Blue Crab Dredge Survey Promising

BERLIN — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley this week announced the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population is at its second highest level since 1997 and well above the target for the third year in a row, setting the stage for a bay-wide recovery.

The results of the 2011 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey indicate that management measures put into place in 2008 are continuing to pay dividends for the crab population, the industry, recreational crabbers and those who just plain enjoy the Bay’s favorite crustacean. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the survey results on Tuesday.

“At 460 million crabs, our population is at its second highest level since 1997, and nearly double the record low of 249 million in 2007,” he said. “And for watermen across the bay, the unusually high abundance we saw last year translated into a harvest of more than 89 million pounds- the highest since 1993.”

Worcester Begins Waterline Flushing

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Public Works’ Water and Wastewater Division this week began its semi-annual program for flushing water lines throughout much of the northern end of the county.

The purpose of the program is to remove any accumulated sediment from the lines and ensure all fire hydrants are operational. This week, county crews began flushing the water lines in vast areas of Ocean Pines along with River Run. Next week, five more sections of Ocean Pines will be completed along with six more during the week of May 2.

Throughout the month of May, the remaining sections of Ocean Pines will be completed, along with Pennington Commons, Village Square, Manklin Creek and Bay Point Plantation.

Next week, other areas in northern Worcester County will be completed including Edgewater Acres, Nantucket Point, Mystic Harbor and much of West Ocean City including Bay Vista, Ocean Reef, Deer Point, Whispering Woods, Oyster Harbor, Marsh Harbor, Martha’s Landing and Seaside. Glen Riddle, the town of Newark, Bayside Landings and the Lewis Rd. area will be completed during the week of May 9, while Assateague Pointe will be flushed during the week of May 16.

Residents are advised it is possible to see discolored water during the flushing process even when their sections are not underway. If residents notice discolored water coming from their lines, they are advised to let the water run until it becomes clear.

Broadband Agreement Approved

BERLIN — The effort to bring high-speed Internet service to underserved areas across the Eastern Shore including Worcester and Wicomico counties got a shot in the arm this week when the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a Resource Sharing Agreement (RSA) between the Maryland Broadband Cooperative and the Maryland Department of Information Technology.

The Maryland Broadband Cooperative was created in 2006 by the Maryland General Assembly with critical support from U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski at the federal level to provide the backbone of a fiber network across all of rural Maryland. The RSA approved on Wednesday brings extending broadband coverage across the Lower Shore closer to reality.

“Providing broadband to rural Maryland is vitally important to the economic development of our entire state,” said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.  “This is a perfect example of our government partnering with Maryland Broadband in the private sector to provide services to our citizens.”

Hunger Campaign Successful

SALISBURY- An employee-led food drive to support Perdue’s “Strike Out Hunger” campaign generated more than 9,350 pounds of non-perishable food items to benefit the Eastern Shore branch of the Maryland Food Bank, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia.

The two-week food drive engaged associates from Perdue facilities across Delmarva. Perdue employees were able to donate enough food to the three food banks combined to provided more than 7,200 meals for families on the Lower Shore. On April 12, for example, Perdue volunteers helped unload and sort 3,638 pounds of donated food items to the Eastern Shore branch of the Maryland Food Bank in Salisbury.

“For 25 years, Perdue has been dedicated to the support of the Maryland Food Bank’s mission,” said Eastern Shore branch manager Jennifer Small. “This is another example of that relationship.”

The recently completed food drive is just part of a larger effort by Perdue employees to tackle the hunger issue on the Lower Shore. Building on a company commitment to fighting hunger in the community, Perdue is sponsoring the 2011 “Strike Out Hunger” South Atlantic League All-Star Game at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium on behalf of the three Feed America-affiliated food banks serving Delmarva. The associated “Strike Out Hunger” campaign, which will run until the June 21 game, is focused on raising food donations and funds and is encouraging volunteer efforts all across Delmarva to benefit the three food banks.