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Chesapeake Bay News

May
15
2012

Tributary Tuesday: Manokin River (Somerset County, Maryland)

A trip down the Manokin River in Somerset County, Maryland, is like taking a trip back in time. Many area residents make a living harvesting and selling fish and shellfish. Restaurants, highways and shopping centers are hard to come by. At least one large property (at the mouth of the river) has been nearly untouched since the 17th century.

boat on Manokin River

(Image courtesy Wayfarer Cruiser/Flickr)

The 17-mile long Chesapeake Bay tributary cuts through farm fields and small towns as it flows southeast from Princess Anne and into Tangier Sound. A large portion of that land is designated as habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, ensuring that the river remains abundant with critters. On the north side of the Manokin, Deal Island Wildlife Management Area’s 9 miles of trails and scenic roads offer views of great egrets and colorful summer sunsets. To the south, Fairmont Wildlife Management Area is home to waterfowl in the winter and migratory shorebirds in spring and autumn.

At the river’s mouth, historic buildings dating from the early 18th to the mid 20th centuries paint a picture of the Manokin’s past inhabitants. The buildings are located on a property known as the “Manokin Settlement,” and are united by a web of family connections. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the Manokin Historic District offers a vista downriver to Tangier Sound and upriver to Princess Anne that’s believed to remain unchanged from the 17th century.

Surrounded by preserved forested marshes, early 18th century town buildings, and residents that understand the tides the way most of us understand a clock or a calendar, the Manokin seems to be a river out of the past. Unarguably, it’s a past worth protecting.

Manokin River at dusk

(Image courtesy forest_choir/Flickr)

More from the Manokin River:

  • Explore antique shops and historic mansions in Princess Anne. Named after Princess Anne, daughter of King George II of England, Princess Anne was established in 1733.
  • Take a bridge to Deal Island and see fishermen unloading the day’s catch in each of the island’s three communities: Deal Island, Chance and Wenona.
author
About Alicia Pimental - Alicia is the Chesapeake Bay Program's online communications manager. She manages the Bay Program's web content and social media channels. Alicia discovered her love for nature and the environment while growing up along Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. When she's not at work, Alicia enjoys cooking, traveling, photography and playing with her chocolate lab, Tess.


Comments:

Comment

Mark Trice says:
May 17, 2012

Be sure to visit MD DNR’s Eyes on the Bay website. We have a continuous water quality monitor in the Manokin, as well as monthly surface water quality mapping.

http://www.eyesonthebay.net



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