(CONOWINGO, MD) May 5, 2014 – United States Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, held a field hearing today to expand the public’s understanding of the environmental challenges presented by the build-up of sediment and nutrients behind the Conowingo Dam as well as the Dam’s relicensing process. Information was presented to the public by experts from the many State and federal partners working together to improve water quality, protect aquatic and vegetative life and encourage recreation and fishing in our lakes, rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
The draft of the new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement has been released for public comment. The draft Agreement outlines a new plan for collaboration across the Bay’s political boundaries and clarifies the Bay Program’s vision and values. It establishes a series of interrelated goals and outcomes that will achieve results to protect and restore the Bay, its tributaries and the lands that surround them, as well as the health of the more than 17 million people who live here. Read more
Great news for Chesapeake Bay boaters: The Maryland General Assembly this year passed legislation capping the five percent vessel excise tax at $15,000. The new law ─ which offers a financial incentive for boaters to trade-up, or register an out-of-state vessel in Maryland ─ was signed by Governor Martin O’Malley, effective July 1, 2013. Read more
The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has awarded the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection a $19.8 million grant to construct and carry out stormwater management projects in the Anacostia River and Rock Creek watersheds, in coordination with other local, State and federal partners. Read more
Open to local governments, schools and NGOs
The Stream Restoration Challenge is once again accepting applications from local governments, school systems, and non-governmental organizations looking to carry out projects to improve Chesapeake Bay water quality and create service learning and environmental literacy activities for students. Through this program, the State and its partners will award the top proposals grants totaling up to $6 million to establish 1,000 acres of forested stream buffers by 2015. Read more
The Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) will hold a public meeting to discuss adding criteria to regulated oyster aquaculture inside of the St. Mary’s River Oyster Sanctuary on December 6 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Biologists attribute the drop to weather conditions
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the 2012 striped bass juvenile index – a measure of striped bass spawning success in Chesapeake Bay – is below the long-term average this year.
“While we expect large variation in striped bass reproduction from year to year and do not view this low value as an imminent problem, we will be carefully monitoring the results of future surveys,” said DNR Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “Three consecutive years of poor reproduction would be necessary to trigger mandatory conservation measures.” Read more
Governor O’Malley declares Day of Service in Maryland
Governor Martin O’Malley has declared September 29 an interfaith Day of Service in Maryland, encouraging citizens to volunteer their time and energy to help make a difference in their community. Planting a tree is one way that everyone can contribute to the shared vision of a smarter, greener State. Read more
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is continuing to step up enforcement to stop commercial and recreational fishermen from illegally catching striped bass and punishing offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Officers have charged numerous individuals with catching undersize striped bass in the past month.
“While our State, our partners and our citizens diligently work to restore and protect the Bay and use our resources responsibly, a few bad apples make it difficult for everyone,” said Secretary John Griffin. “Our new progressive penalty system allows for the just and due penalization of those who repeatedly show blatant disregard for our natural resources.”
Nomination deadline January 4, 2013
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking nominations for its 2nd annual Maryland Clean Marina of the Year contest.
“Our goal is to hear from boaters, marine contractors, staff and citizens on the Maryland Clean Marinas that are excelling in their efforts to run a clean facility,” Program Coordinator said Donna Morrow. “This contest celebrates the excellent work of these businesses in protecting our natural resources and complying with often complex regulations.”