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Maryland officials urge boating caution to navigate post-storm fields of 'marine debris'

The Baltimore Sun

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is asking people to use “extreme caution” while boating in and around the Chesapeake Bay due to large amounts of debris in local waterways.

Officials say a large amount of “marine debris” including tree limbs and other natural materials — the result of heavy rains that have swept across the region over the past week — is now in the mid-bay area.

DNR officials posted a tweet urging boaters to make a plan for traveling, go slow and wear life jackets.

On Mondays, crews from the Annapolis Harbormaster’s Office worked to clear a field of debris that floated into Ego Alley in Annapolis. Officials said the debris and sediment from the Susquehanna, Patapsco and Severn and other Chesapeake Bay tributaries after particularly heavy rains.

Last week operators of the Conowingo Dam opened nearly half its gates to manage high waters in the Susquehanna River, and officials were concerned what the outflow could bring to the Chesapeake.

Also last week, officials form Blue Water Baltimore found large amounts of floating trash and debris after the rains.

This month broke records as the wettest July in the greater Baltimore area.

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