WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2024, the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Act:
“I was proud to introduce the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Act last year, and I was excited to bring it to the Floor today and support its passage by the House.
I’ve had the great honor of representing Maryland’s Fifth District of Maryland for more than four decades, and during that time I’ve traveled the length and breadth of its counties, visiting communities steeped in history and a keen awareness and appreciation of the local environment and heritage.
From historic St. Mary’s City to Chesapeake Beach, from Mallows Bay to Piscataway Creek, the Tidewater communities of Southern Maryland share a distinct heritage linked to the Bay, its tributaries, and its unique ecosystem and economy.
Throughout our history, Southern Maryland has also been the site of important milestones for our nation, from the first colony founded on religious freedom to the first person of African descent elected to an American legislature, from the first woman to petition for equal suffrage to the heroic efforts by those bringing the enslaved to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
We have so much to preserve and share with our fellow Americans in Southern Maryland.
“This legislation asks Congress to make an official designation that will help bring federal, state, and private resources together to conserve Southern Maryland’s natural landscapes, make its air and water cleaner, and boost tourism to sustain the local economy.
When the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on my bill last June, I was honored to testify in support, and I want to thank Chairman Grijalva and Committee Members for approving this legislation last week.
I also want to thank Sens. Cardin and Van Hollen for partnering with me on this effort and for introducing a companion bill in the Senate.
I look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders from across Southern Maryland to ensure that the region’s unique natural and cultural heritage and history are preserved for the benefit of many generations to come.”