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Assateague Coastal Trust, a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance movement, hosts the Assateague COASTKEEPER, working to assure our communities have access to swimmable, fishable and drinkable water. For over 50 years ACT has been working arm in arm with diverse community partners to protect and defend the health of Delmarva’s coastal waters through advocacy, education, science and the enforcement of just and equitable clean water laws.
Come out to Burley Oak Brewery, on Old Ocean City Blvd in Berlin, MD April 11th from 6 – 9 as we celebrate 50 years of the Clean Water Act. You can’t make good beer without Clean Water! Support ACT and our clean water programs like Swim Guide with guest bartenders, live music from OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS, raffles, auction items, and spectacular local Burley Oak beer!

Meet ACT's Newest Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Assateague Coastal Trust is pleased to announce our new Executive Director, Brenda Davis, will join the ACT team as of April 11.  

Brenda has a passion for the environment and helping the public better understand environmental issues. Most of her career has been working with blue crab population dynamics and fisheries management in the Maryland portion of both the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays, including 10 years as Blue Crab Program Manager at the Department of Natural Resources. 

“I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a great team and to help ACT make a difference in our coastal communities,” Brenda explained.  “This area has been a special place for me since I was a kid, I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Brenda resides in Wye Mills and Ocean City with her husband and is a sucker for lovable mutts.

Assateague COASTKEEPER Gabby Ross, is an on-the-water advocate who patrols and protects the Maryland and Northern Virginia Eastern Shore coastal bays, standing up to polluters, and granting everyone’s right to clean water. Working arm in arm with diverse community partners, our Coastkeeper protects and defends the health of Delmarva’s coastal waters through advocacy, education, science, and the enforcement of just and equitable clean water laws.
Follow her on Facebook HERE.

From the Coastkeeper's Desk:

From the looks around town, growth in our coastal community isn’t slowing down any time soon. Homes are in short supply regarding the real estate market- which means building new is on the rise. As we launch our crab pots, prepare our gardens, and mow our grass in preparation for summer, we might find that more of our summertime visitors may decide to stay for good. This growth should be reflected in the county’s comprehensive plan as well as the importance of maintaining the rural, agricultural and coastal landscapes that make this county beautiful. Keeping up with all of the development, zoning changes, special exceptions, and upcoming elections is quite the undertaking for one Assateague Coastkeeper! 

We're looking for individuals who will volunteer to join out team and help the Coastkeeper stay apprised of new construction permit applications; agenda items on upcoming Planning Committee and Board of Zoning Appeals meetings in Worcester County; special hearings; and any other topics that impact our communities and our environment.  If this interests you please send Gabby Ross an email directly at

Legislative Update

Maryland General Assembly, thank you for passing Senate Bill 492/House Bill 649, critical legislation supported by a broad coalition of environmental organizations to stop pollution of Maryland’s rivers and streams. All Marylanders deserve clean water!

With more than 100 facilities on the Eastern Shore in non-compliance of their water discharge permits, this bill now requires additional inspections for facilities in significant non-compliance or facilities with administratively-extended permits known as "zombie permits"; requires mandatory penalties; and staffing up of MD Dept. of Environment in order to adequately inspect and enforce, as well as clear the permit backlog.  ACT and our Assateague Coastkeeper are proud this collaboration with other like-minded environmental organizations helped pass this legislation in 2022!

ACT’s Billy Weiland with Stroud Water Research Center sampling on the Choptank River in March. left to right: Jinjun (Stroud Water Research Center), Billy Weiland (Assateague Coastal Trust), Scott (Stroud Water Research Center).

Live Data From The Pocomoke River!

Have you had a chance to check out the live data platform at Browse sites on the interactive map and you’ll find the data stations on the Pocomoke and Choptank Rivers that Assateague Coastal Trust and Shore Rivers helped to deploy! The stations are being used for a National Science Foundation funded study being carried out by Stroud Water Research Center. Stroud’s study is analyzing the microbial signatures on sediment to better understand sediment transport processes within river and estuary systems. 

If you would like to learn more about the project or the data stations, contact Billy Weiland at

ACT's 23rd Annual Native Plant Sale

Our highly anticipated event of the year, the 23rd Annual Native Plant Sale will be held at the new ACT office location at 10959 Worcester Hwy, Berlin on Saturday, May 7th from 8 am – 1 pm. 

Our backyard gardens are more than just hobby plots. Carefully planned and cared for, they are critical to the survival of pollinators species, which in turn are critical to the entire ecosystem! Creating a new a garden or adding to an existing garden can also lend to buffer areas, a particularly important concept in our watershed as buffers can reduce land surface runoff and filter pollutants before they enter our waterways. 

ACT's Native Plant Sale Store has a wide selection of native sun and shade plants. New for this year, we’re offering a few native grasses and sedges for those looking to accent their property. Plenty of herbs and veggies grown by local organic farmer Dave Wiley of Herbs, Spice, and Everything Nice are also available. 

To view the full inventory, visit the online store at

Online orders are strongly encouraged to ensure you get everything you need for this year’s spring gardens! 

Not sure what to put in the ground this year, need some gardening and ground prep tips? Email Billy Weiland at with questions and we’d be happy to help you get started. 

What: Assateague Coastal Trust’s 23rd Annual Native Plant Sale
When: Saturday, May 7th
Time: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Assateague Coastal Trust Office (10959 Worcester Hwy. Berlin, MD)

For more info:

Earth Day 2022! Visit Coast Kids at the Salisbury Zoo on Saturday, April 23 or Make Bee Houses with the COASTKEEPER at the Assateague State Park’s Spring Pollinator Festival

Earth Day is a day to celebrate environmental progress. The Salisbury Zoo will once again host an Earth Day family event Saturday, April 23rd from 10am – 4pm!  Activities include games, demonstrations, food, giveaways, and special exhibitors. 

Stop by the Coast Kids tent at the Zoo to learn all about pollinators. Visit the Coast Kids booth, print a pollinator on a T-shirt, or play a pollinator game.  

Also on Saturday, April 23 Assateague State Park’s Spring Pollinator Festival takes place at the State Park boat ramp (located on the north side of Rt 611 just before the Verrazano Bridge) 

It's a FREE EVENT with gardening booths, crafts, games, and displays. There will also be a Living Shoreline walking tour with the State Park staff!  Join Assateague COASTKEEPER Gabby Ross, and Billy Weiland ACT Watershed Specialist in building bee houses for your garden!

To learn more about the Assateague State Park Spring Pollinator Festival, contact Aimee Beardmore at

TOUR II - A Down River Day Paddle With ACT

When: Saturday, April 30
Rain Date: Sunday, May 1
Meeting Time: 8:30 am
Meeting Location: Porters Crossing
Paddle Route: Porters Crossing to Shad Landing State Park

It’s time to get back on the water! Join Billy Weiland and Verena Chase for Tour II on the Pocomoke River, Saturday April 30th. Tour II is an approximately 9.7 mile down river day paddle that will begin at Porters Crossing in Snow Hill and finish at Shad Landing State Park. 

The Pocomoke River is home to a unique, legendary ecosystem on the Delmarva Peninsula. The paddle from Porters Crossing offers up massive loblolly pine, bald cypress, sweet gum, poplar, oak, maple and other species at ages that are becoming increasingly difficult to find on the Eastern Shore. Beaver’s (and quite large beaver dams), river otters, bald eagles, and prothonotary warblers are some of the residents we’re likely to see during the paddle.

Paddlers will also have a chance to hear about the collaboration between Assateague Coastal Trust and Stroud Water Research Center! We’ll be checking out one of the solar powered data stations ACT and Stroud deployed at the Snow Hill leg of the river (we have four total that span the length of the Pocomoke).

If you’re looking for a simple, quiet way to celebrate spring and feel more of the Nature that abounds here on Delmarva, Tour II is a nice opportunity. 

Meeting time is at 8:30 am at Porters Crossing on Porters Crossing Rd in Snow Hill, MD. Logistics/transportation will be discussed in a follow up email after registering. 

Tour II will also be a catered paddle! Menu includes: 

  • Green Goddess soup (vegetarian)
  • Sushi burritos (vegan, smoked salmon, or chicken) 
  • Falafel with mint-pea sauce (vegan) and tzatziki (vegetarian)
  • Salade Nicoise (pescatarian)
  • Strawberry Parfait
Registration is required for Tour II. Due to limited space, we recommend registering early.
To register CLICK HERE


$85/person (includes a single kayak, pfd, paddle, lunch)
$70/person (2 people per boat, includes tandem kayak, pfds, paddles, lunch)
$60/person (bring your own kayak, paddle & pfd; includes lunch)

Watch for our Spring Newsletter in your mailbox! Using the enclosed donation envelope will help us continue to monitor our waterways, stop polluters, provide outdoor experiences for kids, and provide community outreach programs that educate and inform.  Thank you! (or scan the above QR code and make your secure donation NOW!)

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