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Secretary’s Message — June 2021

Celebrating the Great Outdoors

Photo of dock extending into Chesapeake Bay

Photo by by Anne Weathersby, submitted in 2016 to the Maryland DNR Photo Contest,

June is Great Outdoors Month so the Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites you to join us in celebrating outdoor recreation in Maryland! This month also marks Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week  (June 5 through the 13) which fits in nicely given that this year’s theme is celebrating recreational opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

Finding ways to celebrate – and participate – will be the easy part. Maryland boasts a variety of unique and world class opportunities for outdoor recreation and a trail system second-to-none. In fact, outdoor recreation in our state generates 109,000 direct jobs, $14 billion in consumer spending, $4.4 billion in wages and salaries, and $951 million in state and local tax revenue. 

Photo of Secretary RiccioTo grow those numbers and expand economic development opportunities, Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly M. Schulz and I have been working to implement the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission (MOREC). Those recommendations include “deputizing” Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors, individuals and organizations that are helping promote and expand access to the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities. 

You can also experience the great Maryland outdoors by joining us for a program or activity at one of our amazing state parks. Our DNR online calendar has all the details on events at a state park near you. Last but not least, you can take advantage of License Free Fishing Days in Maryland which is a great way to introduce someone to one of our state’s most enjoyable pastimes.

The bottom line is that there’s never been a better time to get outdoors in Maryland!

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.