You may not be able to afford your own waterfront property these days, but if you’re a Chesapeake outdoors lover you can help buy and preserve some valuable real estate on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Virginia’s Northern Neck and along the lower Susquehanna River. Every dollar donated to the Chesapeake Conservation Challenge by customers at the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World at the Arundel Mills shopping mall near Baltimore will bring an additional $5 contribution to help purchase and restore riverfront land in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The matching funds come from Bass Pro Shops, a national outdoor goods retailer involved in conservation partnerships, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Conservation Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Half the money raised through the challenge will be used by the Conservation Fund to acquire and protect land on the Rappahannock River in Virginia, the Pocomoke and Nanticoke rivers in Maryland and the lower Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will use its half of the donations to restore wetlands and shoreline buffers on the purchased land.
The Conservation Challenge’s first two scheduled beneficiaries have significance to anglers. Barren Creek (whose headwaters will be protected) is a Nanticoke tributary that supports spawning river herring and white perch, young rockfish and channel catfish, largemouth bass and chain pickerel. The Rappahannock’s Farnham Creek on the Northern Neck also supports herring, perch and young rockfish, and is near a section of the river known for its good fishing for adult rockfish, croakers and Norfolk spot.
Information on the Chesapeake Conservation Challenge is available at checkout counters and the oyster reef kiosk at the three-acre Bass Pro Shops facility at Arundel Mills. Or call the store, 410-689-2500.