For years, cliffs along the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County, Maryland, have attracted fossil hunters in search of ancient shark teeth.
But a frightening recent cliff collapse has leaders warning people to stay away from restricted areas.
It happened Jan. 30 just south of Bayfront Park, also called Brownie’s Beach. The town of Chesapeake Beach owns the park.
Several people crossed onto private property looking for fossils when part of the cliff came down. There were no reported injuries.
One person who was initially unaccounted for was eventually found safe.
Hours after the incident, other people were seen in the very same area.
“There were actually two people climbing on the cliff face after it collapsed, when it’s in its most vulnerable state,” Al Jeffrey, Calvert County’s deputy director of public safety, told Chesapeake Beach’s Town Council this week.
“The cliffs are very, very dangerous, and you need to be aware of it,” he added.
Jeffrey said people in the immediate local area are likely well aware of the risks of walking next to or on the cliffs, which are eroding daily.
“Who really doesn’t know … are your visitors,” Jeffrey said. “The ones that come from D.C. to enjoy the shoreline and come down to hunt shark’s teeth occasionally.”
Jeffrey is urging all visitors to obey posted signs warning people to stay away from certain areas.