In late 2017, the RHYC Sailing School applied for and was awarded a mini grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to restore and enhance the wetlands on the Rock Hall Yacht Club property!
The Chesapeake Bay Trust awarded a Community Engagement Mini Grant to RHYCSS for the removal of invasive species and for the installation of native plants and educational workshops on the benefits of native plants, pollinators and shoreline conservation. The award of this grant funding allowed RHYCSS to expand its educational content to include an environmental component.
Starting in April 2018, we removed invasive species via a controlled burn courtesy of Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company, and introduced new indigenous water tolerant plants to encourage the proliferation of pollinators and beneficials by improved habitat.
RHYCSS invited the community out to participate in a show of support for Earth Day and the importance of wetland health.
Everyone was welcome to assist! We did right thing for our planet!
This was a hands-on opportunity to impact our environment by planting native species. This was a family and child friendly activity! We planted nearly 2000 native plants.
We thank Radcliffe Creek School and the many volunteers from RHYC, RHYCSS, RHVFC, and the Rock Hall Community for making this plan a reality.
See a video of our April Success here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WApkHFCVUaY&t=2s
Despite some very wet weather, tidal inundation, and many heavy rainstorms during summer 2018, as well as lessons learned, we persisted with our CBT-funded mission and continued planting and enhancing our wetland into the fall. Our final day of planting was in October 2018; we were lucky to have a great team of students from Radcliffe Creek School join us for learning, and hands-on planting of our last batch of native wetland plants.
Wetlands are recognized as important because of their storage role during floods, being a home for wildlife, and as a breeding ground for aquatic life.
Expanding and protecting the wetlands with native species of plants helps preserve the area and enhances the environment. Our wetland area, Rock Hall's non-tidal wetlands off the Chester River in Piney Neck, has seen a substantial reduction in invasive species and a major recovery in native plant, insect, and aquatic species.
Our sailing school curriculum has been enhanced to include the benefits of wetland for the Chesapeake Bay and has reached over 100 families from the MD, DE, PA, NJ, VA, and beyond. We expanded our rainy-day and no-wind curriculum to include an educational environmental component about our wetlands onsite at RHYCSS. Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini Grant, RHYCSS was able to lead the effort for the removal of invasive species and for the installation of native plants and shoreline conservation. Our sailing students and their families learned about the benefits of healthy wetlands and how they contribute to the clean water we sail in on the Chester River. Thanks to the LaMotte Company in Chestertown who provided water testing tools we were further able to discuss water quality and its effect of native plant and animal species.