“Mallows Bay is the richest marine heritage site in the United States,” according to Samuel Orlando, Chesapeake Bay Regional Coordinator at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) office of National Maritime Sanctuaries. Remembering an Abandoned World War I ships become unique habitat for wildlife. The shipbuilding was to take place across nearly 90 shipyards, and the ships were to be constructed of wood instead of steel, saving shipbuilders time and money and reserving U.S. steel for vessels engaged in combat operations. Susan Langley, the state archaeologist, says she has one rule for visitors to Mallows Bay (besides staying off the shipwrecks): “You have to come in every season,” she says. Charles County and the State of Maryland continue It’s been named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. History Wooden ships owned by Western Marine & Salvage tied together in 1925, likely on the Potomac or at Mallows Bay. The information on the history at Mallows Bay and the natural setting was very interesting. The area was nominated in 2014 by the state of Maryland for consideration as a National Marine Sanctuary, and 4 alternative designations are currently under review by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This diverse collection of historic shipwrecks totals nearly … Despite several years of shipbreaking, WMSC never recovered its initial investment. Orlando has become an expert on the large-scale potential benefits of a Mallows Bay Sanctuary and relayed that the sanctuary would incorporate on-the-water passage markers for recreational kayakers and canoers and would add a fourth water trail to the Potomac’s existing three. For those of you who know your history, the Armistice of Compiègne was signed on November 11, 1918. to work to expand access to this area, while protecting the assets and The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay is located 37 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is part of the Potomac River. The U.S. had warships, but a shortage of transport vessels led President Woodrow Wilson to approve, in April of 1917, the greatest shipbuilding program in history: an order for 1,000 300-ft long steamships to be built in only 18 months. Shomette first visited Mallows Bay as a teenager. Chesapeake Conservancy is a lead partner in the community-driven effort that successfully led to this designation. All aspects of the region’s heritage are evident at Mallows Bay. It is truly a national treasure." Mallows Bay is a mile-long cove about 40 miles south of Washington, D.C. The Ghost Fleet had become a haven for marine life, supporting a complex underwater ecosystem. Mallows Bay is situated south of Washington, D.C., along the tidal Lower Potomac River off the Nanjemoy Peninsula of Charles County, Maryland. Mallows Bay, a unique cultural and ecological site in Charles County, is one step closer to being designated as the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary and Marylanders now have the opportunity to show their support. The Mallows Bay wreck-removal project was quietly shelved. Acknowledgements: Photos courtesy of Darryl Byrd, Maryland Public Television, Kimberly Hernandez   and Stephen Badger. Within the murky waters of the … WAMU’s Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner visited Mallows Bay, by canoe and kayak, to document the unusual waterscape the shipwrecks have created. dating from the Revolutionary War through the present, known as the The birth of this place can be traced back to the nineteenth century, to a time and age when this settlement started to […] My group of 18 paddlers is eager to explore the new Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in Charles County, Md. They abandoned Mallows Bay and everything within it. Family Travel. Due to the area’s historical significance, the Mallows Bay – Widewater Commonly referred to as the “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay, it is the largest collection of shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. These boats were intended to serve as a merchant … In March 1993, with the support of the St. Clements Island/Potomac River Museum of Colton Point, Maryland, and a small grant from the Maryland Historical Trust, I initiated the first organized effort to evaluate the historical maritime resources existing in Mallows Bay. In November of 2015, the emergent and submerged vessels of this Ghost Fleet, the largest shipwrecked fleet in the Western Hemisphere, were nominated as a candidate to become part of a national “underwater park” system of 13 national marine sanctuaries which encompasses more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters. « Tahawus, New York – In … “There is a catalyst effect on public care for the area’s resources,” said Orlando. Extraordinary Sailing Life. During World War 1 the US government (United States Shipping Board) created the Emergency Fleet Corporation who commissioned the building of 734 wooden steamships. &noscript=1"/>, Forty miles south of Washington, DC, off of Maryland’s Charles County shoreline near a little town named Nanjemoy, the weather- and water-beaten remains of more than two hundred ships lie in their final resting places in the shallow waters of the Potomac River’s Mallows Bay. Protests from Widewater watermen and community members about the “salvage process” soon resulted in WMSC buying nearly 600 acres across the river in Mallows Bay and moving their operations to Maryland. Under the newly created U.S. It was the greatest destruction of ships at one time in US history. By 1931, the Western Marine & Salvage Company had transported 169 hulls into Mallows Bay, but the Great Depression and a resulting decline in scrap values lead the … The ‘Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay’ in pictures. Pending the results of current public outreach soliciting input on four alternatives, the Mallows Bay-Potomac River Sanctuary would become the 14th National Marine Sanctuary under NOAA’s care. Natural and cultural resources would be protected. most unique industrial ship-breaking undertakings in American history, They abandoned Mallows Bay and everything within it. In this lesson, students will investigate some of the history of the ships that are located in the Mallows Bay-Potomac River area and visually observe their impact on the local environment. One of the over 200 ships abandoned in the Potomac River that has now become an overgrown island ripe with wildlife. Civil War. It’s a sunny morning in August and Mallows Bay is far from spooky. The move to Mallows Bay did not solve the company’s problems, however, as new protests now came from Maryland watermen. Mallows Bay is already a popular tourist spot, where visitors can kayak through shipwrecks and observe an array of wildlife, including bald eagles and osprey. It’s a sunny morning in August and Mallows Bay is far from spooky. Shipping Board, the Emergency Fleet Corporation embarked on a course that, in the span of the following pivotal years of American history, came to exhibit mankind’s genius, ignorance, avarice, and drive. The Mallows Bay wreck-removal project was quietly shelved. Although some Mallows Bay watermen have not welcomed the potential “sanctuary” designation, the establishment of a Mallows Bay-Potomac River Sanctuary will, according to Orlando, not only protect the bay’s natural and cultural resources, but will also support increased recreational access, enhance publicly accessible shoreline, and foster an increase in currently existing recreational resources. This map contains 3 paddling itineraries that allow visitors to virtually explore this one of a kind site. The story of the ships at Mallows Bay begins when the United States entered World War I. The extent of the habitats provided by the ships were not widely known until the Potomac Electric Power Company lobbied the U.S. House of Representative’s Public Work’s Committee on Government Operations for permission to remove the hulks to provide barge access for an intended nuclear power plant. Mallows Bay: History Hiding Beneath the Waves 02/10/2017 By Margaret De Arcangelis. “But to animals, it’s structure and function and habitat.” How The Fleet Came To Mallows Bay. Now, the 72-year-old visits the area as often as possible. It … Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 18 square miles of waters and submerged lands within the tidal Potomac River, in Maryland state waters. Nanjemoy - Explore the largest concentration of shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, known as the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay. History & Heritage. The Piscataway have identified Mallows Bay and Liverpool Point (Charles County, Maryland) as areas of significance within their … Production did not occur on schedule. Atlantic Kayak ran a well-organized, informative, professional tour operation from start to finish. The Shipwrecks of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Image courtesy of Library of Congress The sanctuary boasts a diverse collection of historic shipwrecks dating back to the Revolutionary War, but is most renowned for the remains of over 100 wooden steamships known as … Located in Mallows Bay near the Maryland town of Nanjemoy, the Ghost Fleet is the largest and most varied collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, spanning over three centuries of American shipbuilding. According to Orlando, it will take approximately one year before NOAA can evaluate all stakeholder inputs and finalize a site designation. The origins of the Ghost Fleet may have its roots in America’s burgeoning war effort, but it was largely the industrial complex and economy that grew out of World War I that led to the fleet’s demise. The “Burn Basin” contains the remains of these ships. They join the Kojo Show to discuss their reporting. The Star-Spangled Banner. National Marine Sanctuary Resources: For bios of each of the 13 ‘underwater parks’ that comprise the National Marine Sanctuary System, go to marinesanctuary.org/explore. For those who navigate in and around the waters of Mallows Bay, the spectral remains of more than 80 wooden steamships reflect a forgotten era in U.S. maritime history; … Mallows Bay is already a popular tourist spot, where visitors can kayak through shipwrecks and observe an array of wildlife, including bald eagles and osprey. Since then, the area remains abandoned and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kimberly offered a wonderful kayaking program. Due to the area’s historical significance, the Mallows Bay – Widewater Historic and Archeological District was listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places in April 2015. African-American Heritage. Mallows Bay: History Hiding Beneath the Waves 02/10/2017 By Margaret De Arcangelis. The public comment period on whether Mallows Bay should become a sanctuary and the determination of the sanctuary’s geographic footprint closed on March 31. Site of a British, Virginia and Maryland land-sea skirmish … Underground Railroad. Wildlife Mallows Bay has been described as a bird watcher’s paradise, as well as having tremendous wildlife viewing opportunities; the park inhabits … Today, Mallows Bay is the final resting place of up to 200 shipwrecks. In the process, the United States emerged as the greatest shipbuilding nation in world history. Evidence for the depth of … “NOAA will be able to track sediment and ecosystem elements, protect the wrecks, and support marine habitats and healthier populations,” said Orlando. Germany surrendered, and the war was over. The History of the “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay. The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay Scattered throughout this section of the Potomac River are the remains of historic shipwrecks covering centuries of American history, including over 90 wooden steamships built for America's entry into WWI. Mallows Bay is a special place that deserves protection forever,” says Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. | Photo courtesy of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources . Wilson’s steamships had been built at such a rapid pace that construction was frequently shoddy. Fast forward 40 years to 1970, when a representative from the Audubon Society testified that the Ghost Fleet had become an “integral part of the [Mallows Bay] ecosystem.” Forward again to the ‘90s, when researchers given a grant to inventory the economic, historical, and archaeological aspects of the salvage site found that Western Marine had left many more vessels in Mallows—to include 12 barges, a Revolutionary War-era longboat, and several 18th century schooners. Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 18 square miles of waters and submerged lands within the tidal Potomac River, in Maryland state waters. WMSC towed the un-purposed fleet to Widewater, VA, (just south of Quantico) for shipbreaking, planning to salvage usable materials, burn what remained, sink the ships’ hulls into Widewater marshland, and cover them with river dredging. The Chesapeake and its tributaries are shallow, and flat and muddy at the bottom. Since then, the area remains abandoned and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is most renowned for the partially submerged remains of more than 100 wooden steamships, known as the “Ghost Fleet,” … Prior to getting into the water, she provided an overview on the history of the United States Shipping Board Merchant Fleet … Wilson’s fleet had no purpose. Shortly thereafter, in 1925, 31 of the ships were burned in what experts consider the greatest destruction of ships at one time in US history. Native-American, colonial, and Civil War terrestrial sites. Mallows Bay, along the Potomac River, is the final resting place for more than 200 historic shipwrecks dating back to the Revolutionary War. Mallows Bay is the final resting place and the largest extant collection of steamship remains — more than 100 vessels built for the World War I U.S. The site was proposed to NOAA with broad-based community support to protect and celebrate the nation's maritime cultural heritage while expanding recreational, tourism, education, and economic development opportunities. The steamship fleet project continued despite the war’s end, but by September 1919, only 264 ships had been constructed. The story of the ships at Mallows Bay begins when the United States entered World War I. Outfitted in kayaks, we’ll paddle alongside grandiose ships rising out of the shallow backwater of the Potomac River and learn how these ships got here. This map contains 3 paddling itineraries that allow visitors to virtually explore this one of a kind site. The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), which houses the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), has long recognized the importance of Mallow Bay’s cultural heritage, and it was formally recognized by the National Park Service as the Mallows Bay-Widewater Historic and Archeological District in the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 2015 (Figure 2). Mallows Bay is the fourteenth marine sanctuary administered by NOAA. VIDEO: Mallows Bay Celebrates Marine Sanctuary Milestone By Bay Bulletin / October 29, 2019 The Potomac River’s ghost fleet of World War I vessels is a piece of living history, and there’s finally a National Marine Sanctuary designation to show for it. The ships form a reef that hosts an array of fish, wildlife, flora, and fauna. capsules of American maritime history in one discrete location in the Each would cost from $700,000 to $1 million to build. And the remainder were intentionally sunk or simply left to rot. Fisherman can find a variety of fish in the Potomac River off of Mallows Bay, including bass and snakeheads. Just an hour from Washington, it's a great place to see wildlife and history. Finally, the shipbuilding industry had moved to steel over wood. It covers eighteen square miles and is home to the largest number of visible shipwrecks in the … "Mallows … The National Marine Sanctuary System, encompassing 13 sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, protects … During World War II, Baltimore’s Bethlehem Steel attempted to recover in-demand scrap metal from the Ghost Fleet, but that shipbreaking program also proved economically unviable. Just 40 miles south of our nation’s capitol, this site features a high concentration of shipwrecks that can be explored up close during Potomac River’s low tide. Mallows Bay is situated south of Washington, D.C., along the tidal Lower Potomac River off the Nanjemoy Peninsula of Charles County, Maryland. It’s an incredibly scenic place full of wildlife such as water fowl, heron and bald eagle. In July 2019, NOAA designated a new national marine sanctuary in Maryland at Mallow Bay – Potomac River. Hike Go exploring on the parks .7 mile hiking trail which also includes informational signs on the sites rich history. Approximately 30 miles south of Washington, D.C., in the shallow waters of a small Maryland bay, lay the largest tangible remnants of the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) original predecessor, the United States Shipping Board (USSB). They join the Kojo Show to discuss their reporting. Just 40 miles south of our nation’s capitol, this site features a high concentration of shipwrecks that can be explored up close during Potomac River’s low tide. The "Ghost Fleet" is a diverse collection of shipwrecks of 200 known vessels. Scenic Byways/Road Trips. NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System protects unique water habitats and is home to diverse aquatic ecosystems ranging from kelp forests to coral reefs to the playgrounds of humpback whales. The area was nominated in 2014 by the state of Maryland for consideration as a National Marine Sanctuary, and 4 alternative designations are currently under review by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Plan your overnight stay at any of our accommodations. The sanctuary also includes Native … We came from Pennsylvania because we were fascinated by the ship graveyard in the bay - and it was well worth the trip! "It is a virtual calendar of over 250 years of history, including the very ships that made America the greatest shipbuilding nation on the planet. Mallows Bay is now the most prominent feature of the new Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, the first national marine sanctuary within the Chesapeake Bay … Enhanced awareness of the area has led to support for a new monitoring buoy which will provide active weather and water data for local watermen and will feature Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) of marine life and anthropogenic activity. “Community volunteers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout [groups], new projects from public schools, and research ideas coming from across the country” are a direct result of raising visibility of the ecosystem and its archeological treasures. My group of 18 paddlers is eager to explore the new Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in … Start: Mallows Bay Finish: Indian Head Rail Trail Distance: 2 days, 4 stops, 25.6 miles STOP 1 Mallows Bay-Potomac River, National Marine Sanctuary 1440 Wilson Landing Rd, Nanjemoy, MD 20662 Mallows Bay offers unique archaeological, recreational, historical, cultural,… To avoid relocating the ships again, the company began disposing of the vessels more quickly, most notably on November 7, 1925 when 31 ships were set aflame at once and their burned-out hulls towed further into the bay for salvaging. It’s called Mallows Bay, and it’s one of the largest collections of shipwrecks in the world. Finally, in 2002, the Trust for Public Land protected the 510-acre Mallows Bay property for the state of Maryland. Historians call Mallows Bay a unique natural resource that … The National Marine Sanctuary System, encompassing 13 sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, protects 430 shipwrecks and sunken aircraft. Mallows Bay is a mile-long cove about 40 miles south of Washington, D.C. “To some people this may look like trash,” says Dunn. History. The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay Scattered throughout this section of the Potomac River are the remains of historic shipwrecks covering centuries of American history, including over 90 wooden steamships built for America's entry into WWI. The vessel’s shelf life looked bleak. Service's National Register of Historic Places in April 2015. But in Mallows Bay, the shipwrecks have become accidental man-made reefs. Getaways. Maryland, Mallows Bay may be considered one of the most exceptional time The vessels were to be built by 40 shipyards in 17 states. … The History of the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay Posted March 30, 2017 Forty miles south of Washington, DC, off of Maryland’s Charles County shoreline near a little town named Nanjemoy, the weather- and water-beaten remains of more than two hundred ships lie in their final resting places in the shallow waters of the Potomac River’s Mallows Bay. Discover The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay in Nanjemoy, Maryland: The remnants of a wooden-hulled fleet built and abandoned in WWI, now home to a thriving ecosystem. The site includes historic vessels dating back to the Revolutionary War, remains of the largest ‘Ghost Fleet’ of the World War I steamships, wildlife viewing areas, fishing, boating access and a hiking trail. WAMU’s Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner visited Mallows Bay, by canoe and kayak, to document the unusual waterscape the shipwrecks have created. Mallows Bay offers the only public motor boat ramp between Smallwood State Park and Friendship Landing and also has a soft launch access area for paddlers. In Mallows Bay, theses World War I-era vessels, as well as scores of others dating from the American Revolution onward, including extinct indigenous Chesapeake Tidewater sailing craft as well as other vessel types from many states, represents one of the most extraordinary maritime archaeological environments in the world. Mallows Bay, a unique cultural and ecological site in Charles County, is one step closer to being designated as the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary and Marylanders now have the opportunity to show their support. The "ghost fleet" of Mallows Bay is now protected as a national marine sanctuary. The Chesapeake Bay is home to a small piece of World War I history. Subscribe to 'In The Zone' Email Newsletter, Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Find maps of Mallows Bay-Potomac River Sanctuary alternatives and resource conservation details at sanctuaries.noaa.gov/mallows-bay. “In addition to being reflective of America’s emergence as a naval superpower during World War I, the Ghost Fleet provides the structure for a unique marine ecosystem.”. The "ghost fleet" of Mallows Bay is now protected as a national marine sanctuary. Public comment will be accepted at approximately […] Trail History. Historic and Archeological District was listed on the National Park What remained of the 170 ships brought to Mallows Bay began decades of decomposition. If you’re concerned that there was a Battle of Mallows Bay on American soil during WWI that sunk hundreds of ships, and that you’ve somehow gravely overlooked a key event in U.S. history, fret not. 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