News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 36 Acres In Worcester County Through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Annapolis, Md. (March 23, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 26 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands in Worcester County, through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“By taking part in this program and making conservation practices on their land permanent, these Maryland landowners are making a significant impact to the preservation of our beautiful State and the Chesapeake Bay for future generations,” said Governor O’Malley.

The easement on the property owned by the Pilchard family will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 1,584 feet of an unnamed stream that feeds into Bachelor’s Branch. Bachelor’s Branch empties into the Pocomoke River, an important tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The Pilchard family is also donating an additional 10 acres to Worcester County, for a total of 36 acres placed in conservation for future generations.

“Many small actions together contribute to improving water quality, and that is why the CREP permanent easement program is such a vital element of the State’s strategy for a cleaner Bay,” said James “Bud” Church, County Commissioner of Worcester County. “We applaud the State’s continued funding of this important program that supports effective land stewardship by farmers.”

The CREP easements will be co-held by Worcester County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by 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.

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.

   March 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