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OUTDOOR ADVENTURE


Winter is the perfect time for birding

November through March is heaven for waterfowl lovers. Snow geese, tundra swans, canvasback, pintail, wigeon, and many others use this area for their winter resting and feeding grounds. The full complement of winter ducks is on display. 

Assateague Island, Deal Island, the Ocean City Inlet, Rumbly Point, and Heron Park are some winter favorites amidst other hidden parks and ponds with easy public access. 

Down here is also the best place in Maryland to find Harlequin (pictured here) and Long-tailed ducks, Common and King Eider, Dovekies, Razorbills, Purple Sandpipers, loons, and Brant. Seals have become a hit as well for wildlife watchers.

With so much unspoiled shoreline, marsh, and forestland, it’s no wonder Audubon, Maryland-DC has designated a whopping six Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset counties, including the Pocomoke-Nassawango, Maryland Coastal Bays, Assateague Island, Nanticoke, Somerset-Wicomico, and Great Cypress Swamp IBAs. The science-based designations are designed to help promote and protect the best remaining places for birds in the state.

GUIDED BIRDING OPPORTUNITIES
HERITAGE AREA NEWS
Heritage Area makes an impact

Beach to Bay Heritage Area makes a $230 million impact annually. This economic impact consists of tourism driven by the presence of the BBHA, and the operation and grantmaking activities of the heritage area in collaboration with MHAA. The BBHA supports 3,142 jobs and contributes $29.6 million in total state and local taxes.
SEE THE FULL STUDY
VIRTUAL TOUR

Explore the Ward Museum – virtually!

Join in for a virtual tour of the Ward Museum! See how bird carvings evolved from practical, utilitarian hunting tools to objects of spectacular artistic expression. Learn the history behind Lem and Steve Ward and their wildfowl carvings. 
 
NEWS YOU CAN USE
January 29 is deadline for first step on Heritage Area grants

It's time to plan for projects that could qualify for funding from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) in 2021. MHAA grants support nonprofit organizations and government entities with up to $50,000 for non-capital projects and up to $100,000 for capital projects located within a Certified Heritage Area. Grants can support projects involving historical, cultural or natural resources, sites, events or facilities. Eligible projects must have a heritage tourism component or contribute to research that will directly inform a heritage tourism product.

In an effort to attract a more diverse pool of grant applicants, MHAA has made a significant change in the cash match requirement. Read more about the change in match requirements and applying for grants on the MHT Blog. Letters of intent to apply are due January 29, 2021.

 
MORE ON HERITAGE AREA GRANTS
Funding sources available for heritage tourism partners

We have put together a listing of potential local, state, and federal funding sources for our heritage tourism partners. Whether you’re looking to build trails or exhibits, or you're hosting an event or renovating a historic structure, check these resources for criteria and eligibility.
 
FUNDING SOURCES
Spread the word!
Do you know someone who might find this newsletter interesting or helpful? Feel free to share on social media or forward to a friend, and encourage them to subscribe. We send this newsletter out on the last Thursday of each month. 
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Become a member!
Help preserve, protect, and promote the Lower Eastern Shore's cultural traditions, historic sites, and natural landscapes by becoming a member of the Beach to Bay Heritage Area! Stay connected to our exciting projects and programs, learn about funding opportunities and ways to get involved.

We are partnering with the Rural Maryland Council to create online virtual tours of our historic sites, attractions and museums in order to encourage folks to get back to visiting when the time is right.

We are partners with the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority to encourage and enable all of our heritage area stakeholders here on the shore to apply for capital improvement projects, whether it is façade improvements, building a new exhibit or creating handicap accessibility.

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