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DNR Staff Join Hundreds of Students for Nation’s River Bass Tournament
Students first to receive 2009 Bay Game
National Harbor, MD — Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service staff joined 300 underserved students from across Maryland for a morning of fishing in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers in the Nation’s River Bass Tournament at National Harbor. The tournament – hosted by Living Classrooms in cooperation with DNR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service – gave the students the chance to experience the most popular freshwater type of fishing in Maryland, fishing for black bass.
“This is a great opportunity for children who may not have ever been fishing before to experience the joy of catching a fish,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “I’m pleased that our fishery experts were able to participate, and help these young people enjoy a wonderful Maryland tradition.”
About 250 students lined the piers to land fish with adult volunteers and rotate through 20 stations offering hands on education, while other students went fishing on the Potomac River – which is considered one of the top ten rivers in the US for bass fishing – with professional anglers and DNR staff. The population of black bass in the Potomac River is one of the largest in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with a healthy number of spawning adults. DNR plays an active role managing the population by stocking juvenile fish in the water, monitoring the size of adults and identifying essential fish habitat for species.
The students in attendance received the first copies of the 2009 Bay Game activity book. This marks the 13th year the Bay Game has provided Maryland children with a fun and exciting way to learn about Maryland’s natural resources and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Bay Game, which reaches nearly one million Marylanders of all ages annually through print and online editions, will be available at public libraries and visitors centers throughout the State beginning June 1. With interesting facts and puzzles about topics such as watersheds, wildlife, trees and forests, geology, and agriculture, this year’s game is designed to inspire children to go outside and enjoy the outdoors.
To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, the Governor created the Maryland Civic Justice Corps, a summer job and environmental education program that employs at risk youth in Maryland State Parks, and recently issued the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. A plan to implement the Partnership’s Report and Recommendations – presented to Governor O’Malley in April -- is under development. During the 2009 legislative session, the O’Malley-Brown Administration secured record funding for Maryland’s #1 ranked public schools for the third consecutive year, with an investment of more than $5.5 billion.
May 20, 2009
Contact: Josh Davidsburg
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov