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BPW Approves Preservation of 33 Acres in Worcester County through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Annapolis, Md. (December 21, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 33 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands in Worcester County, through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option. 

“We are fortunate to have land conservation programs that help us protect and restore Maryland’s precious natural resources,” said Governor O’Malley. “Together, we can curb stormwater runoff, improve our water quality, and preserve the legacy of our land for future generations.”

BPW approved preservation of one CREP easement in Worcester County totaling 33 acres. This easement, on property owned by the Cherrix family, will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 3,300 feet of tributaries to the Pocomoke River. As part of the transaction, the landowner will be donating a conservation easement on the remaining 2.55 acres of property to be held by Worcester County.

“The CREP Permanent Easement Program is a great example of government and citizens working together to improve water quality and wildlife habitat,” said James “Bud” Church, Commissioner of Worcester County. “This 29-acre easement on Old Ocean City Road will preserve both recently restored and older forest in perpetuity. The forest will provide wildlife habitat and a buffer to ditches that feed Franklin Branch, and ultimately the upper Pocomoke River.”

The Department of Natural Resources and Worcester County will hold the easement.

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (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 21, 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 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. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at