Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
|Merged into||It became part of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve System in 1990|
|Purpose||It provides environmental education opportunities to the public, it conducts ecological research, and it conserves Jug Bay's unique ecosystem.|
The Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is located along the tidal Patuxent River in southern Maryland. It was established in 1985 and is operated by the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks. It includes more than 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of tidal freshwater wetlands, forests, meadows and fields. The wetlands, with large stands of aquatic plants including wild rice, are home to many birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals. Miles of trails and boardwalks traverse a variety of habitats and provide glimpses into the rich history of the region. In 1990, the Sanctuary became a component of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The sanctuary is also recognized as a Nationally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society.
The goals of the sanctuary are to provide environmental education opportunities to the public, to conduct ecological research, and to conserve Jug Bay's unique ecosystem. Each year about 10,000 visitors enjoy programs for students, families and groups. Several hundred volunteers act as docents and guides to the public and assist with long-term ecological studies. In return, volunteers gain in-depth knowledge of ecology, natural history, and the functions of wetland ecosystems.
The sanctuary is located in Bristol, Maryland, 43 miles (69 km) from the mouth of the 115-mile (185 km) long river. The Wetlands Center is at , three miles (5 km) southeast of Upper Marlboro and six miles (10 km) west of Lothian, with a mailing address of 1361 Wrighton Road, Lothian, MD 20711. It is 17.5 miles (28.2 km) southwest of Annapolis and 19.5 miles (31.4 km) southeast of Washington, DC.
McCann Wetlands Study Center
The McCann Wetlands Study Center houses interactive exhibits about wetlands, estuaries and the Patuxent River watershed, focusing on their importance and health, as well as the plants and animals that live there. The center also contains classroom lab facilities and a gift shop.
The Friends of Jug Bay
The Friends of Jug Bay is a non-profit organization, incorporated in 1986, to support and promote the sanctuary. They foster activities that increase public appreciation of the natural environment of Jug Bay and the Patuxent River. The Friends receive funds from membership dues, donations, grants, fundraisers, and the sale of merchandise. There are over 400 member families. Some of the projects and activities supported by the Friends include research fellowships, summer camp scholarships and junior counselors, hospitality support, staff development, scientific and education equipment and materials, and other special projects.