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Top, Furnacetown; bottom left, Tawes Museum (Crisfield Heritage Foundation)

Seven Organizations on Lower Shore Receive $70,000 in Funding

As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) received additional supplemental funding to distribute as emergency relief to support economic recovery for cultural institutions adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Through this effort, Maryland Humanities was allocated $910,000 to distribute to non-profit organizations that provide opportunities for Maryland’s communities to access and engage with public history, cultural heritage, and civic learning during this continued unprecedented time.

Maryland Humanities awarded $10,000 grants to 91 organizations across the state of Maryland. Seven organizations within the Beach to Bay Heritage Area were selected from over 140 applications whose missions have a primary focus on the humanities.

Organizations receiving funding include: Berlin Heritage Foundation, Crisfield Heritage Foundation, Delmarva Discovery Museum, Friends of Julia A. Purnell Museum, Furnace Town Foundation, Somerset County Historical Society and the Beach to Bay Heritage Area Inc.

Grant funds can be used for general operating support. For more information about the Maryland Humanities grant programs and other grant programs that may assist your non-profit organization visit

An exhibit by artist Patrick Henry at the Ward Museum will be made possible through a mini-grant. 

Mini-Grants Awarded to Six Organizations

Nearly $12,000 in mini-grants was awarded to six organizations within the heritage area: Berlin Heritage Foundation, Crisfield Heritage Foundation, Delmarva Discovery Museum, The Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Somerset County Historical Trust, and Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Projects range from new exhibits and oral histories to a sustainable seafood guide and events. These projects and programs leverage a total of nearly $49,000 in funding. Read more.


Remember Beach to Bay Heritage Area on Giving Tuesday

Please join us on Giving Tuesday-Shore Gives More on November 30 to help us reach our fundraising goal to continue to elevate and celebrate the collective stories of the lower eastern shore's heritage, cultural traditions and natural resources. You can donate to this campaign beginning Nov. 22. Donate here.


Germantown School Provided Education in Early 1900s
The Germantown School is a two-teacher, Rosenwald school serving students in the African American community of Germantown, Maryland from its opening in 1922 until the late 1950s. Thanks to the Humphreys Foundation for funding the creation of the video. 

Seal Stewards of the Maryland Coastal Bays

It’s almost seal season (late December-May) so we thought we’d share this great program in case you want to get involved. Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) and the National Aquarium partnered in 2012 to launch an outreach program on responsible seal viewing and sighting reporting. Out of this partnership developed the seal steward program, as Ocean City and Assateague Island have been experiencing a significant increase in seal sightings.

This citizen volunteer opportunity is an ‘on call’ opportunity.  When a seal hauls out, seal stewards are contacted to see if they are available to man the haul out area to make sure beach and dog walkers keep a safe distance to protect both the walkers, dogs, and the seal.

Their dog-like faces and lumpy bodies make seals adorably appealing and seemingly approachable; however, an up-close and personal encounter with a seal can cause serious stress and create a dangerous situation for people and/or the seal.  Seals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). It is against the law to touch, feed, or otherwise harass seals and when viewing you are required to stay at least 50 yards from the resting seal (the length of three school buses).

When a seal lays on a beach, it is hauling out, a normal behavior associated with pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) of temporarily leaving the water between periods of foraging activity for sites on land or ice. Hauling out is necessary in seals for mating, giving birth, predator avoidance, thermal regulation, social activity, parasite reduction, and rest. As the seals that we experience in our area are temporary visitors, their hauling out here is primarily for rest or distress. Therefore, close encounters by humans and dogs put both at risk. Seals will bite and serious infections can be transmitted to you or your pet.

If you should encounter a seal on the beach, please call the National Aquarium stranding hotline 410-576-3880 or 1-800-628-9944 so a trained observer can evaluate the condition of the seal to determine if it is doing its normal thing or is in distress. For more information on the program contact


Woven fiber ornament making at the Ward Museum

Oliver “Tuts” Lawson: A Retrospective
September 24 – January 23
Featuring pieces that tell the story of a living legend among decoy carvers. From his days as a teenager carving birds using strawberry baskets found while working at a grocery store in Crisfield, MD, to eclectic commissions and the many masterful birds made over a lifetime of dedication to craft, this exhibit in the LaMay Gallery is rich with beautiful work and a unique history rooted in local cultural tradition. Ward Museum, Salisbury. 

Thanksgiving Market
November 20
The Ocean Pines Farmers market hosts its annual Thanksgiving market. Many bakeries accepting special orders for the holidays. 9am-11am.

Ice Skating in Sturgis Park
November 27, December 3-4, 3-6pm

Break out the ice skates and head to Sturgis Park in Snow Hill for this fun event.

Small Business Saturday

November 27
Shop small and shop local. Participating local businesses will have discounts and more.

Merry Marketplace
Weekends in December

Artisans, Kringle Cottage, and carriage rides! Downtown Berlin.

Ornament Class at Ward Museum
December 4, 9am-12pm

Create woven fiber ornaments with Ward Museum Curator Raye-Valion Gillette. Using just organic cotton string and several different knots, you will create a keepsake holiday ornament for you to decorate your tree or home this holiday season. Register.
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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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