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Way Downstream

In Annapolis, 70-year-old Martha Mazzei, who calls herself the Vagabond Granny, made a second stop on her five-month motor-tricycle tour to raise breast cancer awareness. Survivor Mazzei teamed up with the non-profit United Breast Cancer Foundation on her 8,000-mile trek around the eastern U.S. The Floridian travels up to 400 miles each day on her 1996 Yamaha Royal Star Motor Trike to attend motorcycle rallies from upstate New York to Indiana, Missouri and West Virginia.

“Talking one on one, women can get information, ask questions,” Mazzei told Bay Weekly on her April 29 stop in Annapolis. “Help is out there to help pay for early detection resources like thermography. Don’t put off getting checked” …

In Lothian, thousands of volunteer hours and $135,000 in grants transformed an old farmhouse into a new hub for naturalists. The newly renovated Plummer House at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary’s Parris Glendening Nature Preserve takes on three jobs: visitor contact center, field station for researchers and offices for state and county staff and volunteers. Stop by Wednesdays and Saturdays for a trail map and bathroom break …

In Deale, Anne Arundel County’s Station 42 plans to move. The Deale Volunteer Fire Department — which owns its own land and firehouse, currently on Drum Point Road — has bought 11.5 acres on Rt. 258, on the Howard Farm next to Park’s Drive-in Liquor. “We wanted to relocate where we can get up and down the highway a bit faster,” said Ray Mudd, the former chief and building committee member who brokered the deal. With the permit process just beginning, the move won’t happen till the next decade …

From Solomons comes bad news for saltwater anglers, who may have to travel farther to reach the fish. Cold-water fish — like north Atlantic cod and salmon — will retreat from the southern boundaries of their ranges. Subtropical warm-water species — like red drum and spotted sea trout — may expand into more northerly waters, according to climate change studies by University of Maryland graduate students at Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. More frequent and intense storms could also disrupt feeding and nurseries of game fish like snook and croaker …

Our Creature Feature comes from Virginia, where giant blue catfish are taking over the James River. No, this is not like the snakehead invasion. These are tasty, sporting behemoths that weigh 50 pounds or more.

Nonetheless, the Times-Dispatch reports that the spread of the blue cats is worrying biologists, who wonder if they will out-compete native fish for food. Three decades after being transplanted in the James, this Mississippi River native now constitutes an estimated 75 percent of the river’s fish weight, according to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University.

“They’ve gone crazy. They reproduce like mad dogs,” Bob Greenlee, a state of Virginia biologist, told the newspaper.

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