DNR Receives $1.6M in Federal Grants to Support Conservation in Charles Co. - Southern Maryland Headline News

DNR Receives $1.6M in Federal Grants to Support Conservation in Charles Co.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) recently announced that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has received two grants totaling $1,630,000 through the National Coastal Grants Wetlands Conservation Grants Program. The funding will be used for projects to protect 370 acres of coastal wetlands, forests, and fields in Charles County. The projects were a result of a partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space, Trust for Public Lands, Charles County, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office.

“Throughout my career, restoration of our state’s waterways and wetlands has been a top priority, and I’m pleased that Charles County has received important funding to protect and restore Port Tobacco and Popes Creek coastal wetlands,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “Maryland’s coastal wetlands are important to our environment, economy, and heritage, and I will continue to work with federal, state, and local partners to ensure we protect and invest in these treasured natural resources.”

“On behalf of all Marylanders, I sincerely thank USFWS for its generous grant, and for recognizing the important role the Popes Creek and Port Tobacco coastal wetland conservation projects play in preserving some of our state's most ecologically significant lands,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joseph P. Gill. “It is only through working with local and federal partners, all sharing our knowledge, passion and resources, that we are able to protect these extraordinary areas ? areas rich with rare plants, wildlife and unique recreational opportunities, areas that work to clean our water and air, areas that are vital to securing a smarter, greener Maryland, and planet, for future generations."

“I'm very appreciative of the partnership that was established to make funding available to Charles County as it is important that we protect these wetlands in our heritage areas for future generations and conserve the habitats of our wildlife,” said Maryland State Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton.

“I am very pleased for Charles County. This grant award of $1 million to permanently protect 220 acres of Charles County coastal wetlands will help maintain our environment now and preserve our ecology for future generations. I am also excited about the recreational benefits this grant will provide to our residents and visitors,” said Charles County Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) was awarded an $1 million grant to permanently protect 220 acres of marsh, wetlands, and forested land on Popes Creek. The creation of a biking/walking trail along an abandoned railway bed is also planned for the site. MD DNR was also awarded a $630,000 grant to permanently protect 150 acres of wetlands, forested uplands, and cleared fields at the village of Port Tobacco. The protection of the Port Tobacco wetlands will protect habitat at the boundary of the freshwater and Estuarine wetlands, offer new public access, and allow restoration of upland forest to further enhance filtration and buffering of wetlands and the river.

Source: Office of Steny Hoyer

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