BPW Approves $2.583M in 2008 Rural Legacy Grants for So. Md.

Funding Allocated to 21 Counties Will Preserve Forest and Farmland

ANNAPOLIS (April 5, 2008) — On Wednesday, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of Rural Legacy grants to 21 local governments and land trusts for preservation of forest and farmland across Maryland. The BPW formally approved $21,022,365 in FY ’08 funds as well as $928,404 in reallocated funding from expired grants.

Funding totaling $2,583,590 was provided for two rural legacy areas in Calvert County and one each in Charles and St. Mary's counties.

In Calvert County, $750,000 was provided for Calvert Creeks and $833,590 was provided for North Calvert.

In Charles County, $500,000 was provided for the Zekiah Watershed.

In St. Mary's County, $500,000 was provided for the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource based industries.

“Our Rural Legacy Program is unique in that it encourages local governments and land trusts to work together and determine how best to protect their vital working landscapes,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary and Rural Legacy Board Chair John R. Griffin, who played a key role in establishing the program.

Under the BayStat Initiative, land conservation investments are targeted to protect the most ecologically valuable properties that most directly impact Chesapeake Bay and local waterway health, according to Governor O'Malley's office.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $163 million to preserve 58,217 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually.

For additional information, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/land/rurallegacy/.

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