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Governor O’Malley Announces Preservation Of 232 Acres In Worcester County
Annapolis, MD - Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of a 232-acre conservation easement in Worcester County through Program Open Space.
“This addition to our expansive Coastal Bays Watershed will not only contribute to the pristine, natural beauty of the Eastern Shore but help safeguard its diverse wildlife habitat and water quality,” said Governor O’Malley. “Through projects like this, Program Open Space is preserving our precious natural areas for future generations of Marylanders to cherish and enjoy.”
Today, the Board of Public Works approved the sale of a conservation easement to the Department of Natural Resources by Public Landing LLC to protect 232 unimproved acres of wetlands, forest and agricultural lands located within the 153,000 acre Maryland Coastal Bays Watershed. These shallow bays are located landward of Ocean City and Assateague Island and provide habitat for a complex ecosystem of fish and wildlife. DNR has been working in partnership with Worcester County and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services to preserve this property.
The area is adjacent to Public Landing County Park, which has a boat ramp, pavilion and small marina. The property has frontage on Scarboro Creek and a view of the Chincoteague. The property is a high priority conservation acquisition under Maryland’s Program Open Space Stateside Targeting System, with an ecological ranking score of 83. The ecologically based targeting approach was developed in 2007 under Governor O’Malley’s BayStat Initiative to ensure the state is protecting the most strategically important landscapes to provide a lasting legacy for future generations.
Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 21,411.46 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 341,122.55 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space. Visit www.greenprint.maryland.gov for an interactive, statewide map showing the land protected by Program Open Space.
The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
March 18, 2009
Contact: Ray Weaver
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov