Port Tobacco River Selected as One of Four Rivers Considered for Restoration - Southern Maryland Headline News

Port Tobacco River Selected as One of Four Rivers Considered for Restoration

Selected Targeted Watershed to be Announced in December

ANNAPOLIS — The Governor today named the Port Tobacco River in Charles County as one of four candidate watersheds being considered for the State’s second coordinated effort to remove a Chesapeake Bay tributary from the EPA’s List of Impaired Waters. Earlier this year an EPA report named Maryland’s first Targeted Watershed effort—The Corsica River Pilot Project—the best watershed-based plan in the nation.

“In the next targeted watershed, which will be chosen from these four finalists, we will expand both our knowledge and our impact on the ground,” said Governor Ehrlich. “As we continue to move this important work across Maryland, we also move closer to our ultimate goal of improved water quality and a restored Chesapeake Bay.”

To determine the most appropriate sites for the State’s next effort, the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Environment, Agriculture and Planning conducted a critical review of watersheds throughout the State. Using stringent eligibility criteria, which was developed by a non-governmental Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, the agencies selected the four finalists. Joining the Port Tobacco River on the list is the Magothy River in Anne Arundel County, Lower Gunpowder in Baltimore County and Bynum Run in Harford County. The final selection will be announced before the end of the year.

"Charles County is excited to be a finalist for the Governor's Targeted Watershed Initiative,” said David Umling, Charles County Planning Director. “We place a high priority on protecting and restoring surface water quality throughout the County. The selection of our application will provide the higher level of support and prioritization needed to enable us to simultaneously implement many objectives of the Port Tobacco River Watershed Restoration Action Strategy.”

On September 27, 2005, Governor Ehrlich announced a new focus in the State’s efforts to restore the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay: Restoration of entire watersheds. The first watershed targeted was the Corsica River Pilot Project in Queen Anne’s County. This project is already providing invaluable lessons on how to address large scale implementation challenges and find cost effective solutions in restoring an entire river system. During the past year, the State has allocated $2.7 million to the Project, and worked with partners to plant 10 acres of oysters; restore 4 acres of wetlands and 12 acres of forested buffers; and plant 458 acres of traditional cover crops. Nearly 1,200 acres were also planted in commodity crops with no fall fertilization.

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