The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) was recently awarded a $1 million National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant to acquire land in Charles County, Maryland.
The property along Popes Creek includes 92 acres of upland forest, 128 acres of wetlands, open water, and beach front.
Popes Creek is a conservation focus area, having been identified by MD DNR as both a Targeted Ecological Area and a Natural Heritage Area. It lies within the Zekiah Swamp area, which is a protection priority for the USFWS Chesapeake Bay Program, MD DNR, and Charles County.
The property will be held and managed by Charles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Plans for the site include the creation of a biking/walking trail along an abandoned railway bed.
Funding for the project was included in $16.5 million in grants which will go to support 21 critical coastal wetland projects in 12 states and Puerto Rico under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.
The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act.
Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program funds originate from the Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue which is generated via an excise tax on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels.
source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service