Developing Plans to Restore
and Protect Water Quality and Habitat

WRAS Progress and Goal

Beginning in 2001, and with the support of DNR’s Coastal Zone Division, and DNR’s Non Point Source Program, the Watershed Restoration Action Strategy Program (WRAS) has coordinated the steady development of five new WRASs each year. Eventually, as plans are implemented, Marylanders can look forward to improved water quality and habitat. 

There are 127 eight-digit watersheds in Maryland and the WRAS Program is committed to collaborating with local governments in order to complete 50 WRASs by 2010! The development of watershed plans will both help Maryland meet the Chesapeake Bay Agreement Goal (see below) and position Maryland to receive future federal implementation funding. To read the completed WRAS documents, click on Watershed Strategies and Supporting Documents on the WRAS home page.


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Independent Local Government Progress

Local governments are also working hard to develop watershed plans. These efforts are being carried out independently of the WRAS Program. Some local governments have been very successful incorporating watershed planning into local land use planning and traditional comprehensive planning. (Local governments who have independently completed watershed plans that aren't shown on this map may contact the WRAS Program Manager if they wish to have the map updated with any recently developed watershed planning information.)

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The 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement Watershed Goal

Between the WRAS Program and independent local government efforts, Maryland hopes to achieve the 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement Watershed Goal. In managing the Bay ecosystem as a whole, the 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement signatories recognized the need to focus on the individuality of each river, stream and creek, and to secure their protection in concert with the communities and individuals that reside within these small watersheds. They committed, by 2010, to work with local governments, community groups and watershed organizations to develop and implement locally supported watershed management plans in two-thirds of the Bay watershed. These plans would address the protection, conservation and restoration of stream corridors, riparian forest buffers and wetlands for the purposes of improving habitat and water quality, with collateral benefits for optimizing stream flow and water supply.

Autumn at Patapsco State Park WRAS Home Page
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Last Updated on September 29, 2004