WASHINGTON — Just in time for Earth Day 2018, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Chesapeake Bay Detachment (CBD), located on the Chesapeake’s west bank, has finalized an extensive five-year initiative to stabilize, beautify and establish an ecological and nature friendly environment along the shores of one of Maryland’s greatest natural resources.

“It’s a win-win situation for the environment we share with the Chesapeake Bay and CBD,” said Harold Rolfs, Customer Liaison. “CBD strives to remain good stewards of our surrounding environment by getting involved in tree restoration, oyster replenishment, habitats for wildlife, and other environmentally friendly programs to maintain a vigilant approach to reducing our impact on the region.”

Under cooperative agreement with the Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Board, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command contracted with engineering firm WBCM of Baltimore to complete cliff line design and provide design support. Stabilization of the nearly 100 foot vertical cliff along 800 feet of shoreline, included regrading top-side and sloped surfaces to prevent water run-off and the installation of specially designed mats secured with soil nails to prevent cliff face failure. The lower slope was enhanced with grass, shrubs and trees to resist future erosion, and additional sediment control was achieved by repairing deteriorated roadways, infilling low spots and adding top mulch.

The 168-acre Chesapeake Bay Detachment, belonging to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, is home to many wetland birds and waterfowl to include the American Bald Eagle and wood duck, and many of the state’s natural resources such as the Maryland Blue Crab and the Chesapeake Bay Oyster. (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

The 168-acre Chesapeake Bay Detachment, belonging to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, is home to many wetland birds and waterfowl to include the American Bald Eagle and wood duck, and many of the state’s natural resources such as the Maryland Blue Crab and the Chesapeake Bay Oyster. (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Other environmental and nature enhancement projects have included the creation of nesting sites for birds and inviting habitats for the abundant waterfowl found in the region to include the colorful wood duck. In addition, CBD contributes to the planting of trees, shrubs and flowers to aid in preventing erosion and excessive water run-off into the bay. In 2010, CBD joined Maryland's oyster restoration and revitalization effort by growing oyster spat along the CBD dock in Chesapeake Beach, and in the coming months CBD will begin a one-year stream restoration and enhancement project on the grounds of the nearly 170-acre facility.

Because of its location high above the Chesapeake Bay, unique experiments using low clutter and generally low background radar can be performed at CBD in conjunction with the Tilghman Island site, located 16 kilometers directly across the bay. Basic research is also conducted in radar antenna properties, testing of radar remote sensing concepts, use of radar to sensor ocean waves, and laser propagation. CBD also hosts facilities of the Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability, which conducts fire research on simulated carrier surfaces and submarine platforms.

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country’s position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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