Governor Ehrlich Announces
Establishment of Bay Restoration Demonstration Site
Private-Public Partnership will Oversee Large-Scale Restoration Site
ANNAPOLIS, MD -- Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., today announced the establishment of the Bay Restoration Demonstration Site at the 500+ acre Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC). This unique public-private partnership will showcase the cutting-edge components of Governor Ehrlich’s comprehensive plan to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
“This site will demonstrate that our three-point plan – oyster restoration, bay grass replenishment and nutrient reduction – can help restore the Bay to its rightful status a national treasure,” said Governor Ehrlich. “There is much work to be done, but this demonstration site is a big step toward reaching that goal.”
The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, located on the Eastern Shore just over the Kent Narrows Bridge, was chosen as the State’s first comprehensive Bay restoration demonstration site because it very closely replicates the habitat, water quality and problems facing much of the Bay. It has a broad, diverse ecosystem close to major waterfront development and high-traffic boating corridors.
Projects, which will be completed on site, will include: planting of cover crops and forest buffers to filter nutrients from runoff; installation of living shoreline control measures to prevent erosion and provide habitat for terrapins, nesting crabs, and other aquatic life vital to the Bay; placement of oyster reefs to encourage population growth; planting of bay grasses to produce oxygen and provide habitat for juvenile fish and crabs; installing state of the art septic systems and upgrading efficiency of a nearby wastewater treatment plant to reduce nutrients. The first major project currently underway is the planting of a five-acre oyster bed,reef ball placement and bay grass plantings.
Dr. Torrey C. Brown, President of CBEC and former Secretary of DNR, explained, “By joining forces with DNR and a host of other public and private entities, we will be able to create something that no one agency or organization could possibly do alone. The site will give legislators, scientists and the public the opportunity to see the future and what it will take to achieve our common goal of a healthy Chesapeake Bay.”
The demonstration project will be run by the Department of Natural Resources and CBEC. Other project partners among others will include The Conservation Fund, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Oyster Recovery Partnership, Maryland Environmental Service and the Maryland Departments of Agriculture, Environment and Planning.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to Maryland citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 435,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, as well as Maryland's wildlife and fishery species for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, the department manages natural, historic and cultural resources that attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/