Nicole: What inspired you to support renewable energy from Clean Currents? Was it easy to make the switch?
Jeff: We were recently certified as a Maryland Green Center by the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators. Part of that process was a rigorous review of our operations to not only make the Museum as “green” as possible, but to also help local schools become certified, too. As part of this review, we realized that Clean Currents was a way to help meet those standards – and save our limited financial resources as well. It was the responsible thing to do, not just for the environment, but also for our bottom line. The money we save on our electric bill can be put to better work educating our kids. And it was a simple transition to make.
Nicole: The Annapolis Maritime Museum is a real treasure. We love that the museum and so many dedicated people have made it a priority to preserve the maritime history of the area and to give others the opportunity to learn how special that history is. What is one of your favorite things about the Museum?
Jeff: I’m proud of the way the Museum helps connect people to the natural wonder of the Chesapeake Bay and the maritime heritage of the hard-working men and women who made their living on the water or here at the McNasby Oyster Co. where we’ve made our home. We help make that connection through our Oysters on the Half Shell exhibit, maritime art exhibits, seminars – even our concerts have a maritime flair. We also provide a rare access point to the Bay, a place where families can enjoy crabbing and fishing, launching a canoe, kayak, or tennis-ball retriever, or just watching the boats go by in one of the most spectacular settings on earth. But most of all, we help thousands students here in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County make that connection through our unique education program.
Nicole: Your 7th annual Boatyard Beach Bash, which helps raise money to support the Museum’s education programs and other special projects, is coming up on September 17th! And we hear it’s going to be a blast this year as well! What are you looking forward to the most about the Bash?
Jeff: The Boatyard Beach Bash is always such a festive occasion – everybody’s in their most colorful tropical print shirts and enjoying trop-rock stars like Coral Reefer steel-guitar great Doyle Grisham, along with the John Frinzi Band from Florida, Jim Morris and James “Sunny Jim” White performing under the stars. It’s really a magical setting. Everybody’s having a lot of fun for a great cause, and we’re grateful to Dick Franyo, owner of the Boatyard Bar and Grill, along with all the other great sponsors for making this fund-raiser such a huge success seven years in a row.
Nicole: As a company that loves the environment and thinks environmental education is essential, we want to thank you for having such an amazing program for children—your MUDDY FEET kids program (Maritime Unbounded Damp & Dirty Yucky Fun Environmental Education & Training), designed to ensure that all Annapolis area students have at least three meaningful watershed educational experiences by graduation. We wish we had the same opportunity when we were kids!! Can you tell us more about some of the things the kids have enjoyed doing?
Jeff: Here we are in a county with more than 623 miles of shoreline, and few of our school kids have ever been out on the water, even though they’re growing up within stone’s throw of some creek, stream, or other tributary. We take them there, thanks to a wonderful partnership with Watermark Cruises. They get to see their home town from what we feel is the most important perspective – the water side – and that’s often a life-changing experience for them. They also get to meet a real, live waterman who brings his boats up to our docks and shows the kids the tools of his trade – and they learn from his own words why it’s not in his best interest to go out and catch every crab in the Bay that day. Then they don watermen’s work boots and foul-weather gear and use a specially-scaled set of hand tongs learn how hard it would be to make a living harvesting oysters. All of these programs are designed to reinforce the curriculum standards of the county school system, and we feel that they help the kids become better students, better stewards of the Bay, and better citizens of this community.