|Five New Chesapeake Bay Gateways Announced|
Annapolis, MD (01/26/01) - The National Park Service is proud to announce the expansion of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network with the addition of five new sites. By highlighting the important Chesapeake Bay stories at these sites, the Gateways Network creates a broader commitment to Bay restoration and conservation efforts throughout the watershed.
New Chesapeake Bay Gateways include: Historic St. Mary’s City, St. Clements Island-Potomac River Museum, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park, Solomons Visitor Information Center, and The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. With the addition of these new sites, visitors can learn more about the Bay through 30 Gateways in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York.
“The addition of these sites to the Bay Gateways Network will increase opportunities for Bay residents and visitors to create new chapters in the story of the Chesapeake,” said Jonathan Doherty, National Park Service manager for the Gateway Program. “Visitors to these Gateways will increasingly be able to relate each of these sites’ cultural, historical or ecological significance to the Bay.”
Each new Gateway brings a unique attraction and benefit to the Gateways Network. Approved as a Gateway “Regional Information Center,” Solomons Visitor Information Center will assist visitors in learning more about the Chesapeake Gateways they can visit in the area.
Piney Point Lighthouse, built in 1836, is one of only four lighthouses remaining on the Potomac River, and the first included in the Gateways Network. The park and museum provide exhibits on the building and early 20th century life in the area.
The St. Clement’s Island-Potomac River Museum, operated by St. Mary’s County, interprets the founding of Maryland and provides boat access to the state park-managed island, where English settlers first landed. Just down the Potomac, visitors to Historic St. Mary’s City see and experience some of what it was like to be an early settler in the Bay region. The outdoor museum is at the site of the fourth permanent English settlement in North America and Maryland’s first capital.
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, a Gateway site on the Eastern Shore, traces the history of decoy carving from practical Chesapeake hunting tools to fine art with one of the world’s premier collections of carved wildfowl.
New Gateway nominations are reviewed on a monthly basis by the National Park Service and a Working Group established by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Additional Gateways will be added in coming months and will be featured as part of the Network website, and in a new map and guide to be published this year.
To promote the Gateways Network, the National Park Service provides technical assistance and a matching grants program to enhance interpretation, visitor information and access and conservation projects at designated Gateways.
“Chesapeake Bay Gateways help us all appreciate the deep connection between people, the Bay and the natural world,” said Doherty. ”Evoking this connection every day through these special places is important in our collective efforts to conserve and restore the Chesapeake Bay.”