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BPW Approves Preservation of 13 Acres in Washington County through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Annapolis, Md. (October 5, 2011) — The Board of Public Works (BPW) today approved the preservation of 13 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands in Washington County through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option. 

The easement on the property owned by the Howell family will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 2,375 feet of Downey Branch shortly before it joins the Potomac River. This easement lies adjacent to an agricultural district.

“The William Howell CREP easement is part of a 146-acre farm and lies adjacent to the historic Chesapeake & Ohio National Historic Park,” said Eric Seifarth, Washington County Lands Preservation Administrator. “Over 2,000 feet of tree and grass lined buffers will protect water quality Downey Branch and the Potomac River.”

The easement will be co-held by Washington County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by DNR and is funded through 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, these practices work to improve water quality by reducing runoff 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.

   October 5, 2011

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 a 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