Bay Smart Guide

A Citizen's Guide to Maryland's Critical Area Program

Note: All the documents in this section are available for download in a .pdf format.

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A Citizen's Guide to Maryland's Critical Area Program

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Bay Smart - A Citizen's Guide to Maryland's Critical Area Program


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743 KB PDF File


3.8 MB PDF File

Chapter 1: Background and History

  • Origins of the Program
  • Defining the Critical Area Critical Area
  • Program Goals
  • Development of the Criteria
  • Changes to the Law during the First Two Decades
  • Comprehensive Revision In 2008
  • 2 MB PDF File

    Chapter 2: A Unique Restoration and Preservation Partnership

  • A Partnership Involving the State and Local Governments
  • Local Critical Area Program Development
  • Local Critical Area Program Implementation
  • 2 MB PDF File

    Chapter 3: Development in the Critical Area

    • Maps as a Basic Component Of Local Programs
    • Critical Area Provisions and When They Apply
    • Intensely Developed Areas (IDAs)
    • Limited Development Areas (LDAs)
    • Resource Conservation Areas (RCAs)
    • Grandfathering Variances
    • Intrafamily Transfers
    27.3 MB PDF File

    Chapter 4: Habitat Protection

    • The 100-Foot Buffer and Its Functions
    • Nontidal Wetlands Habitats of Threatened and
      Endangered Species and Species In Need of Conservation
    • Significant Plant and Wildlife Habitat
    • Anadromous Fish Spawning Areas
    6.2 MB PDF File

    Chapter 5: Growth Allocation

    • Accommodating Future Growth
    • Growth Allocation Review Process
    • Commission Consideration
    3 MB PDF File

    Chapter 6: Water-Dependent Facilities

    • Description
    • General Requirements for Water-Dependent Facilities
    • Specific Requirements for Certain Facilities
    5.4 MB PDF File

    Chapter 7: Shore Erosion Control

    • Types of Erosion Control Measures
    • Permit and Approval Process
    1.1 MB PDF File

    Chapter 8: Resource Utilization Activities

    • Forestry
    • Agriculture
    • Surface Mining
    5 MB PDF File

    Chapter 9: Enforcement and Violations

    • Enforcement Responsibilities
    • Addressing Violations
    • Types of Violations
    • Restoration and Mitigation
    2 MB PDF File

    Chapter 10: Stewardship

    • Homeowner Efforts
    • Restoration Opportunities on Commercial Properties
    • Government Projects
    • Stewardship Opportunities for All Maryland Residents
    3 MB PDF File

    Chapter 11: Citizen Participation in the Political Process

    • Involvement in Local Decision-Making
    • Using the Political Process
    2.4 MB PDF File

    Chapter 12: Summary

    1.1 MB PDF File


    371 KB PDF File

    Additional Resources

    1 MB PDF File

    Works Cited

    223 KB PDF File

    Financial assistance provided by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A publication (or report) of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Natural Resources pursuant to NOAA Award No. to NA06NOS4190237.

    The facilities and services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are available to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical or mental disability. This document is available in alternative format upon request from a qualified individual with disability. This program receives Federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and thus prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex in educational programs, pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or service, please contact the Office of Fair Practices – MD Department of Natural Resources, Tawes Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, D-4, Annapolis, MD 21401. The telephone number is 410-260-8058. You may also write to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Civil Rights Coordinator, Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 110, Arlington, VA 22203.