The Root of It All
The tidal marshes of Blackwater Wildlife Refuge are under siege. The Nutria, a large, furry South American animal introduced to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to bolster the fur trade there, has escaped into the wild and is eating away the marsh grass. Federal officials have become so concerned about the loss of the marsh over the last few years that they are trapping the Nutria with hopes of finally eradicating this invasive species that is endangering the very survival of Blackwater's fragile tidal ecosystem.
Journey of the Longnecks
The Canada Goose in Maryland had seen better days. In years past, numbers of the longnecks were down. Experts at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources blamed poor weather at the birds' northern nesting grounds, and even over-hunting. Now, those problems are beginning to ease thanks to new management programs designed to help the population grow.
Flying to Freedom
Many of the good works done in the name of environmental improvement are volunteer-powered, driven by people like Mary Graul. Whenever she's needed, Graul flies her own airplane on National Aquarium in Baltimore missions - whether to release baby sea turtles that have been rescued and nursed back to health, or to carry experts skyward to get a count of dolphin populations off of Ocean City, Md.