Sip & Socialize Winter Lecture Series

Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is proud to present it's winter lecture series entitled Sip & Socialize. Join Phillips Wharf as they feature volunteers, experts and Chesapeake Bay industry professionals and go over pertinent of the Chesapeake Bay, wildlife and environmental changes. Each lecture will feature wine, refreshment and light snack as you listen to today's hot topics.

All events will be held at the Phillip Wharf classroom at 5:00pm.
*All Events are subject to change according to the availability of the speaker.


As I am sure most are aware that Tilghman Elementary has recently been on the chopping block to be closed. Our community has rallied up for our wonderful little school to make sure that doesn't happen. In December, the Board of Education gave Tilghman Elementary another year to stay open but.... there are things that still need to be accomplished for the school to stay open past next year.

Please come join us for a presentation on the current state of affairs at Tilghman Elementary and what the plan is to achieve the goals set forth by the Board to keep the school open for years to come.
This is an important effort, one that should be supported by our community members not only for the kids but the overall health of our little gem of an island we call home.

Tilghman is rich in history but unfortunately, much history has been lost or overcome by the world as we know it today. Tilghman was once a booming town based around the Tilghman Packing Company. The packing company provided many jobs and economic stability to the island. Please join us for an airing of Til-Made: Remembering Tilghman Packing Company, an original documentary made by the Tilghman Watermen's Museum and travel back in time to celebrate a huge part of our island's history.

Think of this presentation as a Phillips Wharf State of the Union. We will start with a brief history of Phillips Wharf and then we will spend time on each of our major focuses right now ; Education, Aquaculture, and Gardens. We want everyone to know what we have going on right now, our plans for this year, and our long term goals.

Eric Schott- Die Hard: how a virus discovered in peeler crabs is helping us understand movement of blue crab across large distances.

Our Chesapeake blue crab is actually just one population of a species (Callinectes sapidus) that lives in western Atlantic estuaries from New England to Uruguay. Production of soft crabs, however, is arguably a local invention. A Tilghman audience will know that soft crabs are made by holding pre-molt animals (peelers) until they bust out of their old shell. Shedders know that about 10-25% of the time, peelers die before they molt. Scientists at the University of Maryland have discovered that nearly all of that mortality is associated with heavy infection with a virus called CsRV1. This knowledge has practical application in developing strategies to reduce peeler mortality. In addition, genetic analysis of the CsRV1 virus from widely different parts of the blue crab range has the potential to help us understand how blue crab disperse over large distances.

Gary Crawford, a local Fairbank resident and owner of Crawford's Nautical Books on Tilghman Island is always a favorite when it comes to a good presentation. He writes beautifully and many of his articles appear in the Tidewater Times. In the past he has brought us wonderful presentations such as "The 75 Ton Catch" and just last year a presentation on Sharp's Island.

He will be making a return appearance for this year's winter lecture series with a slideshow presentation and historical narration on The Bridges of Tilghman: The bridges that have spanned the Knapp's Narrows. You're not going to want to miss this as Gary's shows never disappoint.

We've decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day Phillips Wharf style!!! Instead of having a presentation we will be offering a traditional Irish meal of ham and cabbage PLUS our very own Fisherman's Daughter Brand Oysters baked, grilled, and raw. Who wouldn't want to join us for a St. Patrick's Day dinner with a Tilghman Island twist?
Tickets are limited and cost $20. Price includes dinner, oysters, dessert, beer, wine, and other refreshments.
To get your tickets or contact for more info.


The Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island: Environmental innovation and ecological engineering are being used to place and shape dredged material in order to restore a once-disappearing island into a unique and thriving wildlife habitat within the Chesapeake Bay. Come and learn more about the process and environmental benefits of the Poplar Island project.

Most people from the area know about Poplar Island and I'm sure many of you have visited. Poplar Island was once almost eroded away but this project has saved the island and is rebuilding it to its former stature. Join us for a presentation about Poplar Island and I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

Horseshoe Crabs Feeling the Pinch:
Increasing the Sustainability of Bleeds for Biomedicine
What has 9 eyes, 10 legs, blue blood, is more than 400 million years old, and saves
billions of lives each year? This armor-plated watery superhero is the humble horseshoe
crab. The FDA mandates that all vaccines, injectables, implantable devices, and similar
products be tested for bacterial contamination. This is where the horseshoe crab blood
proves essential. A factor in its blood can detect bacterial contamination at parts per
trillion, thwarting potentially deadly reactions in people. However, at the same time that
the horseshoe crab is ensuring our safety, we are threatening its population through
overharvesting and overuse. As a keystone species in the estuarine food chain,
reductions in its numbers have ripple effects on other species. Improvement upon
standard bleeding practices which often result in mortality rates as high as 30% is
critically needed while continuing to assure reliable quantities and sources of blood for
biomedical testing.
Mary Larkin
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore, MD