Mark Trail, the comic strip conservationist, made a trip to the Chesapeake Bay in September, informing his 23 million readers in 175 newspapers worldwide about its resources.

The Bay-focused strip resulted when Lauren Wenzel, of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, learned that the strip’s artist, Jack Elrod, would be at an awards banquet where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was recognizing people who had helped with NOAA Weather Radio. Mark Trail is the official spokescharacter.

Wenzel, seeking to get Bay information to a broader audience, arranged to go to the banquet to meet Elrod.

“I pitched this Chesapeake Bay idea to him and he was very receptive,” Wenzel said. “He was very gentlemanly and interested. I sent him a pile of information from the Bay Program and he really came up with all of the ideas. He just took it and ran.”

Mark Trail was created by Ed Dodd in 1946 and has been drawn by Elrod since 1978. For more than 50 years, soft-spoken comic-strip star and veteran outdoorsman Mark Trail has been teaching people to preserve our natural resources — woods, water and wildlife — for future generations.