News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O’Malley Asks Maryland Congressional Delegation For $4.5 Million To Benefit Mid-Atlantic Highlands

Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today requested $4.5 million in federal funding to benefit the Mid-Atlantic Highlands during his annual federal priorities presentation to the Maryland Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill.

“Along with our partners in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, we realize the importance of revitalizing the Mid-Atlantic Highlands,” said Governor O’Malley. “This program will stimulate the economy of this region while providing jobs that support its sustainability.”

The Mid-Atlantic Highlands have a long legacy of environmental and economic problems. The forest, streams and lands are in poor condition, suffering from decades of abuse and the area remains impoverished with low education levels and high rates of unemployment and poverty.

The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program is a state, local and federal effort started in 2006 to protect and restore the ecological assets, economic vitality and log-term sustainability of the Appalachian Mountains area. The program supports local projects that are models for sustainable use of natural, cultural and economic resources thereby improving the quality of life today and for future generations.

The highlands encompass 79,000 square miles of the Appalachians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and include roughly half of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This region hosts some of the most diverse and globally important resources on Earth. It is rich in natural and cultural heritage where the environment plays an important role in the quality of life.

The program kicked off in January 2006 with four state liaisons on board, each funded by the EPA. In 2007, the governors of the 4 states signed the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Charter, which states the Highlands should remain a special place where stewardship of the environment is an important part of the community, quality of life and economics of the region. Members of Congress also expressed their formal support of the Charter and the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program.

In total, Governor O’Malley requested about $87 million in federal funding for DNR related projects.

   March 12, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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