PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (May 15, 2018)—The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners today announced that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today signed a bill designating the Calvert Marine Museum as the State Paleontology Collections and Research Center. The legislation establishes the museum, located in Solomons, Maryland, as the official repository of Maryland's rich and diverse fossil finds and collections.
"We are thrilled that our state legislature and our governor recognize the Calvert Marine Museum is not just the jewel in Calvert County's crown," said Board President Evan Slaughenhoupt. "It truly is a distinguished flagship museum for the state and a renowned tourist destination."
"Being named Maryland's paleontology center is a singular honor," said Calvert Marine Museum Director Sherrod Sturrock. "The designation recognizes the excellent work in paleontology that staff at the museum have done over the years."
The Calvert Marine Museum allows visitors to explore how the prehistoric past, natural environments and maritime heritage come to life and tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. The museum's staff has been collecting and preserving fossils from across the state for more than 40 years. According to John Nance, the museum's collections manager, there are more than 100,000 fossils in the collection including 600 modern skeletons; 200 casts; 5,000 modern shells and 10,000 volumes in the Ralph Eshelman Library.
"Being located near Calvert Cliffs, the most important fossil deposit in the state of Maryland, has given us the opportunity to do in-depth collection and study of fossils," said Calvert Marine Museum Curator of Paleontology Dr. Stephen Godfrey. "The museum has the largest collection of local Miocene marine fossils outside of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and currently it is the only institution collecting, preserving and studying this amazing Maryland treasure."
In addition to working within the professional paleontological community, the Calvert Marine Museum shares its resources with the public through dynamic exhibits, public fossil field programs, a lecture series, a fossil club made up of avid avocational collectors, community events, classes and camps, and The Ecphora, a quarterly newsletter.
As Maryland's Paleontology Center, the Calvert Marine Museum will further expand its collection and exhibits with fossils from across the state. Within the next five years, the museum plans to construct a new paleontology center. The new facility will include the paleo library, collections storage, office space for paleo staff, preparation areas, receiving areas for large fossils and conference space.
The Calvert Marine Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults; $7 for seniors, military with valid ID, AAA and AARP members; $4 for children ages 5–12; and children under 5 and museum members are admitted free. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, concerts or membership, visit the website at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com or call 410-326-2042.