Charles Receives $1 Million for Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Receives $1 Million for Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area

Requests to expand the boundaries of existing Mattapany Rural Legacy Area in St. Mary’s County also approved

ANNAPOLIS (September 20, 2010) — The Board of Public Works (BPW) on Sept. 1 approved $1 million dollars to Charles County for the Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program preserves large, contiguous tracts of land and enhances natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting sustainable land for natural resource based industries. The program is unique in that it creates public-private partnerships and allows those who know the landscape best – land trusts and local governments – to determine the best way to protect the landscapes that are critical to our economy, environment and quality of life, according to a press release from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Overall, the Board approved funding for 15 Rural Legacy grants to local governments and land trusts covering 16 counties in designated Rural Legacy Areas throughout the State, totaling $12,637,000 in Fiscal Year 2011 General Obligation Bond funds. Individual properties will later be submitted for BPW approval for the purchase of conservation easements or fee simple interests in real property.

The BPW also approved requests to expand the boundaries of the existing Mattapany Rural Legacy Area in St. Mary’s County. The 223-acre expansion in St. Mary’s County will include a highly strategic property whose preservation would protect flight operations adjacent to Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $204 million to protect 67,096 acres of 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.

The three member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor O’Malley (chair), Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.


Maryland's Rural Legacy Program

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