Herrington Harbour Marinas founder E. Steuart Chaney has been honored by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan for his commitment to protecting the Bay. Photo: Kristin Rutkowski Photography.

Marina Founder Named Chesapeake Bay Ambassador for Environmental Efforts

Herrington Harbour Marinas are a Southern Maryland destination for boaters, diners and those looking for a getaway. Herrington Harbour North (Tracys Landing) and South (North Beach) are known for their resort amenities.

But a special piece of recognition from outgoing Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signaled that Herrington Harbour Marinas should also be known for their efforts to protect the environment.

The marina company’s founder, E. Steuart Chaney, was named a Chesapeake Bay Ambassador, the highest honor a Maryland governor can give an individual for environmental contributions, on one of Gov. Hogan’s last days in office.

When the Chaneys bought the Herrington Harbour property 45 years ago, Steuart recalls, “All the shorelines were eroding and unprotected, and the existing bulkheads were failing. Over the years, we removed the bulkheads and replaced them with tidal wetland buffers which serve three critical roles: shoreline erosion protection, storm water filtration, and the creation of native, natural wildlife habitats. This was long before critical area legislation. It’s just what we wanted to do.” 

Chaney maintains that the environment is taken into consideration with every decision made at Herrington Harbour. The properties use a sustainable landscape design, including tidal wetland buffers that are designed to flood. There is now a living shoreline around Herrington Harbour South’s 1.1-mile eco-trail. Chaney also put 600 acres of contiguous property into permanent protection in the 1990s.

In the ’90s, Chaney said Herrington Harbour defied the assumption that wildlife couldn’t thrive at a marina because “all marinas are dirty.” A month later, he says, a nest of diamondback terrapins appeared.

“Now the water is cleaner, and the entire shoreline is stabilized. The saltwater marsh has made a big difference,” Chaney says. 

Herring Bay was the Chesapeake’s first No Discharge Zone, thanks to Chaney’s partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Steuart, who owns and manages the marinas along with his son Hamilton, says, “I am deeply honored by receiving the Chesapeake Bay Ambassador Award. Running Herrington Harbour is a passion for our family.”

Other Bay-region leaders to be named Chesapeake Bay Ambassadors include Chesapeake Conservancy CEO Joel Dunn and Kent County, Md. Commissioner Ron Fithian.

-Meg Walburn Viviano