My First Outing with the Club
The Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club has been leading conservation outings on Mattawoman Creek for a long time. This weekend’s trip was special for me, however, because it marked my first official outing with the Sierra Club!
On Saturday, August 18th, forty of us gathered for fun, relaxation, and a great day on the water. As we paddled, our leaders, Edward Joell and Rebecca Turner, told us about the history of the creek and pointed out the local flora and fauna. We learned of the importance of submerged aquatic vegetation and saw the rare American Lotus in one of the few areas it grows within the state. We also spotted Great Egrets, Great-Blue Heron, and an Osprey, among other birds. With the sun warming my skin and a light breeze keeping me refreshed, it was hard not to feel peaceful.
Our guides taught us about how the creek once supported an active fishery and how it is still referred to
as the most productive tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. At one time the creek was dredged for gravel and we saw a beaver that had built its home into the leftover structures. After returning to a picnic lunch, leaders of the campaign, Claudia Friedetzky and Bonnie Bick, told us of the proposed development of the area and how it would impact the Mattawoman. If the 2006 Comprehensive Plan for development is implemented, it could irreversibly damage the water quality and fragile ecosystem that the Mattawoman currently provides to Charles County and ruin this special creek. After spending a day on the Mattawoman, everyone eagerly signed petitions to protect the area.
It was fun to see the diverse group of people who got out on the creek and their enthusiasm for the outdoors. Some had never kayaked before and some brought their own boats from home. Children, teens, and adults all shared a day of fun and conservation on the water. We enjoyed our time on the Mattawoman and felt a connection to protecting this special place.
Find more outings with the Maryland Chapter here: http://maryland.sierraclub.org/action/p0313.asp