Volunteers doing a stream survey

An often overlooked yet inherent component of our
fragile ecosystem the land, the water, and the plant and animal
life that inhabit it is another of its inhabitants: man. Everything
we do on the land, ecologically responsible or environmentally
negligent, affects the health of our ecosystem and its more than
10,000 miles of non-tidal rivers and streams. And when it comes
to water quality and wildlife habitat (not to mention clean air),
trees are one important answer.

1 > Goal 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8
Fostering Reforestation: Stream Buffers = Stream Releaf
  • With help from more than 2,500 volunteers, 65 organizations and 400 landowners, DNR will this spring reach Governor Glendening's Stream Re-Leaf goal for Maryland -- creating 600 miles of forested stream buffers by 2010 -- eight years ahead of schedule. Upon this accomplishment, the Governor immediately enhanced the forecast for Maryland's streams, pledging an additional 600 miles of buffer plantings by the original 2010 deadline.

    Significant to the success of this and other forestation efforts is another Governor's priority: the federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). This public/private partnership reimburses farmers for establishing riparian forest or grass buffers, planting permanent cover on sensitive agricultural lands and restoring wetlands for the health of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to trees, monthly enrollments average about 300 acres of the warm season grasses critical to the conservation of declining grassland nesting bird species.

    To help Maryland meet the needs of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, in FY '01 more than 6.5 million seedlings were grown and sold at the John S. Ayton Forest Tree Nursery.

"This agreement means cleaner water, healthier fish, and a stronger environment for every family in Maryland."
Al Gore, Former Vice President
as Maryland became the first state to partner with the USDA in the CREP State Enhancement Program October 1997

A Conservation Landmark
  • In partnership with the Richard King Mellon Foundation and The Conservation Fund, DNR once again changed the scope of American land conservation with the largest single land acquisition in state history and the largest ever private gift for land conservation in the U.S. Contiguous to 22 existing DNR management areas and three National Wildlife Refuges, the landmark 58,000-acre Chesapeake Forest Lands acquisition protects more than 11,000 acres of unaltered wetlands and large areas of critical wildlife habitat in five lower Eastern Shore counties.

    In what is destined to become a national model of public/private partnership, sustainable forestry and ecosystem management on public lands, DNR's Program Open Space contributed $17 million toward the total $33 million purchase price. The other half was gifted to the state by the Mellon Foundation through the Conservation Fund.

Maryland's streams: The Bay's lifelines
  • With increasing focus and intensity on managing and restoring stream resources, accurately assessing the condition of Maryland's aquatic resources is clearly critical. Yet today, Maryland's Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) has expanded far beyond the confines of assessment in its capacity to influence the future of stream health. MBSS data, including newly-developed biocriteria, are now being integrated into Maryland's water quality regulatory framework and MBSS findings are being used to revise listings of endangered aquatic species, target priority stream restoration projects and estimate stream restoration costs.
  • Maryland Streams: Take a Closer Look provides a framework for developing an understanding of the physical characteristics of stream channels, the processes that shape and form them, and the characteristics that influence the fish and insects that live in them.
  • In conducting monitoring activities, DNR staff continued to partner with local governments and private citizens. In its second year, the Stream Waders Program augmented MBSS sampling efforts, with nearly 200 citizen volunteers sampling more than 700 stream sites in 29 watersheds during FY '01.
  • To extend the knowledge base of constantly evolving science and understanding of stream processes and dynamics, DNR-sponsored Stream Information Exchanges and Stream Protection Workshops provide an opportunity to share information and experiences with 800 land managers across the state.
Focus: Restoration
  • From the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland, DNR provides technical service, project management and financial support for wetland creation and stream and floodplain restoration efforts. In 2001, DNR worked with a variety of partners on projects to restore 85 acres of non-tidal wetlands.
  • With creation last year of the Governor's Watershed Revitalization Partnership for Stream Restoration, a committee of representatives from DNR, the State Highway Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment and Tributary Teams reviewed proposals to select 19 stream restoration and stormwater management projects for funding the next two years. This effort is expected to result in restoration of approximately seven miles of stream habitat in six counties and Baltimore City at a cost of $5.2 million dollars.
Another First
  • Maryland's Coastal Nonpoint Source Program -- the first U.S. program of its kind to receive full federal approval -- was established in FY '00 to fulfill Coastal Zone Requirements. It addresses urban, forestry and agricultural runoff along the Atlantic Shore, the coastal bays, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and advocates economically achievable measures to control nonpoint pollution associated with stream channelization, dams, and streambank and shoreline erosion. The program is currently working with state and local governments to insure effective utilization of nonpoint source pollution control measures and will track the successful implementation of planned management measures.

"Nature does not aboud by leaps."
Carolus Linnaeus

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