E. Steuart Chaney, founder and owner of Herrington Harbour Marinas, was named a Chesapeake Bay Ambassador. Photo by Kristin Rutkowski Photography
E. Steuart Chaney, founder and owner of Herrington Harbour Marinas, was named a Chesapeake Bay Ambassador. Photo by Kristin Rutkowski Photography

NORTH BEACH, Md.  Last week, on one of his final days in office, Governor Larry Hogan named E. Steuart Chaney of Herrington Harbour Marinas a Chesapeake Bay Ambassador. This lifetime achievement award is the highest honor the Governor of Maryland can bestow on an individual for their environmental contributions. Only two Marylanders received this prestigious honor during Governor Hogan’s tenure.

Since the Chaneys bought the dilapidated property 45 years ago, Herrington Harbour Marinas have been family owned and operated and are continuously awarded the Best Marina Resorts on the Chesapeake Bay. Chaney says, “We consider the environment in every decision that we make at Herrington Harbour.”

Forty-five years ago, “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.”

Environmental efforts at Herrington Harbour Marinas include:

  • Sustainable landscape design that creates a balance between nature, boats, and people. 
  • Tidal wetland buffers, which are designed to flood, have created a “living shoreline” around Herrington Harbour South along the 1.1-mile eco-trail.
  • Partnered with the EPA to establish Herring Bay as the first “No Discharge Zone” on the Chesapeake and earned voluntary certification as Maryland Clean Marinas for both Herrington Harbour North and South Marinas. 
  • Trees are planted annually, and Chaney placed 600 acres of contiguous property into permanent preservation in the 1990s.

In a letter of support to the governor for the award, Charles Deegan, chairman of the Critical Area Commission, notes that these enhancements took place during redevelopment to put modern piers throughout the marina. He says, “All of the environmental improvements Chaney made were made on his own initiative and at his own expense.”

Back in the 1990s, Chaney was told they’d never see diamondback terrapins in a marina because all marinas are dirty. “A month later, we had a nest of hatchlings,” he said. “A lot of the wildlife has returned to the area, such as Maryland’s state reptile, the diamondback terrapin, yellow-crowned night herons, and many other forms of wildlife. The water is cleaner, and the entire shoreline is stabilized. The saltwater marsh has made a big difference.”

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… It’s a good thing, too, because we work all the time!”

To learn more about Herrington Harbour Marinas, visit herringtonharbour.com. For more information about the marinas, call (301) 855-5000.

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