News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 85 Acres In Wicomico County Through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Annapolis, Md. (February 23, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 85 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands, in Wicomico County, through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“By making conservation practices on their land permanent, these Maryland landowners are making a significant impact in helping to protect water quality in the Wicomico River and the Chesapeake Bay for future generations,” said Governor O’Malley.

The easement on the property owned by the Riverside LLC will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 5,709 feet of waterways that drain into Harcum Creek, which flows into the Wicomico River, a Chesapeake Bay tributary. It will be co-held by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Wicomico County.

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is funded through Program Open Space. The State of Maryland has entered into an agreement with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide funds to landowners who make permanent the conservation practices established through 10- or 15- year CREP contracts. CREP provides for the establishment of stream buffers, grass plantings, shrubs and trees, and the retirement of highly erodible land. In addition to providing important habitat for wildlife, all of these practices work to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by reducing soil runoff, increasing groundwater absorption, and reducing stream sedimentation and nutrient loading into Maryland’s waterways.

Since October 20, 2010, Maryland landowners have protected 1,690 acres through 23 voluntary CREP easements.

The three member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor O’Malley (chair), Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.

   February 23, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 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