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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.
World Water Day at Mother’s Cantina in Ocean City
Join your Assateague COASTKEEPER Gabby Ross to celebrate WORLD WATER DAY at Mother’s Cantina on 28th St. Ocean City tonight (Tuesday 3/22) from 7pm to 9pm and enjoy a Mother’s ‘Blue Bay Margarita’ (or two!) to say CHEERS to clean water and swimmable-fishable Coastal Bays! 

A portion of each ‘Blue Bay Margarita’ sold on March 22 at 28th Street Mother’s Cantina will benefit Assateague Coastal Trust and our Swim Guide safe swimming water testing program.

ACT is kicking off a summer of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act at Mother’s tonight, March 22nd, so be sure to come by and start the season with us.  Outgoing ACT Executive Director Kathy Phillips hopes to see all our friends that night to cheer her on to her next big adventure – retirement!

ACT is excited to introduce our newest Ocean City business partner,
Ryan James of Mother's Cantina.

Ryan, and his wife Neely, have expanded their business to two restaurant locations and a package store all within blocks of the beautiful Ocean City beaches. In the last 14 years, the businesses have transitioned to zero plastic, compostable packaging, use of renewable energy, and local food sourcing, all while keeping the bottom line in mind. The Jameses take every opportunity to publicly advocate for programs and policies that protect the environment, like the Styrofoam Ban and proposed Plastic Bag ban in Maryland. As a result of their commitment to the environment, Ryan and Neely received the 2019 President Theodore Roosevelt Award from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and Ryan recently became a certified climate leader through Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. 

Ryan is also an avid surfer, stand-up paddle boarder, and can be found on the ocean every morning from March to October. Ryan and his family’s love for the surf and Assateague Island and its beaches are the core elements that drive them to make protecting the environment, and our coastal watershed,  a top priority.

ACT's 23rd Annual Native Plant Sale

One of our favorite, and long standing traditional events of the year, the 23rd Annual Native Plant Sale will be held at the ACT office on Saturday, May 7th from 8 am – 1 pm. We encourage you to check out the excellent selection of herbs, veggies, and native sun and shade plants available at our online store at Online ordering will be open Thursday, March 24, and 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.

Atlantic White Cedar Planting

Looking to give something back to the watersheds that have made Delmarva the place we call home? The Nature Conservancy and The National Aquarium are holding a volunteer tree planting opportunity at Nassawango Creek Preserve on Saturday, March 26th.

Historically once abundant in Atlantic White Cedar’s, the area was planted in pine plantation and logged. Since 1978, The Nature Conservancy has worked to bring the area back to its native health status. 

Registration is required. For further information visit:

Free Trees

The Town of Berlin has a nice selection of native tree saplings available for free this spring! The Berlin Parks Commission is working with the Maryland Forest Service to give away Backyard Buffer tree bundles to Worcester County residents. Backyard Buffer bundles provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, food for bees, butterflies and more, along with erosion control and nutrient removal, while beautifying and naturalizing the landscape around us. You DO NOT need to be a Berlin resident to receive trees, but bundle quantities are limited.

For additional information and to view the types of trees available, see the Town of Berlin’s backyard buffers page.

ACT's On The Water Monitoring Season

ACT’s on the water monitoring season is just around the corner! Beginning May 26, we’re back on the coastal bays and creeks collecting water quality data and water samples at sites on Turville and Herring Creek, Isle of Wight Bay, Assawoman Bay, and the St. Martin River. Data parameters collected included pH, salinity, water temperature, conductivity, and Dissolved Oxygen levels. These data are critical to better understanding the health of our waterways. Samples collected during our water monitoring season are processed and analyzed in our office lab for the presence of enterococci bacteria. All data and sample results are available to the public online at Water sample results for each site are also reflected on the Swim Guide app., which allows users to monitor the enterococci levels in local waterways. 

For further information about our water quality monitoring program at Assateague Coastal Trust, visit You may also contact the Coastkeeper, Gabby Ross at or Watershed Specialist, Billy Weiland at

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.

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).

EnviroDIY Workshop April 14-15

Want to learn more about real time water quality monitoring and data collection? ACT and Shore Rivers have been actively working with Stroud Water Research Center over the past year on the Pocomoke and Choptank Rivers. As part of Stroud’s study, which aims to better understand sediment connectivity between rivers and estuaries using microbial signatures to source track particles, a total of 8 data stations were deployed on the Pocomoke and Choptank Rivers in October 2021. These stations collect an array of water quality parameters in real time and report the observations to an online data portal at The ability to capture data in this way helps produce a powerful dataset that can lend significantly to further study of water quality.

Recently we were able to identify a spike in conductivity at the Snow Hill station site on January 31st, which we have attributed to salt runoff during the snow melt at that time!

On April 14th and 15th, Stroud is hosting a 2 day workshop at Shore Rivers in Easton. The workshop will run each day from 9 am – 4 pm, and will cover topics such as programing, building, installation, and maintenance of the same data station setup currently being used on the Pocomoke and Choptank Rivers! Day one will focus on programming, data sensors, and the online data portal Monitor My Watershed. Day two will focus on deployment techniques, troubleshooting, and data management. 

Registration is now open. Register HERE.

An itinerary of the 2 day workshop is available HERE.

If you have further questions regarding the workshop or the project, please contact ACT’s Billy Weiland at

Register Now

Coast Kids

Frog Calls at Heron Park

Join Coast Kids on Saturday, March 26 from 6:00 – 7:30 to learn about amphibian life, behavior, and how to distinguish species by their sounds. Please dress appropriate for the weather conditions and bring bug spray. Information, location, and to register is available on our Coast Kids monthly event page (

Earth Day at the Salisbury Zoo

Coast Kids will be at the Salisbury Zoo for Earth Day 2020 on Saturday, April 23rd from 10:00 am–- 4:00 pm. Earth Day is a day to celebrate environmental progress. This year, we will learn all about pollinators. Activities include games, demonstrations, food, giveaways, and special exhibitors. Visit the Coast Kids booth, print a pollinator on a T-shirt, or play a pollinator game.

TOURtwo. A Down River Day Paddle With Assateague Coastal Trust

When: Saturday, April 30th
Meeting Time: 7:30 am
Meeting Location: Milburn Landing State Park
Rain date: Sunday, May 1

It’s time to get back on the water! Join Billy Weiland and Verena Chase for TOUR2 on the Pocomoke River, Saturday April 30th. TOUR2 is an approximately 8 mile down river day paddle that will begin at the Pocomoke River Canoe Company in Snow Hill and finish at Milburn Landing State Park

Meeting time is at 7:30 am at Milburn Landing State Park.

TOUR2 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
  • Brews (a decent variety of beers)
Registration is required for TOURtwo. Due to limited space, we recommend registering early. 

TOURtwo will finish at Milburn Landing State Park. If you would like to camp at the State Park for the evening, visit to reserve a campsite. 

  • $85/person (TOURtwo, includes a single kayak, pfd, paddle, lunch)
  • $70/person* (TOURtwo, includes tandem kayak, pfds, paddles, lunch)
  • $60/person** (TOURtwo, includes lunch)

*If registering for a tandem kayak, you must paddle with another individual. Bring a friend or family member! Both individuals must register.

**Select this option if you plan to bring your own kayak/canoe, paddle/s, and pfd/s.

For questions, details, and directions contact Billy Weiland at, or at (443) 366-4866 // contact Verena Chase at

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