An Ecological Retreat and Refuge
Lifestyle / January 19, 2023

Not far from Cambridge Harbor lies more than 32,000 acres of ecological wonder. With one-third of Maryland’s tidal wetlands, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is home to an abundance of flora and fauna that thrive within its three major habitats: forest, marsh, and shallow water. Blackwater was established in 1933 as a sanctuary for migrating waterfowl and is now considered an Internationally Important Bird Area.

Within the refuge, visitors have access to numerous areas open for public recreation that can be enjoyed all year long. Some of the most popular activities that this natural ecosystem offers are hiking along four different land trails, 17 miles of water for paddling, 15k acres for deer hunting, bird watching, and even a 3.6 mile wildlife drive. Amongst some of the unique events that are held at Blackwater NWR are the Eagle Festival and the world-renowned Ironman 70.3 Eagleman triathlon, where the bike portion of the race winds through the scenic wildlife refuge.

Cyclists pass Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, foreground, and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Church Creek, Md., on June 8, 2019. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Inspired by Blackwater NWR’s mission to conserve, manage, and restore wildlife and their habitats, at Cambridge Harbor, we plan to implement our own ecological zone across from the Visitor Center that will focus on education and preservation of the Eastern Shore’s natural habitats. We will ensure that the built environment along our waterfront is accessible and harmonious with the natural landscape. For more information about Blackwater, such as hours and entrance fees, you can visit Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (

Wetlands cover Blackwater National Wildlife Refugre in Dorchester County, Md., on June 5, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

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