PFQAC Learning Center

Welcome to the PFQAC Learning Center! A convenient and guided way to learn about plastic initiatives and the Chesapeake Bay communitites and waterway. We hope you enjoy the learning experience and welcome feedback. For more information or questions, contact [email protected].
Plastic Free Queen Anne's County (PFQAC) >>>
PFQAC is committed to educate and advocate for choices each individual, organization and business can make to reduce single-use plastic. A greater QAC community that partners together, shares responsibility for a healthy environment and works toward sustainable change.
PFQAC & Related Events >>>
Contact us at [email protected] to find out how you can participate in these special events.
PFQAC & Related News >>>
Keep up with the latest news from PFQAC and related activities and organizations.
PFQAC Volunteering >>>
PFQAC has volunteer opportunities tailored to your interest and availability. Contribute to a short term project. Take a shift at a community tabling event. Get involved on a more regular basis in weekly operations or specific initiatives. Just send us an email at [email protected]. We’ll get back to you and discuss the perfect fit for a volunteer opportunity.
10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution >>>
While soaking up the relaxing cadence of crashing waves on the beach, no one wants to think about how the ocean has basically become garbage soup. But here’s the buzz-killing reality: There are millions of tons of debris floating around in that water—and most of it is plastic. This constant barrage (the equivalent of 136 billion milk jugs each year, a study published in the journal Science estimates) poses a serious danger to marine life. Animals can get tangled up in this trash or ingest it—either because they mistake it for food or because the plastic has been broken up into tiny particles (aka “microplastics”) floating through their habitats. Equally alarmingly, plastic pollution in the oceans is essentially irreversible. It takes hundreds of years (or longer) to fully degrade; all the while, those pieces of plastic are also leaching toxic chemicals. And we're not just talking about people dumping their garbage overboard. Around 80 percent of marine plastic pollution actually originates on land—either swept in from the coastline or carried to rivers from the streets during heavy rain via storm drains and sewer overflows. Of course, plastic is pervasive throughout our ecosystems (and even our clouds), and our addiction to the stuff is a danger to terrestrial animals as well. And that’s to say nothing of the hazards the plastic crisis poses to our climate and our health too. Given all these dangers, it's in our best interest to try to keep as much plastic as possible out of the waste stream in the first place. The good news? There are many small ways you can have a big impact.
Health Effects of Microplastic Exposures: Current Issues and Perspectives >>>
Microplastics are environmental pollutants that prevail in the oceans, remote islands, and polar regions. Exposure to microplastics presents a major emerging threat to the ecosystems due to their potential adverse effects. Herein, we reviewed the literature to provide an up-to-date synopsis of the current understanding of the sources, compositions, and adverse effects of microplastics in humans and the environment. Most studies on microplastics have focused on developing standardized methods for monitoring the occurrence, distribution, and movement of microplastics in the environment, as well as developing microplastic substitutes; however, although humans are exposed to microplastics via various routes, research on the adverse effects of microplastics in humans remains limited. Little is known about the impact of microplastics on human health and the toxic effects that may vary depending on the type, size, shape, and concentration of microplastics. Therefore, more research is needed to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of microplastic toxicity and related pathologies.
Microplastics are everywhere, but how do they harm the Bay? >>>
Extremely small bits of plastic are everywhere, and the Chesapeake Bay is no exception. The so-called microplastics, often 5 millimeters or less in size, can be scooped from the surface waters of the Patapsco River and combed from the Bay’s underwater grass beds. The Chesapeake Bay Program, a state-federal partnership, leads the Bay restoration effort.
QAC/MTAM Shrink-Wrap Recycling Program >>>
Grasonville Transfer Station QAC & Marine Trades Association (MTAM) Shrink Wrap Recycling Program.
QAC-PFQAC Fishing Line Recycling >>>
Queen Anne's County Public Landings is partnering with Plastic Free QAC and Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center to help promote fishing line recycling. There are fishing line recycling containers placed at several of the Public Landings as well as throughout local businesses in QAC.
Recycling Guidelines >>>
Recyclables include plastic bottles or containers with 1 or 2 inside the triangle, metal cans and lids, all types of paper products (no tissue, paper towels), cardboard (clean), and glass bottles and jars.
Bags & Bottles
Bag Ban >>>
Join our campaign to eliminate single-use plastic bags in Queen Anne’s County!
Centreville Passes Ban on Plastic Carry-out Bags >>>
On July 20, 2023, the Town Council of Centerville passed a ban on single-use carry-out plastic bags, 4-0 with the 5th Council member recusing himself. The ordinance 2023-2 calls for a ban on plastic bags and a 10-cent charge for paper bags.
Chesapeake Bay
Citizens Working to Enhance Maryland’s Oyster Reefs >>>
Welcome to Marylanders Grow Oysters, where waterfront property owners are growing millions of young oysters in cages suspended from private piers. Their goal? To protect the young oysters during their vulnerable first year of life, so they may be planted on local sanctuaries where the oysters can enrich the ecosystem and the oyster population.
Maryland State Archives - Chesapeake Bay >>>
Some 35 million years ago, a bolide (an object similar to a meteor or comet) struck the present-day Delmarva Peninsula, creating a 55-mile-wide crater. The depression created by the crater changed the course of rivers and determined the location of the Chesapeake Bay. The first indigenous people settled the Chesapeake Bay area circa 9,500 B.C. Thereafter, the Bay, as we now know it, was created about 10,000 years ago (8,000 B.C.), when melting glaciers flooded the Susquehanna River Valley. Today, fresh water from land drainage measurably dilutes seawater within the Bay. [photo, Skipjacks under sail]The Chesapeake Bay derives its name from the Algonquian word, Chesapiooc (Chesepiuk, Chesepiook, or Chesapoic), though its exact definition is unknown. While Diego Gutiérrez first depicted the Chesapeake Bay, named Bahia de Santa Maria, on his map in 1562, a variation of its current name, Chesapiooc Sinus, was printed for the first time on a 1590 map by John White. In June 1608, Capt. John Smith led two voyages throughout the Chesapeake Bay, and identified it as the "Chesapeack Bay" on his 1612 map. In its midst, European settlers first landed at St. Clement's Island, Maryland, in 1634. Through the lower portion of the Bay, pirates settled and attacked ships off the coast. And, at its southernmost reaches during the Civil War, the first ironclads, the Confederate Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) and the Union's Monitor, fought to a draw near Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862. Many shipwrecks, remains of vessels sunk by natural forces, human error, or attack, lie deep beneath the Chesapeake Bay. Generations of watermen have made their living harvesting the bounty of the Chesapeake, while recreational fishing, hunting, and boating attract millions of people each year and contribute significantly to Maryland's economy. Major annual seafood harvests include millions of bushels of crabs, oysters, clams, and eels.
National Wildlife Federation - Chesapeake Bay >>>
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It runs north-south from the mouth of the Susquehanna River to the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most productive estuaries in the world, with over 3,600 species of animals and plants. The bay provides vitally important habitats for wildlife, lots of recreational opportunities for people, and is an important fishery upon which both people and wildlife depend.
Riverkeepers Program >>>
The Riverkeepers are the primary voice for their river and work through the core strategies of advocacy, enforcement, outreach, and water quality monitoring to achieve our vision of clean waterways. Our Riverkeepers regularly patrol their rivers and tributaries, advocate for strong clean water laws, educate our communities, and serve as guardians for these living resources. Riverkeepers are members of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international movement with the mission to grow a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water. Our Riverkeepers are full-time employees of ShoreRivers who are independently licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance. ShoreRivers is a member of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a group of eighteen Chesapeake Bay advocacy programs which are coordinating efforts and building leverage to impact environmental legislation and policy across the watershed. Licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance, ShoreRivers is part of a growing network of nearly 300 Waterkeepers and affiliate programs in 34 countries whose active presence on waterways is becoming a force for change. The Waterkeeper Alliance sprung from grassroots environmental advocacy begun on the Hudson River in the 1960s. It is now an international center which approves and licenses Waterkeeper programs around the globe. The Alliance provides litigation and administrative resources, assists in developing clean water policy initiatives, and provides a forum for Waterkeeper to exchange information, strategy, and know-how. ShoreRivers, however, has its own board of directors and independently determines its own policies and priorities.
Beyond Plastics >>>
Launched in January 2019, Beyond Plastics is a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of grassroots advocates to build a vibrant and effective movement to end plastic pollution. We use our deep policy and advocacy expertise to build a well-informed, effective movement seeking to achieve the institutional, economic, and societal changes needed to save our planet, and ourselves, from the negative health, climate, and environmental impacts of the production, usage, and disposal of plastics.
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center >>>
The mission of the Wildfowl Trust of North America, Inc. and its physical site, the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, is to promote stewardship and sustainability through environmental education and habitat restoration. The Wildfowl Trust of North America Inc. was founded in 1979 with the intent to protect wetlands for waterfowl while maintaining captive waterfowl collections for educational purposes. In 1981 the Trust purchased a 315-acre farm tract in Grasonville, Maryland on which it initially established Horsehead Wetlands Center and opened to the public in 1985. In 1998 the trust purchased an additional 195 acres and placed the now 510-acre preserve under conservation easement.
Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) >>>
We are a non-profit dedicated to promoting the recreational marine industry and the preservation of waterways our businesses rely on. Since our founding in 1972, we’ve come to comprise nearly 400 marine related businesses. Our passionate board represents all aspects of the industry and geographic areas of the State with a fair and balanced approach. Our mission is too grow Maryland’s recreational boating industry through our advocacy, workforce development program, and the promotion of our members. As the advocate and voice of the recreational boating industry, we review more than 2,000 bills each year during the Maryland General Assembly and take action on more than 50 bills. Our legal advocacy is essential to our purpose.
Maryland Green Registry >>>
The Maryland Green Registry is a free, voluntary program offering tips and resources to help businesses and other organizations set and meet their own goals on the path to sustainability. Collectively, Maryland Green Registry members have reported saving $83 million annually through the proven, practical measures they have shared in their online member profiles.
Plastic Pollution Coalition >>>
Plastic Pollution Coalition is a non-profit communications and advocacy organization that collaborates with an expansive global alliance of organizations, businesses, and individuals to create a more just, equitable, regenerative world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts.
Shore Rivers >>>
Our waterways are polluted – they are being choked with nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff from farm practices, urban and residential stormwater runoff, and outdated septic systems. We believe there are real solutions and we work to develop projects and programs that will improve the health of our waters - now and in the future. Our core focus is the waterways of the Chester, Choptank, Sassafras, Miles, and Wye rivers, Eastern Bay, and the Bayside Creeks. Our main office is in Easton and we have regional offices in Chestertown and Galena. We have a dedicated staff of educators, scientists, restoration specialists, and advocates focused on policies and projects that will improve the health of our rivers. ShoreRivers protects and restores our waterways for everyone who lives and works on the Eastern Shore. We advocate for strong clean-water laws to ensure a legacy of thriving waterways and help galvanize communities to act to improve the health of our rivers. ShoreRivers assists landowners, towns, and communities in funding and developing innovative pollution-reduction projects. We help farmers adopt sustainable practices and protect their lands from runoff and erosion. We educate students across the Eastern Shore, teaching about our river networks and helping our young people develop a connection with and care for the rivers and appreciate how their own lives are enriched by this connection with nature.
Sierra Club Maryland - Zero Waste >>>
Sierra Club is the largest and most enduring grassroots environmental advocacy organization in the nation. Our motto: Explore, Enjoy & Protect the Planet. We support local service and nature outings, educate the public on the myriad pressing issues stemming from the climate emergency, plastic pollution crisis and collapse of biodiversity. We advocate for bold systemic changes at the local and state level for a just and equitable transition from dirty fossil fuels to 100% Clean Renewable Energy, Zero Waste, and Clean Transportation for all while protecting our air, water, land & wildlife for future generations!
Trash Free Maryland >>>
Trash Free Maryland is the leading advocate for public policies and initiatives to reduce trash pollution in the state. Trash Free Maryland was incorporated in 2015 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on lasting change to prevent trash pollution. It was born years earlier when in 2009 Trash Free Maryland's original executive director, Julie Lawson, was asked to chair a policy working group for Alice Ferguson Foundation's Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. This group brought together advocates, government employees, and elected officials to discuss trash policy. Members of the group worked to support plastic bag legislation sponsored by Delegate Al Carr in 2010, and then formed the Trash Free Maryland and Trash Free Virginia Alliances in order to assist with future litter reduction efforts. The Trash Free Maryland Alliance eventually became a standalone entity, and the "Alliance" was dropped in the name, so now we are simply Trash Free Maryland.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources >>>
The Department of Natural Resources leads Maryland in securing a sustainable future for our environment, society, and economy by preserving, protecting, restoring, and enhancing the State’s natural resources.
Maryland Environmental Service >>>
Maryland Environmental Service is heavily involved in Maryland’s recycling efforts. We operate two of the State’s largest recycling facilities for glass, plastics and metals and operate a residential recycling program for the Midshore Counties. Located on the upper Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the Midshore Regional Solid Waste System consists of four planned facilities that will serve the municipal solid waste needs of Talbot, Caroline, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties for 80 years. This unique partnership is the only regional solid waste management agreement in Maryland. Please contact 1-800-I-Recycle (1-800-473-2925) with recycling questions, concerns or compliments, or send an email.
Maryland State Archives & Manual >>>
Published by the Maryland State Archives, the Maryland Manual On-Line is updated daily.
Queen Anne's County >>>
Queen Anne's County (QAC), eastern Maryland, U.S., is bordered by the Chester River to the north, Delaware to the east, and Chesapeake Bay to the west.