Inspired by former Maryland Sen. Bernie Fowler, who serves on the Patuxent Tributary Team, eight of Maryland’s other tributary teams plan to hold “wade-ins” or similar events to promote water quality awareness in June.

The events are tailored to local conditions — the Upper Potomac Team, for example, decided not to wade into the fast-flowing river, but will sponsor a fishing derby at Rocky Gap State Park. The Patapsco/Back Team plans a secchi disk “dip in” to Baltimore Harbor. Other teams plan to take the plunge and see how far they can go and still see their feet.

This layman’s indicator of water quality has been making headlines in the Patuxent for 12 years, since Fowler decided in 1988 to illustrate how far water quality had declined since his days as a waterman in the 1950s.

Tributary teams consist of different stakeholders in each watershed who provide input to the state on the implementation of nutrient reduction strategies.

Here is a schedule of wade-in events. Except where noted, all events take place Sunday, June 13. Some are still being planned. For information, call Darlene Walker at 410-260-8708, or access the Maryland Tributary Strategies web site at: www.dnr.state.md.us/Bay/tribstrat.html

  • Bernie Fowler’s 12th annual Patuxent River Wade-In takes place at 2 p.m. on Broome’s Island. He will be joined by community residents, schoolchildren and local elected officials.
  • The Upper Western Shore Team’s second annual wade-in happens at 2–4 p.m. at Anita C. Leight Center, on Otter Point Creek in the Upper Bay. The team hopes to improve on its 7.5" mark from last year. In addition to the wade-in, family activities will include canoeing, seining with a park naturalist, hikes and a fly-fishing demonstration.
  • The Upper Potomac's second annual “Fish-In” Fishing Derby for children takes place noon to 4 p.m. at Rocky Gap State Park. Other activities will include a Scales and Tails demonstration, a fly-fishing demonstration, prizes from Maryland’s Hooked on Fishing Program and hikes around the park.
  • The Lower Western Shore’s second annual wade-in takes place at Herring Bay in Southern Anne Arundel County. The time will be based on the tide. Last year’s event attracted more than 100 participants.
  • The Lower Potomac Team is planning a wade-in from 1–4 p.m. at the Morgantown Power Plant. Events include a tour of PEPCO’s plant and its environmental projects.
  • The Patapsco/Back Team is planning a secchi disk “dip in” with community groups to highlight water quality in the Inner Harbor.
  • The Upper Eastern Shore Team is planning a wade-in. Check the web site for the time and location.
  • The Choptank Team is planning their Wade-In for June 5 on the Tred Avon River to coincide with a boating event in Oxford.
  • The Lower Eastern Shore Team is planning a Wade-In on the Nanticoke River. Check the web site for the time and location.