We are so excited to be returning to Stratford Cliffs for some fossil hunting this year and hope you can join us! Stratford Cliffs, located in Montross, Virginia (on the south side of the Potomac River, adjacent to Westmoreland State Park) is part of the Stratford Hall plantation owned by four generations of the Lee family (and is now cared for by the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation).
The estate encompasses 1,900 acres of farmlands and forests on a high bluff overlooking the Potomac River. The Cliffs, which are part of the Calvert Formation, are a rare geological phenomenon. The Calvert Formation cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River rank among the most important fossil research sites in the Mid-Atlantic region. They were formed when land replaced an ancient sea. Fossils found here are composed of compacted marine plant and animal matter dating from the Miocene Epoch–approximately 17 to 10 million years ago.
Fossilized remains found at this site indicate a sea filled with primitive shark-toothed porpoises, salt-water crocodiles, sea cows, gopher turtles, rays, whales and sharks. Thousands of shark teeth found along this area attest to the frequency of the sharks, largest among them being Carcharodon megalodon, or Giant White Shark, with teeth measuring 7 inches or more.
This is an amazing opportunity at an incredible site with fantastic experts. Most of the land along the shoreline is privately owned, and public access is severely limited, so don’t miss this opportunity!
The driving time from Baltimore is an estimated 3 hours.
Fee: $30 NHSM Members / $40 Non-Members / $12 Kids (12 and under)
Additional information and specific location will be provided to attendees closer to the trip date.
Payment in advance is required. Please pay online at http://marylandnature.org/events/ – (scroll down to get to the event.)
Note: We hope you consider becoming a member of NHSM, please follow this link to join; https://marylandnature.org/support-maryland-nature/
The Natural History Society of Maryland is a volunteer-led non-profit organization, so the fee you pay will go directly to support the programs, the nature collections, and the building that make this kind of nature education possible. Please consider donating or becoming a member of the Natural History Society of Maryland and visit www.marylandnature.org for more information. Thank you for your support!