News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 241 Acres In Three Eastern Shore Counties Through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Annapolis, Md. (December 1, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 241 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands, including properties in Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Wicomico Counties, through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“I commend these Maryland landowners for making conservation practices on their land permanent, which will curb storm water runoff and improve water quality for future generations,” said Governor O’Malley.

Dorchester County – The BPW approved preservation of an 86-acre CREP easement in Dorchester County. The easement on property owned by the Legg family will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 2,700 feet of waterways located within the Fishing Bay watershed.

This easement will be co-held by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“This 86-acre easement will both enhance the water quality of two important Dorchester waterways – the Transquaking and Chicamacomico Rivers – and provide much needed wildlife habitat,” said Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Executive Director Rob Etgen.

Queen Anne’s County – The BPW also approved preservation of two CREP easements in Queen Anne’s County. The Massey and Porter/Puckett CREP easements, totaling 48 acres, will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 1,175 feet of Wye Mills Pond, and add significant buffer to nearby Golden Run. The Porter/Puckett CREP easement benefits water quality by buffering 1,719 feet of Beaver Dam Creek, a tributary to the Choptank River. Both of the CREP easements will be co-held by Queen Anne’s County and DNR.

“Preserving and protecting water quality is very important and these CREP easements in Queen Anne’s County are a perfect fit, providing benefit for adjacent properties and water bodies,” said Gene M. Ransom III, President of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources on these valuable CREP easements.”

Wicomico County – Acquisition of the107-acre CREP easement on property owned by the Fisher family will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along more than 12,000 feet of Wetipquin Creek and Wetipquin prong, both of which drain into the Nanticoke River. The easement will be held by the Lower Shore Land Trust and DNR.

“The Lower Shore Land Trust is excited to protect the Fisher property and the valuable forests and wetlands it contains,” said Christy Hallman, Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator for the Lower Shore Land Trust. “The required Forest Stewardship Plan will ensure the woodlands acreage is managed both sustainably and productively while over 12,000 linear feet of stream buffers will help protect and improve surface water quality of Wetipquin Creek and its tributaries. This property is an asset to Wicomico County and will help preserve the natural heritage and rural character of Maryland’s eastern shore in perpetuity.”

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by DNR and is funded through Program Open Space. The State of Maryland has entered into an agreement with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide funds to landowners who make permanent the conservation practices established through 10- or 15- year CREP contracts. CREP provides for the establishment of stream buffers, grass plantings, shrubs and trees, and the retirement of highly erodible land. In addition to providing important habitat for wildlife, all of these practices work to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by reducing soil runoff, increasing groundwater absorption, and reducing stream sedimentation and nutrient loading into Maryland’s waterways.

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 consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.


   December 1, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

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 www.dnr.maryland.gov