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Mallows Bay may become National Marine Sanctuary | News

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Mallows Bay may become National Marine Sanctuary

NANJEMOY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Mallows Bay in Charles County, Md. is well known as the nation's largest collection of historic shipwrecks. But time and nature could turn the bay into a National Marine Sanctuary.

They're not much to see on first glance, but the tiny islands that dot the bay are the remnants of decades-old shipwrecks. 

"Those swampy islands are shipwrecks in the process of de-evolution," Don Shomette, a marine archeologist said.

The ships were built to transport war supplies to Europe during World War I, but were abandoned here in the 1920's.

"It is an environment which is evolving. it is a living laboratory of nature and humankind interacting in a way that we really don't know a lot about," Shomette said.

And this living laboratory is set to become the nation's 15th National Marine Sanctuary.

"It's a beautiful place to visit and we want to make sure it's available for everyone to see even if it's from their computer," Jody Couser of the Chesapeake Conservancy said. 

And thanks to the Chesapeake Conservancy, you'll soon be able to check out this ghost fleet, even if you can't get out on the water.

"It's a lot like Google street view only for the waterways. We have a set of cameras on top that capture a panoramic image," Ryan Abrahamsson of Terrain 360 said. 

Those images, interlaced together, will allow viewers to get a virtual tour of Mallows Bay

"It's important to be able to preserve this for future generations. I want my children to be able to see this and their children to be able to see it," Couser said. 

Those interested in seeing the virtual tour images can check out the Chesapeake Conservancy website, which will be hosting the pics as part of the John Smith water trail tour.

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