Tuesday May 7th was an important day for both Towson University and the Town of Port Deposit, as it signified the official establishment of a partnership between the two. A Partnership Celebration event was held in Port Deposit to bring both sides together to really kickoff this collaboration.

Click the image to view the full MOU

Click the image to view the full MOU

As you’ll recall from my earlier blog post, Dr. Richard Seigel of the Biological Sciences department has been doing research with his students on the Northern Map Turtle for a couple of years when TU got more involved last year. In that blog post, I mentioned that partners from the town and across campus were working on ways to do more work together. Since then, a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) was created to solidify the partnership and outline the goals and expectations.

While the signing of this MOU by TU President Maravene Loeschke and Port Deposit Mayor Wayne L. Tome was the impetus for Tuesday’s Partnership Celebration, it was a unique and wonderful opportunity to bring together partners, university administrators, students, faculty, Town leaders, and Town residents.In addition to the ceremonial signing, the event included remarks from Mayor Tome, President Loeschke, Maryland State Delegate David Rudolph, and Cecil County Executive Tari Moore about how important this partnership is for the region. Dr. Seigel and his students also had educational exhibits about the Northern Map Turtle and took attendees on a walking tour of the nesting sites.

Northern Map Turtle

TU President Maravene Loeschke and Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome sign the MOU for the Northern Map Turtle Partnership while Northern map turtle researchers Professor Richard Siegel and Towson alumna Teal Richards-Dimitrie are standing by.

Northern Map Turtle

Event attendees on a walking tour of nesting sites

Even though there was rain for the event, the spirit of those in attendance was bright and cheerful. The challenge, or rather opportunity, in front of us now is to turn the language in the MOU into reality.  We’ll approach each of the tenets of the partnership through the lens of collaboration and learning.  The 4 tenets are:

  • Conservation
  • Education
  • Research
  • Economic Development
Northern Map Turtle

A gift from the Town of Port Deposit to event speakers