Field Trips

Online Registration for the SWS 2019 Annual Meeting field trips is now closed!

The SWS 2019 Annual Meeting will offer unique opportunities for field trip enthusiasts! All field trips will be guided, include transportation, park fees and meals/snacks. Registration for field trips is limited. All field trips will take place on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. If a field trip is sold out and you would like to be put on a wait-list, please contact Suzanna Park Hogendorn.


National Aquarium and Ecological Improvements to Baltimore’s Urban Waterfront

Begin your tour at the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, or “Mr. Trash Wheel” to locals, Baltimore’s most famous inanimate celebrity. Learn about the innovative technology used to remove trash and debris flowing down the Jones Falls River before it enters the harbor where it can float down to the Chesapeake Bay and beyond. Next, walk over to the National Aquarium’s waterfront campus and learn how the Aquarium is prototyping innovative floating wetlands, Biohuts, and urban oyster reefs to bring the natural, living Chesapeake Bay back to the water's edge for all to enjoy. The reintroduction of native plants and animal species through these restored habitats will improve water quality while providing residents and visitors alike the opportunity to reconnect with the natural world in the heart of Baltimore City. Finally, take the afternoon to enjoy lunch at the National Aquarium and tour exhibits with more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning habitats.

Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Capacity: 20
Registration fee: $125

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MDOT SHA Wetland & Stream Mitigation Sites Tour

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) Environmental Programs Division (EPD) is responsible for locating, designing, permitting, constructing, and monitoring wetland and stream mitigation sites required for unavoidable impacts associated with roadway and related infrastructure projects state-wide. Participants will tour three MDOT SHA compensatory wetland mitigation sites and one Chesapeake Bay TMDL wetland/stream restoration site located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The tour will focus on lessons learned during the design, regulatory permitting, construction, and monitoring phases of these sites, including but not limited to site design constraints due to proximity to BWI airport, existing utility infrastructure challenges, invasive species control, beaver and deer management, vegetative establishment, and trespassing.

Things to consider: All-weather clothing and waterproof footwear are recommended. Lunch will be provided. 

Time: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Capacity: 40
Registration fee: $125


Wetlands and more at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Learn about the facilities and research programs at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and hear first-hand from scientists conducting wetland-related research. Participants will then dive into two field trips to see SERC’s research in action. First, participants will explore the Global Change Research Wetland where multiple long-term experiments are designed to predict what the future holds for coastal wetland ecosystems as they cope with accelerated sea-level rise. Finally, participants will enjoy an excursion on a SERC research vessel on the Rhode River Estuary.

Things to consider: Field gear, waterproof footwear and sunscreen are recommended. Lunch will be provided.

Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Capacity: 30
Registration fee: $125

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Poplar Island ecosystem restoration project

Poplar Island, recently on the verge of disappearing, is today a national model for habitat restoration and the beneficial use of dredged material. Just off the Chesapeake Bay coastline, about 34 miles south of Baltimore in Talbot County, Maryland, Poplar Island is being returned to its former size and important ecological function while helping to ensure the economic vitality of the region. Working in partnership with the Maryland Port Authority and other Federal and State agencies, the Corps of Engineers are currently restoring Poplar Island by using dredged material from the Baltimore Harbor and Channels Federal navigation projects. Approximately 68 million cubic yards of dredged material will be placed to develop 735 acres of wetlands, 840 acres of uplands and 140 acres of open water embayment. The tour will cover erosion, the process of habitat restoration, water quality monitoring, and species diversity as well as the cultural history of Poplar Island from the 1800s through today.

Things to consider: Field gear, waterproof footwear and sunscreen are recommended. Lunch will be provided.

Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Capacity: 24
Registration fee: $125


Jug Bay Canoe Trip: Mysteries of the Marsh

Canoe paddlers will explore the expansive wetlands at Jug Bay on the Patuxent River while learning about the river, its ecosystem and the diversity of life that is found there. The canoe trip will be guided by Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary naturalists or trained volunteers. Paddlers can expect to actively paddle for 2 to 2.5 hours. The Patuxent River is a relatively slow-moving river, but paddlers must be able to propel the canoe through the water. Participants should also prepare for a one-mile hike to the canoe launch site.

Things to consider: Canoes, life vests, and paddles are provided by the Sanctuary. Participants should dress for the weather and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, sun hat, closed toe shoes that can get wet and a dry change of clothes. Lunch will be provided.

Time: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Capacity: 16
Registration fee: $125