Marine and wildlife are everyday considerations living next to the Chesapeake Bay. Not only is Maryland known for its crabs, Old Bay flavored everything, and boating lifestyles, but also its conservation efforts! Annapolis is located on the third largest estuary in the United States and has 11,684 miles of shoreline (which is larger than the West Coast)! 

Despite it’s average depth of 21 feet, it supports more than 3,600 species of plant and animal life, including 2,700 types of plants and more than 16 species of underwater grasses. It also supports 18 million people who live, work and play around it!

You definitely want check out the efforts and virtual activities of the two biggest conservation organizations, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. A favorite activity of mine when my family or friends go out on the water is looking for the local osprey nests. These nests are found on navigational poles around the different creek and river entrances. An osprey is a large hawk with white undersides and a crook in its wings. It is especially exciting to see if there are any Osprey chicks in the nests.

While recreational boating has not yet started during the pandemic, we can’t go see these beautiful hawks live on the water. We can, however, take a moment to check out the wildlife cams available on both conservation websites! I particularly love watching the resident osprey couple Tom and Audrey on the Chesapeake Conservancy webcam. Not only have they been coming back to the same nest since 2009, but the Conservancy partnered with “The Crazy Osprey Family” who provides a blog of notes on updates and pictures of the everyday activities of Tom and Audrey. Their nest is located at their home on Kent Island, off the Eastern Shore. The updates are a hoot, no pun intended, and reminds me of an osprey “Real Housewives of the Chesapeake”! 

So if you and the little ones are looking for some educational and fun science projects on conservation, the osprey cam and other wildlife cams, are really great fun to watch and certainly brightens up my day when sitting at home.

If ospreys aren’t your thing, definitely check out Explore.org for other livecam streams featuring other nature videos such as pandas, eagles and the Aurora Borealis!

Also check out the fun article that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has on the 10 Things You Didn’t Know about the Chesapeake Bay.