Debris that has washed into Annapolis waterways and the Chesapeake Bay from the recent storms continues to affect state and county parks.
No swimming is being allowed at Sandy Point State Park “due to safety concerns associated with large amounts of debris” on the beach and floating immediately offshore, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.
The beachfront park remains open for other activities, including sunbathing and shoreline fishing. Boaters may continue to launch from the park’s boat ramps, but the state is urging them to exercise caution and remain vigilant for floating and submerged debris.
“Maryland Park Service staff is actively engaged in debris removal, but is anticipating additional accumulation of debris as the material continues to move down the bay,” the Department of Natural Resources wrote in a Facebook post. “All visitors are being advised of the conditions when they enter the park.”
Beverly Triton Beach Park, Downs Park Dog Beach and Fort Smallwood Park's swimming beach and kayak launch are closed because of the debris, Anne Arundel County announced Tuesday.
The closures are indefinite until the debris from the Conowingo Dam release stops washing ashore and clean up begins, spokesman Owen McEvoy confirmed.
The debris, in large part, has been attributed to the opening of the Conowingo Dam’s crest gates during last week’s rain deluge. That operation is a safety measure used when the Susquehanna River overwhelms the dam, but it released trash and sediment pollution with the water into the bay, where it caused boating hazard concerns.
The cleanup at City Dock — where a giant mass of logs, trash and other debris washed up Monday — stretched into a second day Tuesday.
All beaches in Anne Arundel County undergo a 48-hour no-swimming advisory after any rainfall of a half-inch or more, “due to predicted elevated bacteria levels from rainwater runoff and increased health risks,” according to the Anne Arundel Health Department.