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The Friends of Jug Bay (Friends) is a non-profit organization, incorporated in 1986 to support and promote the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. The Friends fosters activities that increase public appreciation and understanding of the natural environment of Jug Bay and the Patuxent River watershed. The Friends currently has over 900 members.


The Friends' funds, used to support the programs at the Sanctuary, come from:

  • Membership dues 

  • Donations

  • Grants

  • Fund raisers

  • Sale of merchandise

Our Programs


  • Monitoring land use that affects the Sanctuary

  • Analyzing and identifying land for preservation

  • Providing land owners with information about programs for preserving open space

  • Informing political and local government decision makers about land use affecting the Sanctuary

  • Working with third parties to facilitate either land preservation or acquisition


Science Summer Camp Scholarships & School Bus Transportation

Every summer, the Friends provides several scholarships to elementary and middle school students who would not otherwise be able to participate in the science summer camp programs at the Sanctuary. The Friends also covers transportation costs each year for several schools with very limited budgets to bring students to the Sanctuary for field trips.

Jug Bay Fellowships

The Friends awards fellowships to qualified university students who are majoring in the life sciences. These fellows conduct research under the supervision of the Sanctuary staff. This summer program provides a valuable opportunity for students to do field research and enhances on­going long-­term studies. This student is radio-tracking box turtles using equipment partially funded by the Friends.

Education Internships

The Friends awards education internships to qualified university students and teachers who work with Sanctuary staff to develop and conduct on­site educational programs. These interns also carry out their own independent research, developing lesson plans involving the natural sciences.

Scientific & Educational Equipment

The Friends provides scientific and educational equipment (e.g., books, nets, water testing equipment, microscopes) used by young students to assist them in learning about wetland and terrestrial ecology. Under the guidance of Sanctuary staff and trained volunteers, these students learn how to properly collect and analyze data. This hands-on experience is fun as well as educational!

The Friends also provides funds for equipment used in research, such as a jon boat, digital microscope, digital cameras, radio telemetry gear, and mist nets used in monitoring songbird productivity and survivorship.

Staff Development

The Friends provides financial support for Sanctuary volunteers and paid staff to participate in conferences and workshops that benefit their work at the Sanctuary. 

Conference Support

The Friends joins with others to sponsor meetings, workshops and conferences that benefit the educational and research goals of the Sanctuary. In recent years, the Friends has joined in sponsoring two workshops on the conservation of the Eastern box turtle.

Special Projects
The Friends provides financial support for special projects. Examples include:

Helping with renovations to the 19th century Plummer House and the adjacent storage building. The Plummer House is located on the Glendening Preserve, a 600-acre section of the Sanctuary annexed in 2001. The House serves as a welcome center to the Preserve, and provides additional office and meeting space for Sanctuary staff and students, and a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve representative. 


The Friends funds fellowships at the Sanctuary for university students who are majoring in the life sciences. They also provide funding for education internships to university students and teachers who work with Sanctuary staff to develop and conduct on­site educational programs.

The Friends of Jug Bay 8th Annual Plant Sale
Saturday, June 1
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Butterfly Garden at the Glendening Preserve
5702 Plummer Lane
Lothian, MD 20711


All proceeds benefit the education and research activities offered by the Jug Bay Sanctuary. Plants available for sale are grown and cared for by Jug Bay volunteers and will include hundreds of native plants including many plants for pollinators. Details.

About Jug Bay


Jug Bay is located near the mid-point of the 110 mile-long Patuxent River, and is in the estuarine region of the river near the head of tide. The freshwater tidal wetlands at Jug Bay are one of the most significant wetland systems of this type on the U.S. East Coast. This diverse and productive tidal system provides important ecological functions such as nutrient cycling, sediment capture, and flood control, while providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife. Three streams (Two-run, Galloway and Pindell Creeks) flow through the Sanctuary and into the Patuxent River. Extensive scientific research takes place at Jug Bay because these tidal wetlands are so ecologically important, relatively undisturbed, and easily accessible.

In 1981, the freshwater tidal wetlands at the mouth of Two-run Creek and throughout Jug Bay were designated as an Area of Critical State Concern. In 1985, the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary (JBWS) was established in Anne Arundel County. Then in 1990 part of the JBWS was designated as a site within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) - a federal program administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The site is within the Chesapeake Bay - MD component of the NERRS, and its management is delegated to Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties (the actual land owners).

The Smithsonian Institution has identified Jug Bay as one of the ten most unique ecological communities in Maryland. The wetlands are also designated as the Upper Patuxent Marshes Natural Heritage Area, both as a Nontidal Wetlands of Special State Concern and a Natural Heritage Area. The broader area is part of the Patuxent Regional Greenway, an ecological greenway through parts of seven Counties. Jug Bay is designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society. 

The area around Jug Bay had the highest number of confirmed and probable breeding bird species (100+) for any location in the state. Over 200 bird species are observed at Jug Bay annually, and the overall species list stands at 300. 

JBWS staff and volunteers conduct research, stewardship and environmental education activities on more than 1,700 acres of the Sanctuary lands. 


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