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EPA, MARYLAND SIGN MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR MARYLAND COASTAL BAYS ESTUARY

Release Date: 12/03/99
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 1999

EPA, MARYLAND SIGN MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR
MARYLAND COASTAL BAYS ESTUARY

On Oct 1, EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner and Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening signed a final plan to clean up the Maryland Coastal Bays Estuary. The plan, called a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), is an environmental management blueprint with commitments by all participants to undertake specific financial, institutional and policy action to protect and preserve vital coastal resources. The Maryland Coastal Bays National Estuary Program was established in l996 and encompasses a 175-square-mile watershed in Worcester County including Assawoman, Isle of Wight, Sinepauxent, Newport and Chincoteague Bays. While agriculture forms the primary basis for the economy in this county of 40,000 year-round residents, over 12 million seasonal visitors support the watershed’s $2 billion dollar industry. County population is expected to double by the year 2020; it is projected that close to 75 percent of these residents will live in the coastal bays watershed, which represents less than half of the county’s land area. The CCMP addresses five primary environmental problems facing the Coastal Bays: degraded water quality, chemical contamination, habitat loss; changes in living resources and unsustainable growth and development. The program has received base funding of $300,000 from EPA, Section 320, for each of the three years of plan development. Additional federal monies will be available to add to state and local funds towards the $5.2 million dollars expected to be needed over the next 15 years to complete the CCMP activities. There are currently 28 estuaries in the National Estuary Program and this is the 19 CCMP to be approved by EPA. Additional information is available from EPA’s estuary web site at: http://www.epa.gov/owow or by calling Gabriella Lombardi at 202-260-5359 or David Blazer, project director at 410-213-2297.


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