This presentation will use a sonar-mapped oyster reef from the dock of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge, MD to illustrate, geologically, what the Bay looked like in this vicinity of the Choptank River from 20,000 years ago (when the sea level was 300 feet lower) until now.  You will see the Choptank as an energetic, flowing, meandering river; the subsequent incursion of saltwater into the Chesapeake Bay; and sea level reaching its present level from 6,000 years ago. The presentation will show the burying of that reef by sediments washing off the fields of the Wilhelmina Colony up by the Dover Bridge in the late 1800’s. Finally, the program will also suggest that there was more going on to cause the demise of oysters than over exploitation.


Douglas Levin, Ph.D

Doug Levin, Ph.D, has over 40 years of experience mapping globally dispersed seafloors with a myriad of technologies. His project experience spans oil seep detection off of Cartagena, SA, Lease Block Hazard Surveys, pipeline and fiber optic cable route selections in the Gulf of Mexico, the Aleutian Islands and the Mediterranean, shipwreck imaging in Thunder Bay, Cortez’s treasure in Veracruz, and searching for evidence of Noah’s deluge in the Black Sea. He was the first to use sonar to find and ghost crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay and to use sonar to evaluate Bay bottom for suitable oyster habitat and map natural oyster reefs in order to emulate them in restored habitat. He directs the Watershed Innovation Lab at Washington College where he creates affordable water quality observation systems for freshwater, estuarine, nearshore, coastal marine systems that transmit data for open-source educational and private use. Doug lives on the Choptank River in Preston, Maryland where he enjoys kayaking, fishing, woodworking, and a good glass of scotch., nearshore, coastal marine systems that transmit data for open source educational and private use.

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