Healthy Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems

Maryland's decisions about how we use and reuse our resources, where and how to grow and build, and what we keep or lose are our legacy for the future. The One DNR Plan creates a list of goals and actions to guide the department towards making decisions that help the environment and provide cost savings.

In collaboration with public and private partners, DNR preserves, protects, restores and manages for healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems using integrated natural resource management science. This approach recognizes that components of ecosystems are connected and dependent upon each other. To meet the challenge of protecting whole and healthy ecosystems as landscapes transform through development and climate change, DNR brings together the broadest possible array of knowledge and expertise to decisions affecting natural resources.

If you have questions contact Christine Conn at or call (410) 260-8785.

Assemble and Integrate Science

  • Create Science Integration Teams
    • Create a Science Integration Team that will develop and lead work to integrate science across disciplines to support policies and actions that ensure integrated delivery of natural resource management expertise both within and outside of the Department.

DNR Actions Based on Best Available Science

All DNR actions use the best available science, integrated across disciplines, to prioritize, communicate and guide actions; with emphasis on protecting and enhancing ecosystem function and sustainability.

  • Create an enhanced Environmental Review Team
    • Create an enhanced Environmental Review Team that coordinates cross-agency teams that aggregate and provide the best available science to requests for information in response to land use decisions and infrastructure development projects (in progress).
  • Create Regional Stewardship Teams
    • Create Regional Stewardship Teams that will make sustainable and ecosystem based public land acquisition and management decisions using GreenPrint, the new land acquisition targeting tool, and integrated scientific data from across DNR disciplines (in progress).
  • Develop and use a communications strategy
    • DNR's employees participated in an in-house and online training to learn how to convey messages and information in the most simplistic way while still maintaining the message.
    • DNR will collaborate with other State agencies and partners to develop communication strategies that will improve the understanding and accessibility of financial and technical resources available to our partners for conserving and restoring natural resources.

Influence Local Government Decisions through Targeted Outreach

  • Establish a new DNR liaison system with local governments
    • DNR will continue to develop relationships to better service local governments and improve the two-way flow of information.
    • DNR will ensure that the policies and programs implemented by the agency are accessible by local governments and support shared goals for healthy and terrestrial aquatic ecosystems.

Chesapeake Bay Health Information Maryland's Green Website

Sustainability Tip

Install a rain garden or rain barrel to catch rainwater. Stormwater rushing off of roofs and lawns carries pollution directly into streams and the Bay. Rain gardens and rain barrels slow the water down and keep pollution out of our waters. Click here for other helpful information.

Join the Sustainability Network

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The Sustainability Network is a place where interested citizens, businesses and organizations can share ideas on projects and make connections between others who share their interest.