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Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary Designation Moves Forward

Public Comment Accepted Until March 31

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is proud to announce that a unique archaeological, cultural and historical site in Charles County is another step closer to being named a National Marine Sanctuary.

The public review process officially began today with the publishing of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Management Plan for the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary.

Located on the Potomac River only 40 miles from the nation’s capital, Mallows Bay is renowned for its diverse collection of historic shipwrecks, recreational opportunities and scenic beauty. The area contains a diverse collection of over 100 shipwrecks dating back to the Civil War and World War I as well as thousands of Native American artifacts.

“Mallows Bay is a special place with cultural and historical significance to the country, state and local community,” said Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “We are pleased that this community-driven process is proceeding as planned, and we look forward to the day that we can preserve this Maryland landmark while maintaining public access for anglers, boaters and others. This designation will bring national attention and recognition to the area, which will spur economic development and growth.”

The department has been working on the designation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Maryland Historical Trust, Charles County and numerous other community organizations and citizens.

“The progress of the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary nomination is a fitting commemoration of the centenary of America’s entry into World War I,” said Maryland State Historic Preservation Officer Elizabeth Hughes. “The Maryland Historical Trust is proud of the opportunity to preserve and interpret such a nationally important maritime cultural landscape.”

“A National Marine Sanctuary designation for Mallows Bay would focus well deserved national attention on this Charles County treasure,” said Charles County Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy. “It will enhance access and help us conserve its significant historic and natural resources.”

Citizens are encouraged to submit comments or attend public meetings on the proposed designation:

Date: March 7, 2017
Location: Charles County Government Building Auditorium
Address: 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, Maryland
Time: 6–9 p.m.

Date: March 9, 2017
Location: Anne Arundel Community College, Center for Applied Learning & Technology, Room 100
Address: 101 College Parkway, Arnold, Maryland
Time: 6–9 p.m.