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Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $239,784 for CREP Conservation Easements in Wicomico and Worcester Counties
Forested buffers will help protect the Pocomoke River from runoff pollution
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Reminding Marylanders that forested buffers are a key means to achieving improved water quality, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of $239,784 in Program Open Space funds to acquire conservation easements on 233 acres in Wicomico and Worcester Counties.
“Forested buffers along waterways efficiently filter sediment and nutrients from runoff,” said Governor Ehrlich. “To improve the water quality of our tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay, we must preserve existing forested buffers and establish new ones whenever we can.”
The Board is composed of Governor Ehrlich, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp.
A total of $239,784 will fund two projects in two counties:
• The Board approved $183,872 in Program Open Space funds to acquire a perpetual easement through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) on 202 acres of the Jones Farm in Wicomico County. This acquisition will improve water quality by establishing forested buffers along nearly three miles of agricultural ditches, thereby reducing sediment and nutrient runoff into the upper part of the Pocomoke River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The easement will permanently protect these riparian buffers planted in accord with the federal program. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Lower Shore Land Trust will jointly hold the easement title.
• The Board also approved $55,912 in Program Open Space funds to acquire a perpetual easement through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program on 31 acres of the Aydelotte Farm in Worcester County. This acquisition will improve water quality by establishing forested buffers along a mile and a half of agricultural ditches, thereby reducing sediment and nutrient runoff into the lower part of the Pocomoke River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The easement will permanently protect these riparian buffers planted in accord with the federal program. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Lower Shore Land Trust will jointly hold the easement title.
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program enables states to unite their land conservation programs with the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program and private environmental and conservation groups. Together, these groups contribute money and resources to provide farmers and ranchers strong financial incentives to implement conservation practices. These practices include planting trees and grasses along streams to filter runoff, restoring wetlands, and building fences to keep cattle away from waterways. The program prevents tons of silt, manure, and pesticides from seeping into waterways and provides critical habitat for wildlife.
DNR’s Program Open Space is a nationally recognized program that provides funding for Maryland’s state and local parks and conservation areas. More than 4,600 county and municipal park and conservation projects have been completed through the program, improving the quality of life for millions of Marylanders.
Since assuming office, the Ehrlich Administration and its partners have invested more than $64 million to protect over 31,000 acres of land to help restore the Bay and its surrounding environment. With nearly one in every five acres permanently protected in Maryland, the state remains a national leader in land preservation.
July 6, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov