On the Maryland side of the Potomac River just west of Chesapeake Bay, the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere sits half-sunk and decomposing. In the early 20th century, hundreds of U.S. vessels were sent to Mallows Bay to be destroyed and scrapped – and to this day the remains of dozens can still be seen in the shallow water.
In 2002, The Trust for Public Land protected the 510-acre Mallows Bay property, the largest ship graveyard in North America. Approximately 130 wooden steamships from World War II, burned to the waterline, lie in the muddy bottom of the Bay. In 2005, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources created the Nanjemoy Natural Resource Management Area, of which the Mallows Bay property is now a part.