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Frequently Asked Questions

Eco-Focused & Committed to Earth-Health

Along with CBF, IBC is committed to protecting and preserving our natural environment and waterways. All meals will be served on reusable or compostable materials. And NO single-use plastics are allowed on the grounds. So remember to bring glass or metal water bottles, and cloth, net or nylon bags for treasure collecting.


A. Do I need a rental car?
Not necessarily. It depends on where you are lodging and/or how independent you want to be. If you are flying in and booked your lodging in Bay Ridge, you can take an Uber to your rental (or we can maybe send someone to pick you up for a fee ) and can walk to and/or hitch rides with other participants to the venue. Field trips are car-pooled and there will be many regional beachcombers coming with cars as well.

B. Do they cater to special diets?
Yes. Vegetarian and gluten-free.

C. Can you handle Beachcombers with special needs?
We can’t stress enough that this is a physically active, hands-on learning conference. 
  We can accommodate everyone to a degree. All tutorials, arts workshops and museum visits are open to everyone, including people with disabilities. All field trips this year are relatively easy but some still require the physical stamina to walk a couple of miles or hike down and up small cliff sides, as well as the steadiness to walk on sand or over cobbles. We suggest walking sticks and sturdy shoes. If you are concerned, contact us and we can advise you on the physically easiest field trips to take. Or you can spend a quiet afternoon relaxing with a good book til the Wild Things return home for evening activities. 
  And for those of you with no physical disabilities (except laziness!) get off the couch and start getting into shape now. Do your yoga, pound out a daily mile or two, and/or lift some hand weights. 

Make sure all your other shots are up to date, especially Flu, Pneumonia, and Tetanus. Many IBC’ers are cancer survivors, and some still have compromised immune systems, so if you are anti-vaccinations, this probably isn’t the right conference for you. Sorry.

E. What to wear (or buy there):
As many of you know, I swear by my trusty cashmere hoody and a carry-on bag.

Travel light. No need to be fashionable. We all mostly live in casual-wear during the entire conference. (For a dressy look, bring a scarf to wrap around your t-shirt or a bow for your hair…!) And remember, almost anything you forget, you can buy there. Visit my blog post for travel light packing tips
Given that, the weather can be dicey in late March. Warm one day. Cold and windy the next. So bring clothes you can layer so you are prepared for temperatures ranging from 40 to 75.

1. Medications
2. Phone/computers and cords
3. Metal or glass water bottle (no plastic, Styrofoam)
4. Nylon or cotton cloth beach treasure bag (no plastic bags) 
5. Sun block 
6. (optional) hat, sunglasses, walking stick, mosquito repellant 
7. Layered Clothing for Outside Play
- Rain gear
- A couple of long sleeved t-shirts & short shelved tees
- Some long pants (fisherman pants are great because they zip off into shorts
-Cashmere hoody, sweatshirt, or sweater (my go to for everything)
- Hat, socks, water shoes or boots, extra pair of shoes

F. Travel Planning
Scheduling Trip:
Some people come a day early and/or leave a day later so they don’t feel so rushed. Others make a two-week vacation out of it.

The Eastern Shore Sea Festival will be held the following weekend in St. Michaels, MD.  For more info, visit: 

Getting there:
You can reach the Annapolis area by car, plane, train or bus. 

Using your favorite navigation app, locate Philip Merrill Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403 

BWI Airport Train Station is located in Linthicum, Maryland near Baltimore–Washington International (BWI) Airport. It is served by Amtrak Northeast Corridor intercity trains and MARC Penn Line regional rail trains. A free shuttle bus runs between the station and the airport terminal at all hours, where you can call to uber a ride to Annapolis or take a shuttle to the rental car booth. (You can also try hiring Severn after work to come to pick you up but you have to be very sweet and pay him well! Hahaha….)

Rental car: 
Budget, Enterprise, Avis and Nextcar rental companies are in Annapolis as well as at all area airports.

 Airports include Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), which is the closest; Reagan International (in DC) were you can take a metro to the New Carrollton Metro stop (orange line) and arrange for someone to pick you up there; or Dulles Airport, which is 1.5 hrs. away in VA. 
G. Still got QUESTIONS? 
If so, please contact us. But a heads up: I may be difficult to reach in late October thru late November as I will be travelling to the east coast and overseas visiting sons and dragging my husband on beachcombing expeditions to Italy, the UK and the Netherlands. If you have specific questions that Severn or Bob cannot answer, email me and I will respond as soon as I have Internet service. 

Field Trips/Arts Workshops, Lodging, Swap/Raffle Items: 

Severn Patolo

Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Bazaar 
Bob Starr


Listen to Hawaii Public Radio Interview with Deacon Ritterbush

"I am a four-time IBCer who found out about the conference when I bought Dr. Beachcomb's book while on a beach vacation at the Jersey shore.  What a wonderful discovery! 

 I hadn't known there were so many like-minded people who love the history and treasures of various maritime locations!  I have learned so many fascinating things and met such wonderful people!
Sea Glass Beach Heart, Photo by Deacon Ritterbush