Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan (CCMP)
Fish and Wildlife

  The Fish and Wildlife section of the CCMP includes 5 goals:

  1. Increase fish and shellfish species.
  2. Enhance forest habitats to protect songbirds, other wildlife populations, and aquatic resources.
  3. Protect and enhance wetlands to benefit water quality, waterfowl, and other wildlife.
  4. Protect threatened and endangered species.
  5. Limit impacts to native plants and animals from non-native and nuisance species.
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DNR Implementation Summary

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has the most significant role in the Fish and Wildlife section of the CCMP than in any other section, and more than any other partner in the Program.  Among the agencies top priorities are the development of fishery management plans, long-range forestry plans, and marine sensitive areas initiatives.  Studies on exotic and nuisance species and impacts to seagrass beds from human activities are also in the forefront of DNR's activities.  Many actions have been undertaken by DNR since the inception of the plan.  The following are some of the highlights:

  • In April 2002, a cooperative angler flounder survey commenced through the MSSA and local anglers with the major goal of collecting and assessing the data gathered to promote better fishing techniques and legislation beneficial to both the fish and the fishermen.

  • In order to accomplish the tasks in the CCMP, DNR established a Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Committee specifically for providing advice to the DNR on recreation and commercial fisheries in the coastal bays.  This committee has already completed fishery management plans for hard clams and blue crabs, and has also obtained a $25,000 NOAA Coastal Services Center Grant in developing the concept of water zoning and sanctuaries to manage resources. 

  • Investigations and studies were done in order to assess the impacts of hydraulic clam dredging on the biotic environment along the coastal bays.  Legislation was then passed in 1998, revised in 2002.  In partnership with the National Park Service, all bay grass beds are delineated and marked with buoys, officially closing them to commercial hydraulic clam dredging activities. 

  • The DNR has strongly promoted reforestation of streambeds by providing support and information gathered by research and surveys to landowners.  It has also worked with the USDA Forest Service in investigating better methods to track forestry resources.  By utilizing natural resource conservation programs, such as Rural Legacy and Stream ReLeaf, the DNR has been able to improve forest character, develop educational outreach programs, and identify and promote programs that protect these areas.  Some of these projects have been combined, such as the Forest and Stewardship Incentive Programs, which have been welded together to form the Forest Land Enhancement Program.  Land enhancement is a major issue when discussing how wildlife and plant species may benefit from such changes.  The DNR has identified and begun working on grassland buffering which will help reduce agricultural runoff and benefit grassland nesting birds by providing additional food and cover for numerous wetland bird species.

  • Plans have been developed and implemented by the DNR to protect, enhance, and restore habitats.  Specifically, Phragmites has been identified as the most invasive plant species and the most threatening to the diversity of plant and animal communities in the Maryland Coastal Bays ecosystem.  The DNR offered a control program with the use of a chemical compound that was designed to control the spread of Phragmites and to encourage a more diverse wetland community for wildlife.


DNR Implementation Summaries

If you have any questions about Maryland's Coastal Bays Implementation Activities, 
please feel free to e-mail, Katheleen Freeman, or call (410) 260-8986.

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