The Atlantic white cedar is an evergreen tree found in a narrow portion of the Chesapeake Bay’s watershed. Historically, Atlantic white cedar forests were common along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In recent decades, these trees have been over-harvested and the wetland ecosystems they depend on have been drained. The Atlantic white cedar is now considered to be a rare plant species in the state of Maryland.
As part of the National Aquarium’s Wetland Nursery program, students from four local districts have spent their school year caring for and monitoring Atlantic white cedar tree saplings. In the Fall, National Aquarium staff visited the schools to teach students about this vital native species and the importance of wetland habitats.
Last week, 248 students and 28 community volunteers helped the National Aquarium plant 6,785 healthy Atlantic white cedar trees at Nassawango Creek Preserve.
Since 2009, the National Aquarium has worked with our partners at The Nature Conservancy to plant more than 20,000 Atlantic white cedar saplings throughout the preserve. These efforts will help restore this rare tree species and important freshwater wetland habitats in Maryland!
This project would not be possible without the support of our partners: The Nature Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Worcester County Schools, Somerset County Schools and the Maryland Conservation Corps.