Maryland’s coastal bays consist of Assawoman, Isle of Wight, Sinepuxent, Newport, and Chincoteague Bays that are along Maryland’s Atlantic coast and behind Assateague Island and Ocean City. This region is experiencing the most rapid population increases in the entire state, and Worcester County alone is expected to almost double in size by 2020. As a boater, you can help protect these cherished bays by adopting the following practices.
Never let plastic bags or other trash blow out of your boat. At least half the deaths from stranded sea turtles and dolphins are from ingestion of plastics.
Keep your propeller out of seagrass beds, and do not accelerate rapidly in shallow areas. This kills seagrasses, which are vital to juvenile fish, clams, and crabs.
Discharge tank wastes and marine sanitation devices at pump-out stations only.
Place a bilge pillow (an oil-absorbing sponge) in your bilge to remove oil.
Avoid riding PWC in quiet, secluded areas. They are the only place left for wildlife to seek refuge.
Obey fishing and crabbing regulations. There are $500 fines for undersized specimens.