Western Shore of Maryland

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Maryland's Western Shore (not to be confused with Western Maryland) is an area of Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay. Originally, it included all areas not on the Eastern Shore and some colonial and later state government functions were administered separately for each region. The term no longer identifies an official region of Maryland and is used in contrast to the "Eastern Shore", also known as the "Delmarva" peninsula separated from the Maryland northeast corner of mainland with northern Delaware in the north by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, heavily used by transiting cargo ships along the major East Coast port cities.

"The Shore" has long had a distinct historical, cultural, sociological, and economic character and sense of personality, well known in American and state history, politics, and events, especially before the 1949-1952 construction of the "Gov. William Preston Lane Memorial Bridge" (Chesapeake Bay Bridge), which spans from Annapolis in Anne Arundel County on the Western Shore to Kent Island and Queen Anne's County on the Eastern Shore. The ensuing development and suburbanization, among other factors, have changed and influenced the rural personality of the region for the past 65 years.

Since it is not an officially defined region, there is no official border for the Western Shore. At a minimum, it can be taken to include the tidewater region bordering the Chesapeake Bay on the west and southwest of the Hampton Roads harbor at the mouth of the James and Elizabeth Rivers in southeast Virginia. Here is a major metropolitan urban area if unified but split up into several portions of small cities by several rivers and creeks with Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach on the Southside and the towns of Newport News, Poquoson and Hampton on the Northern Peninsula.

The region along the long estuary of the Bay includes the cities of Baltimore and Annapolis, nearly all of Southern Maryland, much of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, and part or all of the following counties:

To residents of the Eastern Shore, the term "Western Shore" still often refers to all of Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is only the northern two-thirds of the Delmarva peninsula separated by the straight line across from west to East forming the political boundary between Maryland to the north and Virginia to the south below it. This forms again the distinctive unique culture and history of the Eastern Shore of Virginia as similarly compared to the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia on its Western Shore of the Bay.

Western Shore watershed[edit]

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines the "Western Shore" as the land from Harford County in the northeast down to Calvert County's bayfront communities to the southeast.[1]

Oxygen levels in the Chesapeake Bay are a continuing concern.[1] As of 2010, the EPA is introducing new laws to reduce Western Shore nitrogen pollutants released into the Bay, from 16.89 million lbs per year to 9.74 million lbs per year. The laws would also restrict phosphorus pollutants from 830,000 lbs per year to 460,000 lbs per year.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Pamela Woods (July 2, 2010). "Bay going on strict 'pollution diet". The capitol.

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′50.81″N 76°29′22.43″W / 38.8974472°N 76.4895639°W / 38.8974472; -76.4895639