Boat Wakes Could Jeopardize Endangered Birds in Ocean City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Boat Wakes Could Jeopardize Endangered Birds in Ocean City

Posted:
Baby Black Skimmers (Photo: Roman Jesien) Baby Black Skimmers (Photo: Roman Jesien)
(Photo: DNR) (Photo: DNR)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- Excessive boat wake could threaten Black Skimmer's habitat on 'OC Spoils' Island by the route 50 bridge.

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program is asking all boat owners to keep their vessels at a no wake speed between the red triangle number 2 channel marker to the “6 knot” marker near the route 50 bridge, in order to protect the only location of nesting Black Skimmer’s in the state of Maryland which are in jeopardy of being destroyed by boat wakes.

A small, unnamed island unofficially referred to as the 'OC Spoils', is home to the only known nesting area for the endangered Black Skimmer. This island is also home to a few common tern nests, a bird that is also being monitored due to diminishing habitats.

The reduction of boat wakes will benefit both species that are of significant conservation interest.

The island’s location just west of the Ocean City navigation channel with relatively deep water and no sand shoals between it can contribute nest and chick loss to wakes from large boats traveling above 6 knots. 

Some of the bird nests are relatively low on the beach where the combination of high tide level, especially tides around the new and full moons and large boat wakes result in nest and chick loss. 

Common Tern and Black Skimmer populations have declined dramatically in Maryland since 1985.  Black Skimmers are currently listed as Endangered in Maryland and Common Terns are currently proposed for a change in status to Endangered as soon as the necessary regulatory process is completed.

Both Black Skimmers and Common Terns prefer to nest on relatively open sand beaches, particularly Black Simmers. 

In the coastal bays of Worcester County there were only two breeding colonies located during surveys in mid-June and they contained a total of 10 breeding pairs.  A revisit to both colony sites found that the larger colony had totally abandoned its breeding attempt and the only remaining active colony consisted of 4 pairs located on this small island near the navigation channel.

MCBP is working to lower the speed limit in that area, however, it could take up to a year. In the meantime, MCBP Scince Coordinator, Roman Jesien, in conjuction with Department of Natural Resources, have put up no wake signs on the island and have monitored it daily.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • The Latest: Virginia's Yearbook Probe Meets with Some Shrugs

    The Latest: Virginia's Yearbook Probe Meets with Some Shrugs

    Wednesday, May 22 2019 9:45 PM EDT2019-05-23 01:45:47 GMT
    Wednesday, May 22 2019 9:45 PM EDT2019-05-23 01:45:47 GMT
    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is seen in this February 2019 file photo. (Photo: AP)Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is seen in this February 2019 file photo. (Photo: AP)
    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is seen in this February 2019 file photo. (Photo: AP)Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is seen in this February 2019 file photo. (Photo: AP)
    The inconclusive report into whether Virginia's governor was in a racist yearbook photo has been met with shrugs by some Virginians.More
    The inconclusive report into whether Virginia's governor was in a racist yearbook photo has been met with shrugs by some Virginians.
    More
  • Crisfield City Council Supports Hotel and Conference Center Proposal

    Crisfield City Council Supports Hotel and Conference Center Proposal

    Wednesday, May 22 2019 8:29 PM EDT2019-05-23 00:29:08 GMT
    Wednesday, May 22 2019 8:34 PM EDT2019-05-23 00:34:03 GMT
    On Wednesday, the Crisfield City Council approved 5-0 a motion to support a project that aims to bring a new hotel and conference center to the area.

    Business owners and community members packed the city hall in a meeting to discuss the proposal.
    More
    On Wednesday, the Crisfield City Council approved 5-0 a motion to support a project that aims to bring a new hotel and conference center to the area.

    Business owners and community members packed the city hall in a meeting to discuss the proposal.
    More
  • Home Grow Issue Divides Some Marijuana Legalization Advocates

    Home Grow Issue Divides Some Marijuana Legalization Advocates

    Wednesday, May 22 2019 6:36 PM EDT2019-05-22 22:36:06 GMT
    Wednesday, May 22 2019 7:18 PM EDT2019-05-22 23:18:49 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- A bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Delaware has drawn some an unusual opponents: people who want to see pot legalized in the First State. Some marijuana legalization advocates say the fact that House Bill 110 does not include a prMore
    DOVER, Del. --- A bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Delaware has drawn some an unusual opponents: people who want to see pot legalized in the First State. Some marijuana legalization advocates say the fact that House Bill 110 does not include a prMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Ocean City Police Warn of Counterfeit Currency

    Ocean City Police Warn of Counterfeit Currency

    Wednesday, May 22 2019 1:08 PM EDT2019-05-22 17:08:37 GMT
    Wednesday, May 22 2019 1:08 PM EDT2019-05-22 17:08:37 GMT
    (Photo credit: OCPD)(Photo credit: OCPD)
    (Photo credit: OCPD)(Photo credit: OCPD)
    The Ocean City Police Department is warning residents, business owners and employees to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency being circulated in the resort town.More
    The Ocean City Police Department is warning residents, business owners and employees to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency being circulated in the resort town.More
  • Fourth Suspect Arrested in Sussex County Drug Trafficking Investigation

    Fourth Suspect Arrested in Sussex County Drug Trafficking Investigation

    Wednesday, May 22 2019 9:59 AM EDT2019-05-22 13:59:52 GMT
    Wednesday, May 22 2019 9:59 AM EDT2019-05-22 13:59:52 GMT
    BEAR, Del. - The Delaware State Police have made a fourth arrest in connection with a drug trafficking investigation in Sussex County.. Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, the New Castle County Governor’s Task Force was conducting patrols in the area of Route 13More
    BEAR, Del. - The Delaware State Police have made a fourth arrest in connection with a drug trafficking investigation in Sussex County.. Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, the New Castle County Governor’s Task Force was conducting patrols in the area of Route 13More
  • Police Warn Parents About Abandoned Homes Challenge

    Police Warn Parents About Abandoned Homes Challenge

    Tuesday, May 21 2019 4:56 PM EDT2019-05-21 20:56:20 GMT
    Wednesday, May 22 2019 7:25 AM EDT2019-05-22 11:25:33 GMT
    If you're a parent in Seaford, you may want to keep a special eye on your kid. Police say they've been informed that a challenge is going around in Seaford that encourages them to stay overnight in abandoned homes.More
    If you're a parent in Seaford, you may want to keep a special eye on your child. Police say they've been informed that a challenge is going around in Seaford that encourages them to stay overnight in abandoned homes. More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices