- from Maryland
Maryland is a diverse gathering of resources, industry, cities, farms, historic landmarks, and quirky facts.
Facts like the state’s nickname, Old Line State. A phrase meant to honor the 400 Revolutionary War soldiers who held the line against 10,000 British troops so the rest of the American army could escape. Like the state bird – the Baltimore oriole – which is also the name of the state’s professional baseball team. And like the state flower – the black-eyed Susan – which was chosen because its yellow and black bloom matches the colors of the Calvert family crest and the state flag.
One of the smallest states in area, but one of the most densely populated, Maryland is quite the place to be.
▲ Consider Maryland’s coastline, with all the ins and outs of the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers that flow into it. In all, it’s more than 7,700 miles long. (That’s almost three times the width of the whole United States!) With all those miles of coastline, it should be no surprise that fishing is an important part of Maryland’s economy. Watermen, as Maryland’s fishers are known, haul in crabs, oysters, clams, and all kinds of fish. Many wind up on tables throughout the state and elsewhere.
Farming has a long history in Maryland. During those early days, the eastern part of the state was known as the “Breadbasket of the Revolution.” Why? Because it provided the Revolutionary army with a steady supply of flour. Today, farming is still very important in the north-central part of the state and in the east. If it’s dairy farms, corn, or hay, Maryland has it. ▶
▲ Sea levels near Maryland’s farmland are rising fast. That means that the saltwater is eating into the shore. This movement of saltwater is called saltwater intrusion. It happens when the land settles and when fresh water underground is pumped out so people can use it. Saltwater has started to come onto farmland. That makes the soil too salty for crops to grow. The state is working on a plan to adapt to saltwater intrusion.
▲ If you’ve seen or ridden in a car imported from another country, it probably came into the United States through the port of Baltimore. That’s right. Baltimore is the number one auto port in the U.S. It’s also Maryland’s main transportation center. The reason? It’s very well connected to Maryland’s railroads and trucking industry. Presently, the port is working to clean up the environment. In 2013, it was named the first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
◀ Annapolis has an impressive story. It was known during colonial times as the “Athens of America” because of all its cultural activities. It was also our country’s capital when the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War was signed. It is home to St. John’s College, the third-oldest college in the country. It’s also home to the United States Naval Academy. And it just so happens to be the capital city of Maryland.
Maryland businesses are at the cutting edge of advances in biotech. Many are involved in advanced biomanufacturing. (Biomanufacturing uses living systems to produce materials used in medicines, foods, beverages, and more.) Others are involved in creating and manufacturing vaccines, including a vaccine for COVID-19. Maryland is also home to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These are places where government research is done. Research at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland also plays a big role in increasing our knowledge of health and medicine. ▶
Meet the historic landmark Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. You’ll find it off the shore near Annapolis. Built in 1875, the lighthouse sits on its original foundation and still guides ships going into and out of the harbor. The lighthouse is named for Thomas Point, a colonist who arrived in the area from England in 1651. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the city of Annapolis. ▶
▲ Oriole Park at Camden Yards is home to the major league baseball team the Baltimore Orioles. The ball field was built on Camden Yards, the site of a railroad center. In recent years, Oriole Park was recognized for its environmental activities. These include recycling, paperless tickets, and reduced energy usage. Two blocks away is the birthplace of baseball’s famous Babe Ruth.