National Wildlife Refuge System

Blackwater River Watershed on New Forever Stamp

Inland Marsh
This inland marsh photo was taken over the Blackwater River watershed in the 1990s.
Credit: Cameron Davidson
The new Earthscapes stamps present images taken from the air or by satellite in three categories - natural, agricultural and urban. The "Inland Marsh" stamp was taken over the Blackwater River watershed in Maryland.

The Blackwater River watershed – centered at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD - is featured as a new Earthscapes postage stamp.

“To see the world in a new way, sometimes we just need to shift our perspective,” says the U.S. Postal Service on its new page of Earthscapes stamps.  The photos for the 15 Forever stamps were taken high above the earth’s surface, by photographers in planes or satellites. Local photographer Cameron Davidson shot the image over Blackwater in the 1990s.

Davidson’s “Inland Marsh” stamp shows a shallow creek winding through the marshes near the refuge. Rich tidal marshes make up much of the refuge’s more than 28,000 acres, forming a haven for endangered fox squirrels as well as bald eagles and thousands of migrating birds and waterfowl along the Atlantic Flyway.

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat 7 satellite captured two additional images of the marsh taken 27 years apart, showing marsh loss along the Blackwater and Little Blackwater Rivers, where marsh vegetation is giving way to open water.  The Blackwater Climate Adaptation Project (pdf )  is a partnership among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Conservation Fund and Audubon Maryland-D.C. to address marsh loss and its primary cause – sea level rise.

NASA’s Earth science program uses global imagery to understand how landscapes are changing through time. The Earthscapes stamps were issued at NASA’s Godard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. The stamps present three categories of images – natural, agricultural and urban. “Once you’ve seen the world from above, you never look at it quite the same way again,” said Joseph Corbett, Postal Service executive vice president. 

Last updated: October 5, 2012