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Maryland Manual, 1996-97
Volume 187, Page 3   View pdf image
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Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia (410) 730-2424
Olney Theatre Olney (301)924-3400
Strathmore Hall Arts Center
Rockville (301) 530-0540
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
Salisbury (410) 742-4988


Maryland has twenty-three rivers and bays with
more than 400 miles of water tributary to the
Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays with 35 miles of water
accessible to and from the Atlantic Ocean, 23,000
wet boat slips (1993 est.), 200 public boat ramps
and access points, 190,000 State registered pleas-
ure boats, including federally documented vessels
principally used in Maryland, 2,361 commercial
fishing boats, and 1,118 others.


The William Preston Lane, Jr, Memorial Bridge
(Chesapeake Bay Bridge) spans 4.2 miles across the
middle of Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1952, the
Bridge transformed access to the eastern shore of
the State. A second parallel Bay Bridge opened in
1973. The 1.6 mile long Francis Scott Key Bridge
spanned Baltimore Harbor in 1977.


Annapolis is the State capital but St. Mary's City
was the first seat of colonial government. In 1694,
the General Assembly designated Anne Arundel
Town as the capital and, in February 1694/ 5, the
government moved there. After Queen Mary's
death in December 1694, Anne Arundel Town was
renamed Annapolis for her sister, the heiress appar-
ent, Princess Anne


In North America, Chesapeake Bay is the largest
estuary, a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with
a free connection to the open sea. Fresh water from
land drainage measurably dilutes seawater within
the Bay. Its watershed provides rich habitat for an
abundance of life In addition to resident species of
fish and wildlife, the Bay supports large winter
populations of migratory waterfowl and provides
spawning, nursery and feeding grounds for ocean
fish. Native Americans living along its shores named
the Bay "Chesepiook," meaning great shellfish bay,
because of its abundant crabs, oysters, and clams.
Generations of watermen have made their living
harvesting the bounty of the Bay, while recreational
fishing, hunting, and boating attract millions of
people each year and contribute significantly to
Maryland's economy. For ocean-going ships, the
Bay is navigable with two outlets to the Atlantic
Ocean north through the Chesapeake and Dela-
ware Canal in Cecil County, and south through the
mouth of the Bay between the Virginia capes.

Watershed. The rivers, creeks, and streams which
flow into the Bay, the land surrounding them, and
the Bay itself make up the Chesapeake Bay water-
shed Main tributaries—Susquehanna River, Poto-
mac River, James River—contribute 80% of the
Bay's fresh water Total tributaries: 419. Watershed
area 64,000 square miles in parts of six states—
Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Vir
ginia. West Virginia—and the District of Columbia
Watershed population: 16.4 million (1990).

Main Basin
MD 1,726 square miles
VA 1,511 square miles
Length 195 miles
(widest near Cape Charles, VA) 30 miles
(narrowest at Annapolis) 4 miles
Shoreline 4,600 miles
average 25 feet
greatest (SE of Annapolis) 174 feet
Tidal Range
at Annapolis 1 foot
at head 2 feet
at mouth 3 feet
Volume 18 trillion gallons
Surface Salinity (parts per thousand)
at mouth 30 ppt
midway to head 15 ppt
above fall line 00 ppt
surface to bottom 2-3 ppt


Generally moderate, varies from mild to hot in
summer, and in winter from moderate in the east
and south to very cold in the western mountains.
Average annual rainfall: 40.76 inches. Average sea-
sonal snowfall: 20.6 inches, ranging from 10 inches
on the lower Eastern Shore to 110 inches in Garrett
County. Average annual temperature: 55.1 degrees
Fahrenheit, with high temperatures in July, the
warmest month, averaging in the mid to upper 80s
and the low temperatures in January, the coldest
month, averaging in the low to mid 20s. Duration
of the freeze-free period averages 185 days, ranging
from 130 days in Garrett County to 230 days in the
southern Chesapeake Bay area.


Longest east-west, 198.6 miles—Fairfax Stone to
Delaware Line; north-south, 125.5 miles—Penn-
sylvania line to Virginia line at Smith Point on south
shore mouth of Potomac River, shortest north-
south, 1.9 miles—Pennsylvania line to south bank
of Potomac River near Hancock, farthest points,
northwest corner to southeast corner at Atlantic
Ocean, 254.7 miles.



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Maryland Manual, 1996-97
Volume 187, Page 3   View pdf image
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