News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 322 Acres In Wicomico County Through Program Open Space

Annapolis, Md. (December 1, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 322 acres of land in Wicomico County through Program Open Space. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will purchase the land, known as the Brewer-Black property, which is near the mouth of the Wicomico River, in close proximity to Tangier Sound, and contiguous with Ellis Bay Wildlife Management Area.

“Program Open Space continues to provide opportunities to balance the protection of important wildlife habitat and expanding opportunities for Maryland families to enjoy their natural world,” said Governor O’Malley.

Located within a Targeted Ecological Area (TEA), as well as the Nanticoke-Wicomico Focus Area, the Brewer-Black property includes a mosaic of maturing upland and wetland forest that provides valuable habitat for numerous species, including the Delmarva fox squirrel and the bald eagle. It also serves as important stopover and nesting habitats for Neotropical migrants, waterfowl and shorebirds. This acquisition will also provide for expanded outdoor recreation opportunities for future generations.

“Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had a number of visitors who are birders and were very excited,” said State Treasurer Nancy Kopp. “This acquisition puts Maryland on the map as being a great place for bird watching,”

The three-member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor O’Malley (chair), 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.

Since 2007, Governor O’Malley and the BPW preserved more than 31,919 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 352,962 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by Program Open Space.

   December 1, 2010

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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