[color photograph of Department of Natural Resources entrance] Tawes State Office Building entrance, Annapolis, Maryland, June 1999. Photo by Diane P. Frese.


Tawes State Office Building, C-4
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of Natural Resources heads the Department. The Secretary serves on the Governor's Executive Council and the Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Subcabinet. The Secretary also serves on the Chesapeake Bay Commission; the Governor's Council on the Chesapeake Bay; the Chesapeake Bay Trust; the Maryland Greenways Commission; the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the Interagency Nutrient Reduction Oversight Committee; the Patuxent River Commission; the Governor's Pesticide Council; the Potomac River Fisheries Commission; the Rural Legacy Board; the Seafood Marketing Advisory Commission; the Scenic and Wild Rivers Review Board; the Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism; the State Soil Conservation Committee; and the Executive Committee, Transportation Enhancements Program. In addition, the Secretary is a member of the Task Force on the Environmental Effects of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE).

Under the Secretary, the Department is organized through five main programs: Capital Grants and Loans Administration; Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Programs; Management Service; Public Lands; and Resource Management Service.

Under the Management Service, the Information Technology Service originated as the Management Information Service. It adopted its current name in July 2000 when it was placed directly under the Office of the Secretary.

The Public Communications Office began as Public Communications Services under Management and Services and was reorganized under the Deputy Secretary with its present name in 1995.

In 1997, Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation was authorized (Chapter 759, Acts of 1997). To preserve the existing neighborhoods, and agricultural, natural and rural resources of Maryland, the Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Program sets priorities for certain State spending. The Program also encompasses the Live Near Your Work Program, the Rural Legacy Program, and the Voluntary Cleanup and Revitalization (Brownfields) Program.


Tawes State Office Building, E-4
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

The Capital Grants and Loans Administration began as Land Enhancement Services in 1995. It became the Land and Water Conservation Service in November 1995, and reorganized under its present name in July 2000.

The Administration oversees Operations, the Maryland Environmental Trust, and four programs: Program Open Space; Rural Legacy; Shore Erosion Control; and Waterway Improvement.


100 Community Place, 1st floor
Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2023

The Maryland Environmental Trust formed in 1967 to conserve, improve, stimulate, and perpetuate the aesthetic, natural, scenic and cultural aspects of the Maryland environment (Chapter 648, Acts of 1967). The Trust also promotes conservation of open space, and appreciation of the environment and its care. Four main programs come under the Trust: Conservation Easements, Keep Maryland Beautiful, Local Land Trust Assistance, and Rural Historic Village Protection.

Conservation Easements Program. The Trust seeks donations of conservation easements to the State on certain lands to preserve the land from development. The conservation easement allows landowners to protect their properties permanently from development and, in many cases, to receive substantial tax benefits from their donation of developmental rights. In giving these easements, landowners donate the developmental rights on their property while retaining all other rights of ownership. By January 2001, the Trust had secured 559 conservation easements on over 78,000 acres.

The Trust consists of fifteen trustees. Three serve ex officio. The remaining twelve each year elect three of their own successors for four-year terms. The Trust appoints the Director (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 3-201 through 3-211).


Tawes State Office Building, E-3
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Program Open Space acquires outdoor recreation and open space areas for public use. The Program administers funds made available to local communities for open and recreational space by the Outdoor Recreation Land Loan of 1969 and from the Land and Water Conservation Fund of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The Program coordinates the acquisition of Department lands for the use of all departmental agencies (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-901 through 5-910).


In 1997, the Rural Legacy Program was created within the Department of Natural Resources (Chapter 757, Acts of 1997). To establish a rural legacy for future generations, the Program protects natural, agricultural, forest and environmental resources. To avoid sprawl development and encourage land conservation, the Program helps local governments and land trusts buy interests in real property in designated rural legacy areas.

Created in 1997, the Rural Legacy Board administers the Rural Legacy Program. The Board establishes a method for appraising real property acquired under the Program, and may establish partnerships with other governmental agencies to carry out the Program.

The Board consists of the Secretary of Natural Resources, who serves as chair; the Secretary of Agriculture; and the Secretary of Planning (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-9A-01 through 5-9A-09).


Tawes State Office Building, C-4
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

With the signing of the interstate Chesapeake Bay Agreement in 1987, Maryland programs formed to protect and restore the Bay. In the Department of Natural Resources, the Chesapeake Bay Program Office was created under the Office of the Secretary. At the Department of the Environment, Bay activities began with the Chesapeake Bay and Special Projects Program, reorganized as the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Administration in 1994. The Administration transferred in 1995 to the Department of Natural Resources and merged with the Chesapeake Bay Program Office to form Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Programs. In 1995, Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Programs assumed the functions of three Tidewater Administration divisions: Coastal and Watershed Resources; Chesapeake Bay Research and Monitoring; and Power Plant and Environmental Review.

Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Programs leads State efforts to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay. It oversees three programs: the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service; Education, Bay Policy, and Growth Management; and the Resource Assessment Service.


In 1988, the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service began within the Department of the Environment as the Watershed Nonpoint Source Division under Water Quality Programs of the Water Management Administration. By 1992, the Division was renamed the Watershed Projects Division under the Chesapeake Bay and Special Projects Program. Later that year, it became the Nonpoint Source Assessment and Policy Program under the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Management Administration. Reformed as the Watershed Management Program in 1994, it transferred to the Department of Natural Resources in 1995. The Program was reorganized in 1995 by the Department of Natural Resources as the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service.

The Service develops and helps implement watershed management strategies and projects to restore and protect the ecosystems of Chesapeake Bay and its watersheds. Departmental responsibilities under the Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act are coordinated by the Service (Chapter 437, Acts of 1992). In addition, the Service provides staff support to the Maryland Greenways Commission.

Within the Service are five divisions: Coastal Zone Management; Geographic Information Services; Watershed Management and Analysis; Watershed Restoration; and Waterway and Greenways.


Origins of the Coastal Zone Management Division stem from the Coastal Zone Management Program which began in 1973 when the Governor designated the Department of Natural Resources to receive and administer federal grants pursuant to the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The Program was assigned first to the Water Resources Administration and, by 1977, transferred to the Energy and Coastal Zone Administration. By Executive Order in 1978, the Governor declared the Coastal Zone Management Program to be State policy for activities in Maryland coastal areas. In 1979, the Program became part of the Tidewater Administration (Chapter 601, Acts of 1979). Within the Administration, the Program was overseen by the Coastal Resources Division, which merged with the Watershed and Growth Management Division to form the Coastal and Watershed Resources Division in 1992. In 1995, the Program was placed under the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service and renamed Coastal Zone Managment Division.

Four programs comprise the Division: Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve System - Maryland; Coastal Bays National Estuary; Coastal Zone Management; and Public Involvement.

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve System - Maryland. This program was created in accordance with the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. Representative estuarine systems, including valuable wetland habitat, are protected by the System for use as natural field laboratories. The System maintains three reserves on Chesapeake Bay: Otter Point Creek Component, Harford County; Monie Bay Component, Somerset County; and Jug Bay Component, Anne Arundel County. Each reserve is a field laboratory supporting several monitoring, research and educational programs.

Coastal Zone Management Program. The Division administers the Program with grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Program is based upon the laws, regulations, authorities, expertise, and perspectives of six State Departments (Agriculture, Budget and Management, Health and Mental Hygiene, Housing and Community Development, Natural Resources, and Transportation); sixteen coastal counties and Baltimore City; two regional planning agencies; and numerous federal agencies.

Public Involvement Program. This program seeks help from civic and community associations, environmental groups, businesses, and local governments to protect and restore watersheds.


In 1995, geographic information systems from the Water Resources Administration, the Tidewater Administration, and the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission consolidated to form the Geographic Information Services Division under the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service.

The Division includes two programs: Geographic Data Production, and Geographic Systems Management. Together, they provide the basic data for comprehensive management, restoration, and enhancement of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Geographic Data Production manages the production of spatial data, such as computerized maps, and other geographic information. It analyzes trends and develops unique data to support management planning.

Geographic Systems Management oversees access to and use of geographic information systems. This oversight covers hardware, software, and network resources for the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service, and for Education, Bay Policy, and Growth Management.


Functions of the Watershed Management and Analysis Division began with Coastal and Watershed Resources under the Tidewater Administration. The Division formed within the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service in 1995.

The Division identifies sources of nonpoint pollution throughout the State as a key element of Maryland's restoration of Chesapeake Bay. The Division also evaluates efforts at and defines options for comprehensive, cost-effective control of nonpoint source pollution.

Through research and technical analysis, the Division evaluates water quality statewide, focusing on trends that affect Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Division also coordinates its work with other State agencies, neighboring states, and the federal government.

To protect Chesapeake Bay and its watersheds, the Watershed Management and Analysis Division provides technical and analytical expertise to agencies and organizations concerned with watershed management and resource protection. The Division works through three programs: Ecological Processes; Watershed Analysis and Modeling; and Watershed Management and Planning.


The Watershed Restoration Division devises watershed management plans and projects to maintain water quality and wildlife habitats. Through technical assistance and training, the Division helps local governments and interested persons assess stream systems and implement watershed restoration plans and projects. The effects of these plans and projects are evaluated by the Division to ensure that environmentally beneficial and cost-effective practices are used.

Three programs come under the Division: Riparian and Wetland Restoration; Watershed Assessment and Targeting; and Watershed Evaluation.

The Regional Chesapeake Bay Program derives from Maryland's commitment under the 1983 and 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreements to restore and protect the Bay, particularly its finfish, shellfish, wildlife, and other aquatic life.

The Director of the Regional Chesapeake Bay Program chairs the Living Resources Subcommittee of the Chesapeake Executive Council, an interstate agency. Under the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement, that subcommittee develops and implements plans to protect and restore habitats, ecosystems, and populations of the Bay's living resources.


The Waterway and Greenways Division derives from the Planning and Policy Program formed within the Boating Administration in 1988. It became the Waterway Resources Division under the Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service in November 1995, and received its current name in October 1999 when Greenways Commission support was added to its functions.

For the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the Division develops waterway management plans that allow for multiple uses while protecting natural resources. The Division administers a marine sewage pumpout program, a petroleum control program, and the State's initiative to provide public access to waterways. The Division has two sections: Clean Waterway Practices, and Waterway Analysis.


Education, Bay Policy, and Growth Management formed in 1995 as Chesapeake Conservation Education. In 1997, it reorganized under its present name. Now, it oversees four programs: Chesapeake Bay Policy Coordination; Conservation Education; Growth and Resource Conservation; and Tributary Strategies.


Chesapeake Bay Policy Coordination develops Department policy on Bay-related issues, drawing on departmental expertise and advice from citizens and signatories to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.


For the Department, Conservation Education coordinates programs, publications, and materials for conservation education to promote environmental awareness in Maryland.


Growth and Resource Conservation began in 1997 from the merger of the Growth Management Program and the Resource Economics Program under Education, Bay Policy, and Growth Management.

Growth Management Program. This program was started in 1992 to coordinate Department responsibilities under the Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act (Chapter 437, Acts of 1992). The Program helps public and private entities plan for and manage the adverse environmental effects of land development, population growth, and economic expansion.

As State government agencies acquire land and undertake capital projects, the Program helps them develop and implement guidelines to protect environmentally sensitive areas. For local governments, the Program provides technical, educational and financial aid to prepare comprehensive plans and development ordinances.

Resource Economics Program. Created in 1995, the Program applies economic principles to Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection programs. These principles include risk assessment, cost and benefits analysis, resource valuation, and regional impact evaluations. By demonstrating to business and developers the financial benefits of sustaining the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, the Program induces voluntary participation rather than regulatory control to change business practices that harm the Bay.


Tributary Strategies originated in 1992 under the Coastal and Watershed Resources Division, which became the Coastal Zone Management Division in 1995. The program reorganized in 1997 under Education, Bay Policy, and Growth Management.

Tributary Strategies Program. The Program coordinates the development and implementation of nutrient reduction strategies for each of the Bay's major tributaries, as specified by the 1992 amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.


Tawes State Office Building, C-2
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Origins of the Resource Assessment Service trace to 19th century legislation safeguarding Maryland clams, oysters, and fish. Many later duties stem from the Department of Tidewater Fisheries created under the Board of Natural Resources in 1941 (Chapter 508, Acts of 1941). That department was reorganized as the Department of Chesapeake Bay Affairs in 1964 and placed under the Department of Natural Resources in 1969 (Chapter 82, Acts of 1964; Chapter 154, Acts of 1969). In 1972, the Department merged with the Fish and Wildlife Administration to form the Fisheries Administration (Chapter 348, Acts of 1972). Duties of the Fisheries Administration were assigned to the Tidal Fisheries Division in 1979, when the Division joined with the Coastal Zone Management Program, and Waterway Improvement to form the Tidewater Administration (Chapter 601, Acts of 1979). Reorganized in 1988, the Administration was made part of Resource Management in 1992. As the Resource Assessment Administration, it was assigned to Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Programs in 1995. Later that year, it became the Resource Assessment Service.

The Service collects and interprets scientific data to help restore, protect, and manage Maryland tidal and nontidal ecosystems. The Service oversees the work of the Maryland Geological Survey, and four divisions: Monitoring and Nontidal Assessment; Power Plant Assessment; Support Services; and Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment.


2300 St. Paul St., Suite 440
Baltimore, MD 21218 - 5210

The first State Geological Survey operated from 1834 to 1841. Fifty-five years later, the State Geological and Economic Survey was established in 1896 (Chapter 51, Acts of 1896). The work of the Survey was placed under the Department of Geology, Mines, and Water Resources of the Board of Natural Resources in 1941 (Chapter 508, Acts of 1941). In 1964, the Maryland Geological Survey superseded the Department of Geology, Mines, and Water Resources (Chapter 73, Acts of 1964). The Survey became part of the Department of Natural Resources in 1969 (Chapter 154, Acts of 1969). Within the Department, it was placed under Resource Management in 1992 and under the Resource Assessment Service in 1995.

The Survey researches the geology, water and mineral resources of the State so this knowledge can be applied to resolve practical problems related to environmental and natural resources. Publication of maps and technical reports are the primary means of relaying this information to the public, private industry, and local, State and federal government agencies. Periodically, the Survey publishes County Reports, County and Quadrangle Atlases, Reports of Investigations, Basic Data Reports, Bulletins, Educational Series, and Information Circulars. The Survey also publishes county topographic and geologic maps, a State geologic map, and other maps and charts.

Coastal and estuarine geology related to erosion and sedimentation in the Chesapeake Bay and along the ocean shoreline are studied by the Survey. As part of its applied earth science research on the Bay, the Survey was one of the principal investigators on the Chesapeake Bay Program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Survey's work is carried out by three projects: Coastal and Estuarine Geology; Environmental Geology and Mineral Resources; and Hydrogeology and Hydrology.

The Director is appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the Secretary of Natural Resources (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 2-201 through 2-203).

Under the Survey are three projects: Coastal and Estuarine Geology; Environmental Geology and Mineral Resources; and Hydrogeology and Hydrology. The Survey also is assisted by the Commission of the Maryland Geological Survey, the Geologic Mapping Advisory Committee, and the Maryland Water Monitoring Council.

The Coastal and Estuarine Geology Project originated from the Shore Erosion Investigation Program and organized under its present name in 1971. The Project investigates the geologic framework and resources of the State's coastal environments extending from the barrier island of the Atlantic Ocean to the wetlands and shorelines of Chesapeake Bay. Orthophoto quadrangle maps from aerial photography, combined with historical shoreline erosion maps, provide the basis to evaluate shoreline changes in the Bay region. The Project also monitors the geochemical components and physical features of sediments around the Hart-Miller Island Containment Facility.

In 1975, the Chesapeake Bay Earth Science Study was added to the Project. This work determines the distribution of sands, silts, and clays; identifies the patterns of erosion and deposition of these sediments; and analyzes the geochemistry of the pore waters in these sediments.

The Environmental Geology and Mineral Resources Project makes geologic, environmental and topographic maps, and investigates mineral and energy resources. Project studies provide an earth science framework for managing Maryland's mineral, energy and land resources. The Project was created in 1972 from the Geologic Investigations Program and the Topographic Maps Program.

Topographic maps are used by the public for activities such as hiking and camping and by State and local governments for a myriad of technical and planning applications. Geologic maps provide data about the kinds of rocks and the location of minerals (predominantly sand, gravel, stone, and coal) and provide background for the intelligent planning and use of Maryland's geologic natural resources.

The Project provides technical advice and assistance for the Geologic Exhibits and Visitors Center at Sideling Hill in western Maryland. Through the Survey's library and the Earth Science Information Center, aerial photos and large-scale maps are available to the public and private industry.

In 1972, the Hydrogeology and Hydrology Project started. In cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Project maintains a statewide water data network and investigates the hydrologic and geologic characteristics of Maryland's water resources.

The surface water data network provides information on minimum, maximum and average streamflows for the planning of water supply and sewage facilities, water power projects, dams, and bridges. The groundwater network measures water levels in aquifers and selected springs and relates changes in groundwater levels to withdrawals and precipitation. The groundwater network also monitors the hydrologic effects of long-term changes in pumpage, land use patterns, and rainfall.

Special resource assessment studies undertaken with local and county governments include the extent of saltwater intrusion, aquifer and streamflow characteristics, water quality and rates of replenishment, and water well sampling for basic chemistry, nutrients, radon, and either industrial organic constituents, or agricultural herbicide or pesticide residues.


The Monitoring and Nontidal Assessment Division began within the Tidewater Administration as the Chesapeake Bay Research and Monitoring Division in 1988. The Division reorganized under its present name within the Resource Assessment Service in 1995.

In Maryland streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay, the Division conducts water monitoring and technical assessments. This work describes the status of ecosystems, contributes to the development of habitat protection and restoration, and measures changes caused by watershed management. The Division consolidates scientific programs of the Resource Assessment Service in the areas of ecological habitat impacts; biological assessments; nonindigenous aquatic species control; and atmospheric deposition.

A 49-foot research vessel, the RV Kerhin, is used for Bay research. Formerly named the RV Discovery, the vessel was renamed the RV Kerhin after Randall T. Kerhin's death. A world-renowned geologist, Dr. Kerhin's efforts were instrumental in acquiring the boat for research.

Under the Division are six units: Administration; Atmospheric Deposition; Ecological Assessment; Graphics Support; Monitoring; and the Research Vessel Kerhin. The Division also is served by the Acid Deposition Advisory Committee.


The Power Plant Assessment Division originated in 1971 as the Power Plant Siting Program (Chapter 31, Acts of 1971). By 1986, it was renamed the Power Plant Research Program under the Energy Administration. In 1988, the Program joined the Tidewater Administration as the Power Plant and Environmental Review Division. In 1995, it became the Power Plant Assessment Program and, in 1996, the Power Plant Assessment Division was created to administer the Program.

To evaluate and minimize the environmental effects of power plants without imposing unreasonable costs on the production of electricity, the Division conducts environmental research, monitoring, and assessments. Recommendations necessary to protect the environment, related to the design, construction, and operation of power plants, are made to the Public Service Commission and other regulatory agencies. The Division also helps select sites for dredged materials and monitors the environmental impact of these sites (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 3-301 through 3-307).

The Division is aided by the Power Plant Research Advisory Committee.


The Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment Division assesses the ecological health of Maryland's tidewater ecosystems, identifies the causes of environmental degradation, and seeks solutions. The Division also manages the State's long-term databases on water quality and living resources for both tidal and nontidal ecosystems.

Under the Division are six units: Data and Computer Resources; Living Resource Assessment; Modelling; Support Services; Toxics Contamination; and Water and Habitat Quality.


Tawes State Office Building, C-4
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

The Management Service is responsible for three units: the Finance and Administrative Service; the Human Resource Service; and Management Analysis and Auditing.


Tawes State Office Building, C-4
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Public Lands began in 1992 as Public Lands and Forestry and reorganized under its present name in 1995. Public Lands oversees four programs: the State Forest and Park Service; Engineering and Construction; the Natural Resources Police Force; and Resource Planning. Public Lands is aided by the Scenic and Wild Rivers Review Board.


Tawes State Office Building, E-3
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Origins of the State Forest and Park Service trace to 1906 when John and Robert Garrett of Baltimore gave the State nearly 2,000 acres of land in the Swallow Falls area of Garrett County. The gift came with a proviso that a forestry service be established to protect woodlands and advance forestry. That same year, the Board of Forestry was created (Chapter 294, Acts of 1906). The Board was replaced by the Department of Forests and Parks under supervision of the Board of Natural Resources in 1941 (Chapter 508, Acts of 1941). In 1969, the Department of Forests and Parks became part of the Department of Natural Resources (Chapter 154, Acts of 1969). The Department of Forests and Parks in 1972 divided into two units: the Park Service and the Forest Service (Chapter 348, Acts of 1972). These agencies recombined in 1982 as the Forest and Park Service (Chapter 184, Acts of 1982). In 1984, the Forest and Park Service merged with the Wildlife Administration to form the Forest, Park and Wildlife Service (Chapter 136, Acts of 1984). The Department separated the State Forest and Park Service from the Wildlife Program in 1991.

The State Forest and Park Service administers and manages Maryland, parks, natural environmental areas, natural resource areas, and marinas. While providing recreation sites, the Service preserves natural resources and ensures multiple uses and a sustained yield of forest resources (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-219).

The Service is responsible for seven State forests, some forty State parks, four demonstration forests, six natural environment areas, and nine natural resource management areas. The Service also oversees two State marinas. It operates Somers Cove Marina, home of the Annual Crab Derby in Crisfield. It monitors the contract for managing the Fort Washington Marina at Piscataway Bay off the Potomac River in Prince George's County. Parks and recreation brochures are available at each park and from the Service.

Under the State Forest and Park Service is the Maryland Conservation Corps, State Forests, State Parks, and Natural Resources Management Areas. Several advisory committees also aid the Service. Among these are the Deep Creek Lake Advisory and Review Committee; Gunpowder Falls Local Advisory Board; and the Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden Advisory Board.


Tawes State Office Building, E-3
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Authorized in 1982, the Maryland Conservation Corps was funded and began operation in 1984 (Chapter 297, Acts of 1982; Chapter 510, Acts of 1984). The Corps, formerly under the Tidewater Administration, was assigned to the Forest, Park and Wildlife Service in 1988. Since 1991, the Corps has been under the State Forest and Park Service.

The Corps provides Maryland youths (aged 14 to 21) with summer jobs that help develop and maintain the State's natural resources. Corps projects conserve or improve natural resources, or enhance and preserve environmentally important lands and waters. Participants may be sponsored by private industry. They must be physically fit and have the desire to work out-of-doors, possibly in remote locations.

Through a federal grant in 1992, the Corps started a year-round program for persons aged 17 to 25. In Fiscal Year 1999, fifty Corps members worked over 85,000 hours on conservation and Chesapeake Bay restoration, and spent 5,000 hours on community service. Corps members provided environmental education instruction to 10,000 children; repaired 23 buildings; assessed and maintained 200 miles of trails; fought five wildfires (850 acres); planted 15,000 trees; and removed 1,350 trees which were hazardous to public safety. Additionally, Corps members mapped and surveyed 175 miles of streams; inventoried 12 acres of forest land; stocked 20,000 trout; and bagged 2,200 bags of oyster shells to regenerate oyster beds. They also participated in a search-and-rescue effort; and recruited and trained 15,000 volunteers.


Tawes State Office Building, D-3
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Engineering and Construction formed as the Capital Development Program, a part of the Capital Programs Administration by 1984. Renamed Engineering Services in 1990, the Program became Engineering and Construction Services in 1991 under Public Lands. In 1992, it was placed under Public Lands and Forestry and, in 1995, as Engineering and Construction transferred to Public Lands.

Engineering and Construction provides design and construction services to other Department agencies and local jurisdictions; evaluates facilities in order to plan capital expenditures; and helps preserve historic properties owned by the Department.

The Ocean City Beach Replenishment and Hurricane Protection Project gives storm protection to Ocean City and maintains the recreation beach used by 4 million visitors annually. The Project was constructed in two phases. Phase I established a wide, gradually rising beach and level berm area. Completed in September 1988, it was funded by State government, Ocean City, and Worcester County. Phase II included 1.8 miles of steel bulkhead protecting the boardwalk and 7 miles of dunes and berm to provide hurricane protection up to the Delaware boundary line. It was funded jointly by the State, Ocean City, Worcester County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

State funding for Phases I and II, and continued maintenance of the Project comes from the Ocean Beach Replenishment Fund, established in 1986 (Chapter 606, Acts of 1986; Code Natural Resources Article, sec. 8-1103). To retain its 100-year storm protection level and ensure federal involvement (in case of a major catastrophe), the beach is to be replenished every four years.


Tawes State Office Building, C-3
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

The Natural Resources Police Force is Maryland's oldest State law enforcement agency and one of the oldest conservation law enforcement agencies in the country. It traces its origin to 1868, when the State Oyster Police Force was created to enforce oyster laws. As the State Fishery Force, it reorganized in 1874 under the Commissioner of Fisheries and, in 1880, under the Board of Public Works. In 1922, the Force became part of the Conservation Department and was renamed Maryland Patrol and Inspection Fleet. Marine enforcement by the Natural Resources Police Force originated from responsibilities of the early fisheries fleets.

For wildlife and inland fisheries, the creation of the post of State Game Warden in 1896 provided a system for uniformly enforcing conservation laws across Maryland. After the Warden's appointment, government programs were initiated that still define the inland enforcement duties of the Natural Resources Police Force. In 1922, the State Game Warden joined the Conservation Department along with the State Fishery Force (renamed the Maryland Patrol and Inspection Fleet). In 1939, the Conservation Department split into two departments: the Department of Tidewater Fisheries, and the Game and Inland Fish Commission (later the Department of Game and Inland Fish). The Marine Enforcement Fleet then was named the Division of Inspection and Patrol. Responsible for enforcing the Maryland Boat Act of 1960, it became the Maryland State Marine Police in 1962 and was made part of the Department of Chesapeake Bay Affairs in 1964. That department and the Department of Game and Inland Fish were abolished in 1969 when the Department of Natural Resources was created. In 1972, the Maryland State Marine Police was renamed the Natural Resources Police Force (Chapter 348, Acts of 1972). From 1992 to 1995, the Force was part of Resource Management. In 1995, it transferred to Public Lands.

Throughout Maryland, the Natural Resources Police Force has full police powers. It protects life and property, preserves the peace, prevents crime, detects and apprehends criminals, and safeguards individual rights.

The Force serves as the primary search and rescue agency on Maryland waters and in rural areas of the State. Through enforcement of hunting and wildlife conservation laws, the Force provides the primary law enforcement and emergency services for some remote areas in Maryland.

State laws and regulations on boating, commercial seafood harvesting and sport fishing, waterways pollution, and wildlife conservation are enforced by the Force, as are general criminal laws. The Force inspects boats for violations of conservation and boating laws, and inspects seafood processing houses and trucks carrying seafood cargo. It arrests and issues warnings to violators. The Force also investigates boating accidents and reports them to the U.S. Coast Guard. Maryland's three State vessels - the yacht Maryland Independence, the work boat H. J. Elser, and the skipjack Anna McGarvey - are operated and maintained by the Force.

Boating and hunting safety education programs are conducted by the Force. In addition, the Force operates the Natural Resources Police Academy at Matapeake, a central maintenance and supply facility, and an aviation unit to provide airborne surveillance and rescue services to enforcement programs and Department agencies (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 1-201 through 1-210).

The Force is organized into three bureaus: Administrative Services; Field Operations; and Management Services.


The Administrative Services Bureau began in 1995 as the Planning and Education Bureau and received its present name in 1998. The Bureau educates the public about outdoor safety, ethics, and the use of resources. It issues certificates to hunters and boaters who complete safety education courses. By law, hunters must have a certificate before they can buy a hunting license. Also, any person born after July 1, 1972, must have a certificate to operate a registered or documented vessel. For Natural Resources Police officers, the Bureau provides specialized training, both entry-level and in-service. The Bureau also conducts research and develops long-range planning.

Four divisions come under the Bureau: Aviation; Safety Education and Boating Regulations; Support Services; and Training.

Through the Support Services Division, the Bureau maintains vessels and equipment, and conducts hydrographic operations. The Division operates four DNR vessels: the Independence, the Millard Tawes, the Sandusky, and the Widener. In specially designated or restricted areas, the Bureau provides and sets buoys and other aids to navigation, icebreaking and aviation services.


The Field Operations Bureau primarily enforces wildlife, fish and boating laws, and conducts search and rescue missions. Its officers are cross-trained for assignment to either marine or inland patrols. They also routinely perform police duties involving criminal violations, such as possession of controlled dangerous substances, theft, assault, fraud, manslaughter, and homicide. Operating out of four regional centers, the Bureau patrols with a fleet of 30 large inboard vessels, 89 smaller outboard vessels, and 100 vehicles.


Management Services started as the Administration Program under the Boating Administration. The Program reorganized as the Administrative Services Bureau under the Natural Resources Police Force in 1995, and was renamed Management Services in 1998. The Bureau is responsible for budget, fiscal and personnel management; public information; and management information services. The Bureau also coordinates the removal of abandoned boats from Maryland waterways, and schedules the State yacht Maryland Independence.


Tawes State Office Building, D-3
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

Resource Planning originated as Land Planning Services under the Capital Programs Administration and reorganized as Greenways and Resource Planning in 1991. Under the Land and Water Conservation Service, it was renamed Resource Planning in 1995 and, in 2000, placed directly under Public Lands.

Resource Planning provides planning, mapping, environmental review, and capital budget services to help the Department acquire, develop, and manage public lands and scenic rivers. Resource Planning also is responsible for the State wildlands preservation system. The system is composed of areas in Maryland designated by the General Assembly as wildlands (Code Natural Resources Article, sec. 5-1203).

Under Resource Planning are four sections: Environmental Review; Mapping and Property Research; Resource Planning; and Technical Services.

Environmental Review coordinates the Department's review of all proposals that affect Department lands, including leases, sales, and easements. In support of capital budget requests, planners in this section prepare environmental and growth management assessments.

The Mapping and Property Research Section researches property records (deeds, surveys, land patents) and prepares project boundary maps for all Department lands. These maps show properties in the acquisition program, as well as properties owned by the Department or not yet acquired. The Section also conducts surveys, and reviews and updates the maps.

Master plans for new State parks, or for recreational use and modification of existing State parks are formulated by the Resource Planning Section. For proposed new Department areas, the Section conducts detailed property reviews, as well as environmental reviews for many Department projects and lands. The Section also develops master facilities plans for areas without approved master plans.

For the nine rivers of the scenic and wild rivers system, the Section prepares resource management plans to promote the wise use of river, land and water resources and improve resource conservation. Planners work with local citizen advisory boards developing recommendations for local governments on resource use.

Technical Services provides computer support for publication and display graphics, and for all the work of Resource Planning. This section also maintains a geographic information system and coordinates Department forest management plans.


Tawes State Office Building, C-4
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

The Resource Management Service organized in 1992 as Resource Management and received its current name in 1995. The Service is responsible for four agencies: the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission; the Fisheries Service; the Forest, Wildlife and Heritage Service; and the Licensing and Registration Service.


Under the Resource Management Service, the Fisheries Service started in 1995 from the Freshwater Fisheries Division and the Tidal Fisheries Division of the former Tidewater Administration.

Freshwater Fisheries Division. The Freshwater Fisheries Division organized in 1991. The Division protected, preserved, and restored the freshwater fish resources of Maryland. Through administration of the Fisheries Management and Protection Fund, the Division conducted scientific investigations and environmental review, propagated fish, and managed the nontidal finfish of the State.

Tidal Fisheries Division. The Tidal Fisheries Division traced its origin to the Commissioners of Fisheries created in 1874 (Chapter 150, Acts of 1874). In 1916, functions of the Commissioners of Fisheries were assigned to the Conservation Commission, which oversaw fish hatcheries (Chapter 682, Acts of 1916). The Conservation Department assumed fisheries duties in 1922 and was replaced in 1939 by the Department of Game and Inland Fish (Chapter 354, Acts of 1939). The Department was superseded in 1941 by the Department of Tidewater Fisheries, which became the Department of Chesapeake Bay Affairs in 1964 (Chapter 508, Acts of 1941; Chapter 82, Acts of 1964). That department, in turn, was replaced by the Fish and Wildlife Administration in 1970 and the Fisheries Administration in 1972 (Chapter 252, Acts of 1970; Chapter 348, Acts of 1972). In 1979, the Fisheries Administration reformed as the Tidal Fisheries Division of the Tidewater Administration. By 1984, the Division was renamed the Fisheries Division and, in 1993, it resumed the name, Tidal Fisheries Division. The Division in 1995 became part of the Fish, Heritage, and Wildlife Administration. Later that year, it joined the Fisheries Service. The Division preserved, enhanced, developed, and oversaw use of fishery resources in Maryland.

In 1995, functions of the Freshwater Fisheries Division and the Tidal Fisheries Division were assumed by the Fisheries Service.

Fishery Management Program. This program plants oyster shells for propagation, transplants seed oysters on public oyster bars, and monitors blue crab movement to gauge fluctuations in annual harvest. The Program studies young fish annually to determine reproductive success; monitors anadromous fish reproduction and harvests; and supports striped bass hatcheries for research and restoration. The Program also issues permits for aquaculture and scientific collections of fish and shellfish, investigates disease and parasite infestations, develops and analyzes statistics for management decisions, and formulates management plans. The Service strives to provide maximum opportunities for public fishing within existing habitat while preserving and enhancing natural resources within the State (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-1209).

The Fisheries Service administers the Sarbanes Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, and six divisions: Mariculture, Estuarine and Marine Hatcheries; Planning and Administration; Policy and Fisheries Development; Resource Management; Restoration and Enhancement; and Shellfish.


To restore Atlantic sturgeon, American shad, and hickory shad in the Chesapeake Bay, the Mariculture, Estuarine, and Marine Hatcheries Division uses hatchery-produced fish. The Division improves recreational fisheries with hatchery-produced sportfish; maintains 5,000 acres of oyster reef sanctuary; and issues aquaculture permits and oyster bottom leases.


The Policy and Fisheries Development Division became Legislation, Regulation, and Outreach in 1998, and reverted to its original name in July 2000. This division regulates commercial and recreational fisheries. It also researches, develops, and implements management plans for fish, crabs, oysters, and clams. Policy and Fisheries Development drafts legislation, formulates policy, and conducts public hearings and outreach programs. Additionally, it administers a limited entry system for apprenticeships in the commercial fisheries. The Division is served by several advisory committees, including the Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission, and the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission.


Maryland's fisheries resources are monitored and assessed by the Resource Management Division which helps develop a management framework for both the conservation and equitable use of those resources. More than fifty species of fish and shellfish are managed by this division.


The Restoration and Enhancement Division manages Maryland's nontidal fisheries resources, covering fourteen gamefish species, fifteen panfish species, 820 miles of wild trout streams, 89 impoundments, and 214,000 acres of tidal-influenced freshwater habitat. Species include largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, Northern pike, tiger muskellunge, and catfish.


904 South Morris St.
Oxford, MD 21654

In 1960, the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries established the Oxford Laboratory to investigate oyster diseases which struck Chesapeake Bay in the late 1950s. Originally a federal research center, the Laboratory in 1987 became a joint research and monitoring facility of the Department of Natural Resources, and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. After renovation and expansion, the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory was renamed the Sarbanes Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in February 1999 to honor Maryland's U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, a long-term mentor and supporter. Located on 11.5 acres along the Tred Avon River, the Laboratory is a complex of laboratories and experimental ponds, with an extensive scientific library. Laboratory work focuses on diagnosing and monitoring diseases of shellfish, finfish, and wildlife in Maryland. A unit of the National Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network also is based there.


Within the Fisheries Service, the Shellfish Division restores oyster populations and habitat in the Chesapeake Bay. The Deal Island Hatchery and the Piney Point Aquaculture Center produce hatchery oysters to stock sanctuaries. The Restoration and Repletion Program plants shell and seed oysters. The Monitoring and Analysis Program monitors oyster stocks and evaluates restoration methods.


The Forest, Wildlife and Heritage Service began in 1939 as the Department of Game and Inland Fish. The Department was placed under the Board of Natural Resources in 1941, and the Department of Natural Resources in 1969. The Department of Game and Inland Fish was renamed the Fish and Wildlife Administration in 1970 and became the Wildlife Administration in 1972 (Chapter 252, Acts of 1970; Chapter 348, Acts of 1972). In 1984, the Forest and Park Service merged with the Wildlife Administration to form the Forest, Park and Wildlife Service (Chapter 136, Acts of 1984). Through a reorganization in 1992, the Fish, Heritage, and Wildlife Administration was created under Resource Management. In 1995, under the Resource Management Service, the Administration was restructured as the Forest, Wildlife and Heritage Service to oversee the Forest Service, and the Wildlife and Heritage Division.


Tawes State Office Building, E-1
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

With the Forest Conservancy Districts Act, forestry programs started in 1943 under the Board of Natural Resources (Chapter 722, Acts of 1943). When the Department of Natural Resources formed in 1969, the Forest Conservancy Districts Program came under the new Department. In 1971, the Program was renamed the Technical Forestry and Reforestation Program. By 1979, it was called Cooperative Forest Management and, by 1983, the Cooperative Forestry Program. It became Forestry Programs in 1991 and the Forest Service in 1992. The Forest Service became part of the Forest, Wildlife and Heritage Service in 1995.

The Forest Service helps private landowners and municipal and county governments manage their forests and trees. The Service seeks to improve and maintain the economic, aesthetic, recreational and environmental contributions of trees, forests, and forest-related resources for human benefit. Duties include cooperative forest management; urban and community forestry; resource use, planning, and protection; and all matters relating to forestry in the critical areas surrounding Chesapeake Bay.

To private landowners and local governments, the Forest Service provides forest management expertise. Forest fire prevention and control, insect and disease control, land and watershed management, as well as reforestation, and urban and community forestry constitute the main thrusts of Service programs. Through urban and community forestry, the Service carefully plans development and large-scale forestry projects with developers, builders, architects, and city and county planners. Supervision of utility trimming and municipal tree care is an important part of urban and community forestry. The urban forestry concept includes granting individual shade tree consultations to private landowners, as time permits.

Forest Conservancy District Boards function in all twenty-three Maryland counties and Baltimore City. The Boards started as District Forestry Boards in 1943 to assist the then Department of Forests and Parks by promoting forest management on privately owned woodlands. Their original goal was to help assure a continuous supply of wood fiber products through scientific forest management.

Today, Forest Conservancy District Boards work to improve the environment in urban and suburban areas and educate people about the benefits of forests. Board members work closely with foresters throughout the State. The Boards primarily serve as advisory, educational and facilitating bodies. In the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, they approve all forest management plans. The Boards also review proposed laws and represent the interests of forestry with local, State and federal legislatures (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-601 through 5-610).

Board members are appointed by the Assistant Secretary for the Resource Management Service to three-year terms on recommendation of the local forester in consultation with Board members. The chief requirement for membership is an interest in forestry and a desire to see resources used wisely and renewed. Meeting at least four times a year, each board has five or more members.

To improve the management of private forest lands, the Program was begun in 1991 by the Forest Service in cooperation with other natural resource conservation agencies, foresters, and forest advocacy groups. Through the Forest Stewardship Program, Resource Conservation Plans are prepared for nonindustrial private forest landowners. Cooperating agencies provide tehnical assistance to private landowners for all their forest resources, including water, recreation, and wildlife. This State program is part of a nationwide effort initiated by the National Association of State Foresters in cooperation with the State and Private Forestry Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Program also oversees forest fire suppression and the State Nursery at Preston.

The planning for and management of a community's forest resources to enhance the quality of life is known as urban forestry. The process integrates the environmental, economic, political, historical and social values of the community with the management plan for the urban forest.

Urban Forestry and Reforestation began as the Urban and Community Forestry Program in 1984 (Chapter 543, Acts of 1984). The Program implements ecosystem management strategies to enhance urban forests and associated vegetation. Forest loss and gain by county and by subwatershed are tracked by the Program using the inventory mandated by the Forest Conservation Act of 1991 (Chapter 255, Acts of 1991). The Program also oversees Tree-Mendous Maryland, a cooperative effort by citizens, community groups, and businesses to plant trees on public lands.


In 1996, the Wildlife Program combined with the Natural Heritage Program to form the Wildlife and Heritage Division. The Division applies wildlife management techniques to control and assure continuing wildlife, while affording optimum public recreational opportunities compatible with the welfare of wildlife resources. The Division conducts field surveys and research to evaluate public demands on wildlife resources, populations, harvesting parameters, and relevant environmental factors. It plants food and cover vegetation and constructs ponds (primarily waterfowl habitat). It also manages and protects birds, land-based reptiles and amphibians, and mammals. Under its protection are game and nongame species, and threatened and endangered wildlife.

The Division develops and manages thirty-six State Wildlife Management Areas (public hunting areas). It also manages and administers recreational use of cooperative wildlife areas and some State park areas.

Three programs operate under the Division: Biodiversity; Conservation Technology; and Game Management. The Division also is aided by several advisory bodies among which are the Captive Wildlife Advisory Committee; Fur Resources Advisory Committee; Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee; Wildlife Advisory Commission; and Wild Turkey Advisory Committee.


Tawes State Office Building, B-1
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397

The Licensing and Registration Service began as the Licensing and Watercraft Registration Service. Under its present name, it joined the Resource Management Service in 1995.

The Licensing and Registration Service assesses and collects vessel excise taxes; issues certificates of registration and title to vessels; issues recreational fishing, commercial fishing and hunting licenses; and manages a network of sport license agents. The Service also works with Maryland boaters and the marine industry, promulgates boating and waterway regulations, and biennially produces the Guide for Cruising Maryland Waters. Regional service centers operate in Annapolis, Bel Air, Centreville, Cumberland, Dundalk, Prince Frederick, and Salisbury (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 4-601 through 4-1043; 8-701 through 8-740; 10-301 through 10-1108).

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