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Governor Ehrlich Commissions Newest Vessel in NRP Fleet
ANNAPOLIS — Taking steps to further ensure the safety and security of all Marylanders, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., and the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) today officially commissioned the Sea Ark, “Chesapeake,” the newest vessel in the NRP fleet. The vessel is state-of-the-art design with a fully armored pilothouse and will be used to increase the protection of Maryland’s waterways. The commissioning took place this afternoon at City Dock in Annapolis where the Governor was joined by Sen. John C. Astle (D-District 30), Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer, Department of Natural Resources (NRP) Secretary C. Ronald Franks and NRP Superintendent Col. Mark S. Chaney.
Since September 11, NRP has worked to increase the level of waterside security protection measures for Maritime Critical Infrastructure around potential sites for terrorist attacks. An example of one of these sites is the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant.
“In addition to their regular charge, the Natural Resources Police now have the distinctive job of securing sites located on our state waterways,” said Governor Ehrlich. “I am extremely pleased to be here today to officially commission a new tool that has been specially designed to assist DNR with their mission to ensure the safety of Maryland citizens.”
The Chesapeake is 45-feet in length with a 15-foot beam and weighs 16-tons. Twin 490 horsepower diesel engines power her to speeds over 30 knots. The Chesapeake will compliment the NRP fleet of 24 large patrol vessels (30 foot and up) and 75 small patrol vessels (16ft. to 22ft whalers). Her assigned port, Solomons, will specifically address the homeland security interests unique to that area in addition to the regular duties the NRP performs on the states waterways.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 270 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
September 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