Great idea...Donna and I am going to try to do this.
10-17-2010 10:02 AM
Visit the Web Site for Poplar Island
Hi, Joe. The tour is free but you do need to make a reservation via the web site. Clayton did the contacting and we were put on a wait list for that Monday, last day of the sailboat show. On Friday we were advised that someone had canceled and we were to show up for the tour.
You show up at the boat on Tilghman Island before 9, are treated to a boat ride out to the landing on the Island and are then put on a bus for a guided tour of the Northern half outer rim and inner trail of the island. You then visit the tour building (trailer) on the island to see a video on the building of the island. You then get a tour of the Southern portion of the island, seeing the landing for the barges that haul in the dredge material and the inlet between Coaches Island. The history is very interesting. Seems the Democratic Party used to bring politicians out there for hunting fishing junkets.
I think the tours run from March to October so it may not be easy to get a tour this Fall, but you can contact them to see what slots are available. They only run during the week. It seemed to be a contingent of senior citizens. They also do school students but I am sure they don't mix those tours.
We enjoyed it. I bet you will as well.
10-17-2010 08:15 AM
I would like to go to Popular Island. I spent many, many weekends there in my early sailing times 35 years ago. I recall seeing a “wild” ram with horns there (obviously a long lost domestic ram). And wading in the shallows with hundreds of rays. Our boat drew only 3 feet back then and the chain of little islands (from just north of Coaches island around to the small inhabited island east of Poplar Island that formed the fairly well protected cove) was a perfect weekend getaway from West River. It was a shame when time and tide took away the islands, and I have to wonder about the Phoenix version of Poplar Island's future...
10-14-2010 09:25 AM
How cool! I worked on the environmental impact statement for this project some years ago - had no idea they were offering tours - I'd love to see how the plans become reality; will definitely check it out. Thanx for posting!
10-14-2010 09:23 AM
The Chesapeake Bay Tartan Sailing Club did the tour a couple of years ago, I was sorry to have missed it...pretty cool though
10-14-2010 08:58 AM
Taking the Tour of Poplar Island
Earlier this week we were able to join the FREE trip to Poplar Island. You get the vessel "Terrapin" located in Tilghman and make the short run to the now man made Island for a bus tour. The tour guides are very informative as they show you how the island is now getting rebuilt in the same size as it had been before man's impact to its shores. They explain that the island was constructed like a jigsaw puzzle. They first put out the edges with shield stone then have been filling the island in with dredge material from the Bay. Don't call that material "spoils"....seems that hurts their feelings as they think that has a negative sound. They do NOT take dredging from the harbors but only from the open bay waters. It seems they need to keep the channels dredged to 50 feet and they need to do something with the material so they view this as a win/win where they do not dispose of the dredge material in open water and it is making a wild life habitat in the process.
The island has many inlets that permit bay water to come into wetland style "cells" for low land type habitat. They will also have high woodland habitat. They explained how they deposit the material in a slurry form through large pipes. The water drains away and then they have "crust management" where the solids are then dried and are able to be moved around and fashioned into an island.
It was a fun morning (9-12) The proverbial 3 hour tour. We did see many old metal barges sunk in the island that had been an attempt to hold the shore years ago. Since these would have been impossible to move, they are still there. The wildlife is there. The big machinery is there. The tide comes in and out.
Funding...comes from Port dollars and tax moneys. Value of the ports for Maryland...billions.