Tom and Mary Beth Magenau
Edgewater, Maryland

For more than 50 years, Tom and Mary Beth Magenau, founders of Tri State Marine, Inc. (TSM) in Deale, Anne Arundel County, MD have combined business goals with sustainable practices to protect the Chesapeake Bay.  From humble beginnings in 1965, TSM has grown into a successful, full service marine business that sells and services power boats up to 37ft.  The Magenaus believe that preserving and protecting the Bay makes both good business and environmental sense. The company has worked closely with the Corps, Maryland Department of the Environment and Anne Arundel County, to balance preservation and utilization of land as the company continues to grow.  Since 1999 TSM has reforested 20+ acres of an abandoned golf course with wetland trees and plants as well as protecting more than 50 acres under conservation easements to the County and to the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET).  During this period, TSM has substantially reduced its own energy consumption, utilizing solar energy, LED lighting, and roof and insulation upgrades to modernize its 40,000 sq. ft. indoor facility. In the early 1990’s, low water quality and a declining fish population indicated that Chesapeake Bay conditions were at a critical point.  A temporary ban on striped bass fishing provided a serious “wake-up call” for all Bay-related business interests. In 1999, Tom Magenau recognized that topographical conditions adjacent to the location of his business presented a unique opportunity for a “regional approach” to manage runoff.  Precipitation was consolidated to the north and west along MD #256 before continuing southward in consolidated drainage paths that were established in 1920.  The pre-established drainage pattern traveled directly in to Parker Creek without any treatment.   It was estimated that this drainage path carried approximately 12,000 lbs. of sediment in to Parker Creek each year.  Since drainage from the highway passed through the Tri-State Marine site, it was possible to proactively address solutions that reached beyond the company’s boundaries.  The company’s acreage was fortuitously located on the “low end” of a 30+ acre drainage area, which included 14 upstream impervious acres and Rte. 256 pavement with drainage ditches on both sides of the highway.  Beginning in the early 2000’s, TSM engaged a permit process that included the USACE, Maryland’s Department of the Environment and Anne Arundel County.  The final step in this permit process was completed in 2010, in a Variance Hearing for impacting Critical Area.  Approval was granted with praise from the hearing officer to Mr. Magenau “for donating his time and money to improve water quality in the area.” This project also received support from South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development (SACRED). In 2016, as business recovered from the 2008-2012 recession, TSM partnered with the South River Federation, an established watershed restoration organization now known as the Arundel Rivers Federation, to obtain a grant of over $200,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the County Watershed restoration program.  With this financial support and considerable funds from Tri-State Marine, construction of a 60,625 sq. ft. stormwater wetland is now complete. This system will treat existing sediment and is expected to reduce over 70% of the sediment flowing untreated into the Bay. This new  wetland will also provide significant habitat for a variety of species. The Magenaus have received strong letters of support for this project, which took 19 years to grow from concept to reality. The Executive Director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay notes that the project exemplifies the kind of landowner stewardship that is critical to the Alliance’s mission of restoring the Bay. The Maryland Environmental Trust recognized the Magenaus generous for donation of a 23- acre conservation easement on their wetlands tract near Deale, noting that “the easement is a demonstration of ……. commitment to the conservation and stewardship of privately owned land.”  The Anne Arundel County Director of Publish Works commended on the Magenaus on the TSM stormwater wetlands project as representing a model “collaboration among local government, a watershed protection organization, and a private developer in order to improve water quality.” The Executive Director of the Arundel Rivers Federation wrote that the TSM Storm Water wetlands project “is the first public private partnership for storm water management in South Anne Arundel County and will prevent nearly 10,000 pounds of sediment to annually flow in to the nearby creek.” The Federation particularly noted the Magenaus tremendous financial contribution that “sets them apart from other landowners.”   Tri-State Marine, Inc., its employees and owners have demonstrated that business and landowners can work closely with federal, state and county agencies, nonprofits and the community to benefit the environment while pursuing sustainable business practices.