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NRP Participates In DC Metro Area Litter Enforcement Month

Volunteers needed for Potomac River clean-up April 14

Volunteers at a stream clean up

Annapolis, Maryland (April 12, 2012) – Throughout April, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is reminding citizens in and around the Potomac River of the strict penalties and harmful effects of littering. NRP is also seeking volunteers for the 24th Annual Potomac River Watershed Clean-up on April 14. Both efforts are part of the agency’s participation in DC Metro Area Litter Enforcement Month.

“We are glad to be a part of this coalition of area governments and organizations to highlight a problem that affects our wildlife, our natural resources and our quality of life,” said Colonel George F. Johnson IV, superintendent of NRP. “The Natural Resources Police hopes that this campaign will encourage the public to become involved in keeping our area free from litter and report those individuals that violate the law.”

NRP is seeking volunteers for the clean-up to lend a hand from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 at Greenbelt Lake, in Greenbelt. To register, participants should call the Area 3 Office at 410-295-4600. More information on the Potomac River Watershed Clean-up is located at potomaccleanup.org.

Litter can take many forms, from large, abandoned boats that foul and pollute waters, to discarded plastic soda rings that may ensnare wildlife. Trash and debris can be found in every type of environment and pose a direct danger to wildlife and humans. The key to preventing people from littering is to make them aware of how their actions harm the health of citizens, resources and an area’s overall appearance. NRP officers are stepping-up enforcement, providing citizens with literature and discussing how littering impacts the Maryland portion of the Potomac River watershed.

This initiative also addresses concerns expressed through a recent public survey conducted by the Allison Ferguson Foundation. The survey indicates that out of 1,000 residents in the Potomac River watershed, 63 percent are bothered by the amount of litter they see, 39 percent see someone littering sometimes or often, and only 6 percent believe that someone who litters will get caught.

In Maryland, discarding any litter is a violation of the law. Penalties range from $500 to $30,000 fines and five years in jail. The severity of the penalty is decided by location and amount of litter that is deposited.

Citizens can report litter violators to the Maryland Natural Resources Police Communication Center at 800-628-9944. This number can also be used to report all natural resources violations, maritime law enforcement and emergency situations throughout Maryland.

The DC Metro Area Litter Enforcement Month initiative is a joint effort between the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Alice Ferguson Foundation and DC metro area law enforcement agencies. The Alice Ferguson Foundation is a non-profit organization chartered in Maryland. It provides experiences that encourage connections between people, the natural environment, farming and the Potomac River Watershed, which lead to personal environmental responsibility. More information is available at fergusonfoundation.org.


   April 14, 2012

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8003 office | 410-713-8449 cell
awindemuth@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation, maritime and 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.

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 www.dnr.maryland.gov