activities during National Fishing and Boating Week and Free Fishing Weekend. One of the largest and most successful events is the Bowden Fishing Derby that will be held June 7 at the Bowden Hatchery in Randolph County. Children must register for the event, and they will receive basic fishing instruction and will have the opportunity to enjoy time fishing with friends and family. Registration information for the Bowden Derby can be found at

National Fishing and Boating Week began as a promotional activity sponsored by the sportfishing industry, encouraging fishing around Father’s Day. The recreational boating industry partnered with its sportfishing counterparts to develop a fishing and boating educational campaign.

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Dig Archeology? Help Excavate Valley Forge, PA

Volunteers screening for artifacts during the 2013 excavation at Muhlenberg’s Brigade, site of the 1st Virginia Brigade

Make the Summer 2014 Public Archeology Program, 3rd Virginia Brigade Excavation a family project. Valley Forge National Historic Park invites budding Indiana Jones wannabes to participate in an archeological excavation, Monday through Friday from June 9 – July 18, 2014. Volunteers will have the opportunity to screen for artifacts from the soil excavated at the Woodford’s Brigade site.

During the winter encampment of 1777‐1778, the 3rd Virginia Brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. William Woodford camped on the southern slopes of Mt. Joy. At the height of the encampment it is estimated that there were over 650 men in nearly 40 huts. To date no archeological research has been performed in this area. The purpose of this project is to define the spatial limits of the Woodford’s brigade and to systematically sample the remains of the site. These data will then be compared to existing archeological knowledge of other encampment‐era sites located within Valley Forge NHP for the purpose of providing a deeper understanding of day to day life during the encampment. In July and August 2013, archeologists conducted a geophysical survey and a number of possible archeological features were identified during the survey. The excavations this summer will examine the geophysical anomalies to see if any of them are encampment‐era features.

No experience is necessary for screening. Youth from ages 8-12 can participate with a parent present; 13-17 with parental permission. All volunteers must register in advance. For more information about volunteer qualifications, safety information, and to sign up as a volunteer, visit


Enjoy the Really Big Toys at Diggerland USA in NJ

Image Courtesy of Diggerland, USA

Image Courtesy of Diggerland, USA

When I graduated from college, I went to work as a project engineer for an oil company. Over the years, I have driven ditching machines, backhoes and front loaders. Fast forward a few years (cough, cough) and I’m now in a profession where I no longer get to play with the really big toys.

Diggerland, USA which opens on Saturday, June 14, 2014, gives all frustrated engineers, Tonka Truck fans, and toy enthusiasts the opportunity to drive, ride, and operate heavy machinery in a safe family-friendly environment. Four Diggerland Adventure parks currently exist in the United Kingdom.

Diggerland incorporates the hands on operation of machinery for the entire family. Children and parents alike have the opportunity to drive skid-steer loaders, backhoes, tractors, mini dumpers, and small excavators. All the equipment has either been modified for use on a course or made stationary by design for operation in designated excavation areas. An amusement engineering marvel and staple attraction for the park, Spin Dizzy, booms the arm of a 20 ton JCB JS220L excavator up and down while spinning in circles with 8 passengers harnessed into the seats of a modified bucket attachment. In The Backhoe Adventure, 4 riders and a ride marshal climb aboard the cab of a modified JCB 3CX backhoe for a mystery tour while taking turns behind the wheel of the machine.

Image Courtesy of Diggerland, USA

Image Courtesy of Diggerland, USA

Other attractions include rock climbing, multiple train rides, a ropes course, an arcade, and a swamp buggy attraction. Smaller guests will enjoy the playground equipment in the Kid Zone, or may opt to take a ride up on the Sky Shuttle, a JCB 540 Telehandler capable of moving 15 guests at a time 5 stories into the sky.

Diggerland USA is located off Cooper Road via Route 73 in West Berlin, NJ, about 20 minutes from Philadelphia or one-hour from New York. The facility is positioned directly behind Sahara Sam’s Oasis.

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“Fish for Free Day” in PA on Memorial Day & July 4

Image Courtesy of PA DCNR

Image Courtesy of PA DCNR

Interested in becoming an angler but don’t have a license or gear? Two days out of the year, Memorial Day and July 4th (Independence Day), anyone can fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers free loaner equipment at the office. Fishing rods and tackle are available to sign out for the day with a valid driver’s license.

Nestled in Michaux State Forest, Pine Grove Furnace State Park’s 696 acres offer wildlife and nature enthusiasts a variety of activities. Explore the self-guided historical trail, which investigates the old structures of the Pine Grove Iron Furnace, or hike to the quartzite outcrop at the Pole Steeple Overlook. Take a stroll along the notable midway point of the Appalachian Trail, and visit the Appalachian Trail Museum – the first museum in the country to be dedicated to hiking. Cool off at the lakeside beaches at Laurel Lake (25 acres) and Fuller Lake (1.7) and wander along the easy trail, Mountain Creek Trail that connects them. There is so much to do you’ll want to make it a weekend or a week and stay overnight. The park day use areas are free and open to the public, dawn to dusk all year.

Dates: May 26, 2014 & July 4, 2014
Location: Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Address: 1100 Pine Grove Road, Gardners, PA 17324
Admission: FREE
Phone: 717-486-7174

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Up All Night in DE

Is anyone else out there up and stargazing? I live in suburban northern Delaware, and have been amazed by how much of the meteor shower I have been able to see. I should have been smarter and tried to find out the direction in which they’d move across the sky, but that would have made too much sense. Even without preparation, I’ve decided to assume that six of the 11 objects I observed were meteorites, since they all moved in the same direction. Another four were probably meteorites, they winked out before they moved much. One outlier moved contraflow, so I’m not going to speculate about what that was. I was able to observe all of them with the naked eye, which I thought was amazing. Delaware may mot be very big, but we’re located in the bright light zone which runs from Boston to DC.

As seen from orbit, the nighttime view of the Northeast U.S. reveals a vast wasteland of light pollution stretching from Baltimore and Washington (lower left) to Boston (upper right).NOAA / US Air Force - See more at:

As seen from orbit, the nighttime view of the Northeast U.S. reveals a vast wasteland of light pollution stretching from Baltimore and Washington (lower left) to Boston (upper right).NOAA / US Air Force – See more at:

If you’re up, get out and watch the lights fall; you’re missing quite a show! If you’re not seeing anything, here is a clear video. Nice to know I saw the real thing!

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Meteor Shower Boat Ride Near York, PA

Image Courtesy of York, PA

Image Courtesy of York County, PA

With all the light pollution in the Mid Atlantic Region, it’s tough for stargazers to find a prime viewing spot for astrologic events. Fortunately, folks can head to William Kain Park in the Lake Redman Activity Area for a special boat ride. This may be your chance to witness the best meteor shower in your lifetime.

On Saturday, May 24, 2014, the Earth will encounter debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR which is predicted to produce up to 200 meteors per hour. The peak will occur around 3:00 a.m. View the show from Lake Redman. You may use a County-owned rowboat, pedal boat, canoe, kayak or your private boat.

Rentals are available, but make reservations in advance. You need to bring your own flashlight for each boat. Floatation devices and rowing implements are furnished. Fees are $30/couple if using a County-owned boat or $20/couple for a private boat. Please register at (717) 840-7440.

From: Saturday 24 May 2014 at 01:30am
To: Saturday 24 May 2014 at 04:30am
Location : William Kain Park, Lake Redman Activity Area