Story Category: Environment »
Grant Awarded to St. Mary's Rural Legacy Area
ST.MARY'S COUNTY - 10/4/2012
By Dick Myers
The Mattapany Rural Legacy Area in St. Mary’s County has received three-quarters of a million dollars to permanently protect agricultural and ecologically significant working landscapes. The Mattapany Rural Legacy Area grant is one of ten approved Wednesday by the Maryland Board of Public Works. In all The Rural Legacy Program will receive approximately $5.6 million in Fiscal Year 2013 grants.
The Mattapany Rural Legacy Area is comprised of 13,660 acres in southern St. Mary’s County. The area protects rich farmland, forests, wetlands, historic sites and wildlife habitat. Conservation within the area provides water quality benefits to the Chesapeake Bay and the Saint Mary’s River watershed, which has been described by the Smithsonian as the most beautiful and pristine estuary on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. Protection of property in this area also provides open space buffer to Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
“Through these conservation easements, we are able to protect our landscapes that are part of the rich history we share as Marylanders,” said GovernorO’Malley.
The grants approved include the following Rural Legacy Areas and associated counties:
Anne Arundel South (Anne Arundel) $45,308
Coastal Bays (Worcester) $320,000
Deer Creek (Harford) $701,367
Dividing Creek (Somerset & Worcester) $130,632
Fair Hill (Cecil) $113,699
Mid-Maryland Washington (Washington) $1,260,000
Nanticoke (Dorchester) $650,000
Piney Run (Baltimore) $568,000
Upper Patapsco/Little Pipe Creek (Baltimore) $617,995
Mattapany (St. Mary’s) $775,000
Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry and agricultural land and natural resources, and for environmental protection while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries. Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, the program has to-date provided more than $243 million to protect 75,435 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. More information is available atdnr.maryland.gov/land/rurallegacy/
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.
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