Governor Martin O’Malley recently announced Board of Public Works approval of Rural Legacy funds to purchase a 113.1-acre conservation easement in Charles County.
The easement located within the Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area, purchased for $1,109,720.24, will help improve the water quality by maintaining riparian buffers on tributaries of Zekiah Swamp Run, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Charles County will hold this easement, which protects valuable agricultural and forest land.
“We have so many projects in Maryland, and a lot of communities may not think they are touched by the State,“ said Treasurer Nancy Kopp. “I hope that citizens realize the significant support that the State regularly provides for these local preservation projects.”
In total the Board of Public Works approved funding for 14 local park and recreation areas and preservation of 406 acres of agricultural and forest land in 10 Counties last Thursday.
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works also comprises Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp. The General Assembly authorizes the Board to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
The Rural Legacy Program provides focus and funding to protect large, contiguous tracts of land and other strategic areas from sprawl development. It enhances natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection through cooperative efforts between state and local governments and land trusts. Protection is provided through the acquisition of easements and fee estates from willing landowners and the supporting activities of Rural Legacy Sponsors and local governments.