The National Park Service recently announced that five new sites joined its Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertails Network.They include:
- The Nanticoke River Water Trail in Delaware, which will be developed through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The trail is also a segment of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Portions of the Nanticoke are virtually unchanged from Captain Smith's explorations 400 years ago.
- The Skipjack Martha Lewis, which is owned and operated by the nonprofit Chesapeake Heritage Conservancy in Havre de Grace, MD, provides educational programs on the water as well as public sailings. The Martha Lewis is one of the few remaining working dredge boats that make up the Chesapeake Bay oyster fleet-and the last to fish commercially, under sail, in the United States.
- The Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, which preserves and interprets the maritime history of the Susquehanna River and its connection to the Chesapeake Bay. It is home to the Chesapeake Wooden Boat Builders School, preserving and teaching the tradition of wooden boat building, and the Susquehanna Flats Environmental Center, which explores the natural diversity of the Upper Chesapeake Bay.
- The Star-Spangled Banner Trail, a Maryland Scenic Byway which connects several Gateways. The 100-mile scenic and historic driving tour follows the route taken by British marines as they invaded the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812.
- The Tangier Island History Museum and Interpretive Culture Center on Tangier Island in Virginia. Capt. John Smith discovered the island, which he named "Russel's Isles" on his 1607 voyage. Since that time, many of the island's day-to-day activities are centered on boats and access to the water.
"Linking the places people value to an understanding of the Chesapeake Bay as a watershed system is an integral part of the effort to conserve and restore the Bay environment," said John Maounis, superintendent of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Program Office. "These five new Gateways offer the public increased access to the entire Chesapeake Bay and to the important stories that impact its development."