Maryland has requested $4.5 million in federal funding to benefit the Mid-Atlantic Highlands.
According to the state, the Mid-Atlantic Highlands have a long legacy of environmental and economic problems. The forest, streams and lands are in poor condition, suffering from decades of abuse and the area remains impoverished with low education levels and high rates of unemployment and poverty.
The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program is a state, local and federal effort started in 2006 to protect and restore the ecological assets, economic vitality and log-term sustainability of the Appalachian Mountains area. The program supports local projects that are models for sustainable use of natural, cultural and economic resources thereby improving the quality of life today and for future generations.
The highlands encompass 79,000 square miles of the Appalachians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and include roughly half of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This region hosts some of the most diverse and globally important resources on Earth. It is rich in natural and cultural heritage where the environment plays an important role in the quality of life.
In total, Governor O’Malley requested about $87 million in federal funding for DNR related projects.