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Deal Island Marsh & Community Project   October 2013, Volume 2


Collaborative Research Projects are Underway

In July, small working groups of stakeholders were established to collect information on heritage, flooding, and marsh restoration of the Deal Island Penninsula.  These collaborative research projects (CRP's) are going to identify cultural, social, economic and ecological information that will inform community and marsh adaptation to climate related change.  The groups are also going to identify individuals, institutions and decision making processes that can make use of the information collected by the CRP's in ways that increase community and marsh resilience while providing a forum and mechanism to inform and engage a wider range of interested individuals in the project.

Science Collaborative in the Community

20th Annual Wetlands and Wildlife Field Day

Fourth grade students from Somerset County, including those from Deal Island Elementary school, spent their school days discovering the marshes of the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area with CBNERR-MD and DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service. The event took place on September 24th and 25th, 2013. Students learned about the animals, plants, the processes of the wetlands and about how people connect to the marshes. The mission of the Deal Island Marsh and Community Project was presented to the students through a variety of activities that helped develop an understanding of their relationship with the marsh and how they can help increase the resiliency of the marsh and their community.

54th Annual Skipjack Festival

The project team had a display booth with a range of interactive activities at the 54th Annual Skipjack Festival held over Labor Day weekend. The booth received much attention from Deal Island Peninsula community members, visitors from various states across the United States and current project partners! Thanks to everyone for coming out, getting involved, and supporting the mission and goals of the Deal Island Peninsula Marsh & Community Project.

Team Updates

Collaborative Learning Science Team

The collaborative learning science team builds opportunities for involvement and participation among all of our project stakeholders- including scientists, officials/managers, and community members. Our next workshop is scheduled for October 19th at the Rock Creek Church Hall in Chance, MD. At this workshop we'll be sharing some of what we've learned so far through our research activities and the CRPs will have an opportunity to build their agendas. We feel the first two group meetings have been a success and are eager to provide some additional opportunities for project stakeholders to interact and learn from one another. It is through sharing our own expertise that we'll all have a better understanding of the needs for the Deal Island Peninsula in the future.  Collaborative Learning is a key component of our activities and we hope that you'll be able to participate in our workshop and the CRP projects to help in this sharing process. 


Ecological Team​

The 2013 field work season is just about complete! The ecological research team has been busy measuring and collecting data in the marsh.  We spent the summer sampling mosquitoes, collecting soils, checking water levels, surveying the marsh, and measuring the marsh surface to track elevation gains or loses.  We still have root bags to install and collect - join us if you'd like to learn more about our research.   Feel free to contact Diane Leason ( or 410-260-8801) if you want to lend a hand. 


Anthropological and Economic Research
This work is ongoing, but, we did want to announce that we'll be starting to do some interviewing soon. Interviewing is a good way for us to better understand the complexity and detail of your thoughts and concerns regarding the environment and people of the Deal Island Peninsula. By collecting information on an individual level and then comparing and contrasting the knowledge of individuals we can get a better picture of what the entire project community thinks collectively. Agreeing to be interviewed is not mandatory even if you're already a project stakeholder, but, we hope that if you have an opportunity to be interviewed that you will share with us your knowledge and expertise about the Deal Island Peninsula. 



The Collaborative Research Project (CRP) Kick Off meeting took place in July. The Heritage, Flooding, and Marsh Restoration research groups are meeting and have developed their work plans. The Heritage team is collecting historical photographs and will be interviewing community members in the months to come. Restoration of the ditched marshes will begin this winter with the plugging of ditches.  The goal is to return natural water levels to the marsh.  Remember to get involved with the project that most interests you!  

Team Member Spotlight

Diane works with the University of

Maryland as a research assistant to

Dr. Brian Needelman.  She also

supports the Maryland Chesapeake

Bay National Estuarine Research

Reserve, Maryland Department of

Natural Resources.  Diane has a

Bachelors Degree in Economics

but is pursuing a career change.  The

Deal Island Marsh and Communtiy project

offers her that opportunity - begin a career in

ecology and do what she loves!  She is involved with several aspects of the project including ecological research, the flooding crp, outreach and education, and many other behind the scenes activities that keep the project running.  When she is not covered in marsh mud you can find her riding bikes or playing outside with her family on the other side of the bridge in Calvert County.

Hello from Diane Leason!

Upcoming Events


  • 2nd Stakeholder Workshop (10/19) 

  • Root bag collection and installation (ongoing)

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