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Brownie’s Beach NO TRESPASSING?


Basic64

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I haven’t been to Brownie’s Beach in a while and thought I’d take a day trip. When double checking my route online I notice some tv news stories about a cliff collapse there in January that the fire department responded to.  No one was hurt, and looking at drone footage afterwards the beach seems to have way fewer collapse piles than last year. 

 

So I didn’t think too much of it and showed up there this morning. Once I made a right at the water after walking down the trail, I was greeted with a large sign saying; Danger unstable cliffs ahead. Any persons beyond this point will be considered trespassing. There were also three metal poles in the sand like they were going to put up a fence. 

 

At this point I was pretty annoyed and didn’t think to take a picture. Sorry. There were foot prints in the sand that went right by the sign, but I wasn’t trying my luck. So I went to Matoaka Beach for the day. I wanted to check it out anyways so I took the opportunity. I had a pretty good day and will post a few pics of some stuff I’m unfamiliar with another day. 

 

I have a few questions about the signage and if you can answer any of them please chime in.  And if you have a question jump in. 

 

When did this sign go up?  Can the town or police really not allow people in the area?  Considering Maryland’s property laws and the high tide line, can anyone actually fine you?  Is the sign there more as a deterrence and/or release of liability by the town?

 

Any input is much appreciated. 

 

Basic64

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FossilsAnonymous

At this point, going into brownies by the access point is prohibited. However, launching a kayak does not seem prohibited at this point in time. Other than that I know just as much as you.

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Oxytropidoceras

 

Below are some pictures and descriptions of the Brownies Beach cliff collapse.

 

Cliff Collapse Scare on Chesapeake Beach in Maryland

Chesapeake Beach Magazine, January 31, 2020

https://chesapeakebaymagazine.com/cliff-collapse-scare-in-chesapeake-beach/

 

On January 30, 2020, at approximately 9:13 a.m., cliff 

collapsed at Brownies Beach in Calvert County, Maryland

https://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0120/brownies-beach-cliff-collapse-no-injuries-reported.html

 

No Injuries Reported In Brownies Beach Cliff Collapse

WJZ, Channel 13, Dec. 30, 2020, Dec. 30, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8mdyV4QgeM

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-videos/no-injuries-reported-in-brownies-beach-cliff-collapse/vp-BBZuFYh

 

Cliff Collapse: No injuries were reported after a cliff 

collapse in Calvert County. Emergency crews were on the 

scene near Brownies Beach in the Sunderland area. 

A person who was unaccounted for has been located.

Fox 5 DC, January 30, 2020

https://www.facebook.com/fox5dc/videos/181478486550799/

 

Cliff collapses at Brownies Beach in Calvert County

by Lesly Salazar, ABC7 News, January 30th 2020

https://wjla.com/news/local/cliff-collaps-brownies-beach-in-calvert-county

 

Yours,

 

Paul H.

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10 hours ago, Basic64 said:

Can the town or police really not allow people in the area?  Considering Maryland’s property laws and the high tide line, can anyone actually fine you?  Is the sign there more as a deterrence and/or release of liability by the town?

You may ask a lawyer considering those questions.....i would assume that nobody in the forum is able to answer those questions in the way it is needed...:headscratch::shrug: 

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11 hours ago, Basic64 said:

Can the town or police really not allow people in the area?  Considering Maryland’s property laws and the high tide line, can anyone actually fine you?  Is the sign there more as a deterrence and/or release of liability by the town?

They can in the same way a property owner can stop you from walking through their yard to get to somewhere. The moment you use their land in a way they have prohibited, you are trespassing. Best to access via boat launched from somewhere else.

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Cliff falls are nothing new and the area has always been a dangerous place to collect.  I'm actually surprised it's taken them this long to prohibit access.   Over the years that I collected at Brownies have seen a number of collapses and one had me running in the water with debris hitting my back so it's a dangerous place 

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2 hours ago, Troodon said:

one had me running in the water with debris hitting my back so it's a dangerous place 

Yikes! That's not the kind of excitement I require from my fossil hunting adventures.

 

Would be interesting to know if the posted closures are a temporary thing or if they are permanently blocking access at this location.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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The one aerial shot looks like almost the whole stretch of cliffs came down, not just an isolated bit.  Yikes.   

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You all make valid points. Maybe I should have cooled down more and phrased my questions better.  Lol.  Just wanted to start a conversation about access to one of my favorite places. 

 

Sure it is dangerous there, but so was 695 on the way there.   Just keep your wits about you.   I often would pass good ground because I didn’t like the way the cliff looked in that area. 

 

It just seems like another way to keep non residents away from Calvert Cliffs.   The locals will all use the private staircase at the  other end of the beach or just walk by the sign while in the water.   Mean while non residents will just stop coming. 

 

Maryland’s property law concerning the water and state ownership up to the high tide line is there to make sure the public has access to some of our state’s greatest treasures.  There just is not many places the public can access the water or the shore line without a boat, at least in this region.  It is just a shame. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I remember collecting there and you would pray for a fall just before you arrived.  The best layers around zone 10 are high on the cliffs so fresh falls equates to a very good day that has not been picked over.  Several collectors would bring shovels and effectively move overburdened on those falls.

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1 hour ago, Basic64 said:

Sure it is dangerous there, but so was 695 on the way there.   Just keep your wits about you.   I often would pass good ground because I didn’t like the way the cliff looked in that area.

In the same way as you can't count on other drivers being rational and not making stupid spontaneous moves that stretch the definition of the 'rules of the road' (especially it seems here in South Florida), cliffs can be likewise unpredictable. Wandering near the base of cliffs when there has been recent heavy rains or other land slips would be foolhardy at best (suicidal at worst). I don't know if this most recent collapse was preceded by heavy rains in the area or if some unfathomable threshold had just been crossed like the straw that broke the camel's back and the cliff came down without warning. With quick reactions (and a great deal of luck) you can sometimes avoid traffic accidents but I think you'd be hard pressed to get out of the way of an entire cliff face landing on you (no particular pun intended for the phrase 'hard pressed'). :blink:

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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I once hunted the Calvert Cliffs by the M... Cottages when I was younger and less "life-wise".  I didn't know of the dangers of falling cliffs.  If I had, knowing me back then, I would have likely thought "Yea right, like what are the odds.  I'm only here once, I'll take my chances".

Well, it turns out the odds in my case were 100%!  While hunting next to the cliff, I was knocked down to my belly and face by a large "chunk" of cliff-face that fell off and landed on my head and back.  Fortunately it wasn't any larger than it was or I might not be writing this note of WARNING now. 

As it was, it took me a couple of minutes to regain my senses, figure out what the situation was and pull myself out and climb out from under the dump of sand I was covered in - heavy, damp stuff. 

When I got back to the Cottages the owners casually commented, "Yea we should have probably told you to watch out for that; we thought you'd know.  You looked like a seasoned fossil hunter.  This happens all the time around here."

Be careful out there, my friends.  Darwin's Law applies, no matter your age.

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46 minutes ago, grandpa said:

Well, it turns out the odds in my case were 100%!  While hunting next to the cliff, I was knocked down to my belly and face by a large "chunk" of cliff-face that fell off and landed on my head and back.

Wow Tom! Glad you made it out of that one. Close call indeed. :o

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3 minutes ago, FossilNerd said:

Glad you made it out of that one. Close call indeed

Yes, it sure got my attention!  :DOH:But not the only stupid thing I've done in life as I am somewhat SLOW to learn LIFE's lessons.  :zzzzscratchchin:

 

Thanks for the kind words, Wayne!

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1 hour ago, grandpa said:

But not the only stupid thing I've done in life as I am somewhat SLOW to learn LIFE's lessons. 

But you are persistent--and that's what counts. :P

 

I think the stories here of close calls with cliffs underscore the risks and need for caution when hunting localities where gravity is not on your side. I don't know if the Brownie's closure will be temporary or permanent but I hope all reading this topic pay heed and stay safe when visiting the cliffs.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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  • Fossildude19 pinned this topic

Current signs at the Park! 

 

 

600e499f61c2e_ScreenShot2021-01-24at11_29_33PM.thumb.png.f00700e7e5101160e37e3141e1f5125e.png  600ec3117b074_ScreenShot2021-01-25at8_08_34AM.png.822f60f0e00ba337fed75e7e9a6c1da8.png

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  • Fossildude19 changed the title to Brownie’s Beach NO TRESPASSING?
Thomas.Dodson

The Chesapeake Beach website seems pretty "on the ball" and has a link to the actual resolution passed. Of note is that the cliff issue and the total beach access issues are different. While I'd expect the Covid resolution to lift eventually the cliffs will probably remained marked.

https://www.chesapeakebeachmd.gov/enjoying-chesapeake-beach/pages/bayfront-park-aka-brownies-beach-closed-public

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