West and Rhode Riverkeeper

We work with our community to enforce environmental law, to
promote restoration, and to advocate for better environmental policy.
Contact us: 410-867-7171  ♦  4800 Atwell Rd, #6, Shady Side, MD 20764

ChesaTreks Tour to Poplar Island

chesatreks-logopoplar island 1








(Photo courtesy Maryland Environmental Service)

Contact: Jeff Holland, , 443-758-7797

What:              ChesaTreks Tour to Poplar Island

When:              Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hours:             7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Cost:                $100 per person, including limo transportation and crab cake lunch at Character’s Bridge Restaurant, Knapps Narrows, Tilghman Island

Reservations required. Call 410-867-7171 or click here. 

Or cut and past this link to your browser: https://co.clickandpledge.com/?wid=116829

ChesaTrekers to tour Poplar Island April 13

The West & Rhode Riverkeeper will lead a tour to Poplar Island as the first of new series of “ChesaTreks” adventures. “This is a fun way to explore the Chesapeake Bay,” says Riverkeeper Jeff Holland. “We’ll host one new adventure every month, each one calculated to highlight an environmental or historical treasure. We’ll bring along an expert to educate a small group, take a tour by boat or kayak, and then savor the experience with conversation over some local food and drink.”

The first ChesaTrek adventure will be a tour to Poplar Island near Tilghman Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “This was one of our disappearing islands,” Holland explains, “but it’s become a national model of environmental restoration.”

According to 1847 charts, Poplar Island was about 1,100 acres, but erosion and sea level rise washed away all but five acres by 1993. The Maryland Environmental Service essentially recreated the island using clean dredged material from the Port of Baltimore’s approach channels.

According to MES sources, the process involves placing, shaping, and planting some 40 million cubic yards of dredged material within a dike constructed to approximate the 1847 footprint. The first two phases of dike construction were completed by 2002, and dredged material placement began in 2001. In 2014, the project was authorized for a 575-acre expansion which is scheduled to begin as early as 2016 and will increase the total project size to 1,715 acres, allowing for a project placement total of 68 million cubic yards of material.

The restored island provides habitat for a wide array of birds, terrapins, and other wildlife. “Definitely bring your binoculars,” Holland notes. “This is a birder’s paradise.” The day’s schedule starts with a Lighthouse Limo ride from Discovery Village in Shady Side. The group will board the MES boat at Knapp’s Narrows to get out to the island. After the tour, lunch will be at Character’s Bridge Restaurant overlooking the Narrows. The menu includes crab cakes, rockfish sandwich or chicken Ceasar salad and soft drinks. The limo arrives back at Discovery Village at 3:30 p.m.

The cost is $100 per person, including transportation and lunch. Proceeds help the Riverkeeper keep the West & Rhode Rivers fishable, swimmable, kayak-able and crab-able.

Reservations are required. Call 410-867-7171 or click here.

Details for Poplar Island Tour


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bus leaves 7 a.m.

                Park at Discovery Village, 4800 Atwell Road, Shady Side, MD 20764

Tour 9 a.m. - noon

Lunch: Noon – 1:30 p.m.

                Character’s Bridge Restaurant

Bus leaves Tilghman Island at 1:45 p.m.

                Arrives at Discovery Village at 3:30 p.m.


The Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project on Poplar Island.  Our group of 24 will depart the Maryland Environmental Service Land Base on Tilghman Island promptly at 9 a.m. 

Please realize that Poplar Island is an active construction site.  As the group coordinator you will be held responsible to inform your guests of the following safety regulations:

  1. All posted signs and verbal notices must be obeyed.
  2. Alcohol is prohibited.
  3. Pets are prohibited.
  4. The group must stay together at all times.
  5. Poplar Island is open to the public through prior arrangement only.
  6. All participants are required to wear a life jacket (provided).  Visitors under 50 lbs. must provide their own life jackets. 

To make the tour enjoyable for all participants, please take the following into consideration:

  1. Poplar Island is not ADA accessible.  Participants must be prepared to board a boat and climb a few steps however the amount of walking is minimal.
  2. Tours are run rain or shine.  However, in the event of severe weather we may need to cancel the tour, in which case we will contact you as soon as a decision has been made.
  3. The boat will depart promptly at the above scheduled time.  Late participants will be left behind.  Alternative boat transportation will not be allowed dockage on Poplar Island.
  4. The tour does not include a designated lunch break but feel free to bring snacks.
  5. Tours can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but please keep in mind that some of the topics covered are slightly advanced for our younger visitors.