Laws and Programs

Detailed Descriptions of Laws and Programs M-Q

Title:Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program
Lead agency/organization:Maryland Department of Agriculture, (MDA)
Summary:
The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program pays up to 87.5 percent of the cost to install eligible BMPs to protect water quality. Animal waste storage facilities, grassed waterways, spring developments, and cover crops are among the BMPs currently eligible for funding. In recent years several new BMPs have been added to the list of eligible practices. These include stream protection practices, conservation cover, and nutrient management services. Farmers can also receive cost- share assistance to transport excess poultry litter off the farm.
You May Qualify For MACS If:
You are an individual, partnership corporation, trust or other business operating a Maryland farm;
You have an existing or potentially critical condition on agricultural land which causes soil, nutrients, or other pollutants to move
off the land and enter state waters;
Your proposed project will improve water quality, and;
Your proposed project meets MACS eligibility criteria and cost-effectiveness requirements
Some of the 29 eligible BMPS designed to reduce soil, nutrients and animal wastes entering state waterways include:
Animal Waste Management Systems Filter Strips Spring Developments
Conservation Cover Grade Stabilization Structures Stream Crossings
Contour Farming/Orchards Grassed Waterways Stream Fencing
Cover Crops Lined Waterways/outlets Strip Cropping
Critical Area Plantings Nutrient Management Services Terrace Systems
Dead Bird Composting Facilities Riparian Buffers
Diversions Field Borders/Windbreaks Sediment Basins
Contacts:
USDA Service Center located in each county

Maryland Department of Agriculture
Office of Resource Conservation
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-5863
Links:Program homepage

Title:Maryland Environmental Trust
Lead agency/organization: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Summary:
The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) is a statewide local land trust governed by a citizen Board of Trustees. Their goal is the preservation of open land, such as farmland, forest land, and significant natural resources. The primary tool for doing this is the conservation easement, a voluntary agreement between a landowner and MET. Since its creation by the General Assembly in 1967, MET has helped landowners protect over 65,000 acres of open land through more than 500 conservation easements.
MET also endeavors to promote the protection of open land through the Local Land Trust Assistance Program. In addition, MET gives grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program.
Contacts:
Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Environmental Trust
580 Taylor Ave
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
phone: 410-514-7900
Links:MET website

Title:Maryland Historical Trust
Lead agency/organization: Maryland Historical Trust (MHT)
Summary:
The Maryland Historical Trust was formed in 1961 to assist the people of Maryland in identifying, studying, evaluating, preserving, protecting, and interpreting the state's significant prehistoric and historic districts, sites, structures, cultural landscapes, heritage areas, cultural objects, and artifacts, as well as less tangible human and community traditions. The Trust is the principal operating unit within the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, which is an agency of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The Board of Trustees of the Trust is composed of 15 members (12 of which are appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms, as well as the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, or their designees). Maryland's State Historic Preservation Officer, appointed by the Governor pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, is a member of the Trust staff. As of this writing, the Trust and the Division employ 78 individuals at the central offices in Crownsville and at two satellite museum facilities.
Contacts:
Division of Historical and Cultural Programs
100 Community Place
Crownsville, Maryland 21032-2023
Fax 410-514-7678
email: little@dhcd.state.md.us
Links:Trust homepage

Title:The Maryland State Programmatic General Permit (MDSPGP)
Lead agency/organization: US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
Other organizations involved: Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
Summary:
The Maryland State Programmatic General Permit (MDSPGP) was submitted in 1995, and approved in 1996. The permit, which became effective on July 1, 1996, incorporates both federal and State regulatory standards and authorizes activities in coastal and inland waters and wetlands with minimal adverse environmental impacts. The permit also contains provisions for lessening redundancy in work by increasing cooperation and communication between the federal and state levels.
The MDSPGP was issued by the Corps on June 18, 1996. The goals of the MDSPGP are to provide a comprehensive protection program for waters of the State, including wetlands; reduce the administrative burden of the program for both the Corps and the State through interagency regulatory cooperation; improve the regulatory response time; and add predictability to the permit program.
Activities with minimal individual and cumulative impacts are eligible for authorization under the MDSPGP provided that nontidal wetland impacts do not exceed five acres and tidal wetland impacts do not exceed three acres. Applicants apply by completing a Maryland/Corps Joint Permit Application, which is processed by the State based on a 4-tiered system:
Category 1 activities are processed solely by the State and are reported quarterly to the Corps.
Category 2 activities are reviewed by the Corps to determine general permit eligibility. These include activities that
are exempt or grandfathered from State Permit requirements; conducted within 150 feet of a federal navigation
channel; or adjacent to or within a federal project.
Category 3 activities are processed by the State. During the evaluation process, MDE coordinates with State and
federal resource agencies, conducts joint interagency meetings, and, if necessary, places the application on joint
State/federal public notice. The Corps uses the information in the application, and comments generated by the
public notice and the interagency meetings to determine if the activity is eligible for MDSPGP authorization.
Category 4 activities are processed by both the State and the Corps through a joint evaluation. An activity
processed in this category may be authorized by MDSPGP; however, if the impacts are determined to be
significant, the Regulatory Branch Chief of the Corps may require an individual federal permit. In the event that an
individual permit is required, WQC and CZC is included in the State's authorization.
An important aspect of the MDSPGP is that state and federal resource agencies have the opportunity to review and comment on any application. Activities potentially impacting sensitive resources can be identified by MDE using a geographic information system targeting threatened/endangered species and historical/cultural resources or by a resource agency monitoring applications on the RAMS permit tracking system. In addition, the Corps also retains discretionary authority to require an individual permit for any proposed activity. For instance, the Corps may require an individual permit if it determines that there are significant individual or cumulative impacts; impacts to threatened or endangered species; impacts to cultural or historical resources; impacts identified during the public interest review, or a federal resource agency requests a "kick-out."
Another aspect of federal oversight is the Monitoring Committee, which consists of representatives from the Corps, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USFWS, NMFS, MDE, DNR and Maryland Historical Trust. Using quarterly reports that are submitted by MDE and other available information, this committee is responsible for evaluating the performance of the MDSPGP and refining its standard operating procedures.
Full text of law: Not currently available
Related laws/programs:Nontidal Wetlands Act & Program, Tidal Wetlands Act & Program
Contacts:
Maryland Department of the Environment
Wetlands & Waterways Program
1800 Washington Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone (410) 537-8091
Fax (410) 537-8047
Links:Nontidal Wetlands Act & Program

Title:Migratory Bird Conservation Act (Wetlands Loan Act) - (USC Title 16 Sec. 715)
Lead agency/organization: US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Division of Realty
Summary:
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission was established on February 18, 1929 by the passage of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. It was created and authorized to consider and approve any areas of land and/or water recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for purchase or rental by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Act, and to fix the price or prices at which such areas may be purchased or rented. In addition to approving purchase and rental prices, the Commission considers the establishment of new waterfowl refuges. The staff support for the Commission is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Realty.
Full text of law:Click here for full text
Related laws/programs:Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
Contacts:

Secretary, Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
1849 C St., NW Mail Stop: ARLSQ-622
Washington, DC 20240-0001
(703) 358-1713
Links:Act homepage

Title:Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
Lead agency/organization:US Fish and Wildlife Service, (FWS) Division of Realty
Summary:
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission was established on February 18, 1929 by the passage of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. It was created and authorized to consider and approve any areas of land and/or water recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for purchase or rental by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Act, and to fix the price or prices at which such areas may be purchased or rented. In addition to approving purchase and rental prices, the Commission considers the establishment of new waterfowl refuges. The staff support for the Commission is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Realty.
Related laws/programs:Migratory Bird Conservation Act
Contacts:

Secretary, Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
1849 C St., NW Mail Stop: ARLSQ-622
Washington, DC 20240-0001
(703) 358-1713
Links:Commission homepage

Title:Migratory Bird Conservation Fund
Lead agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Quick summary:
The Migratory Bird Conservation Fund finances acquisition of land for the national wildlife refuge system. In addition, easements or fee-simple title can be acquire for wetlands in the prairie pothole region for use as federal waterfowl production areas.
Summary:
The Migratory Bird Conservation Fund was established by the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, commonly known as the duck stamp act. The Act required all waterfowl hunters over 16 years of age to purchase federal hunting stamps. In addition to revenue from duck stamp sales, the fund includes refuge entrance fees, import duties on arms and ammunition, and other miscellaneous revenues. Fund income for fiscal year 1992 was expected to be $35.2 million. The fund is used to acquire land for the national wildlife refuge system and for federal waterfowl protection areas.
Federal authority for refuge land acquisition and a system for making refuge acquisition decisions was established by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. The act established a Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to review acquisition proposals. State approval is required before the Secretary of the Interior can recommend an area for purchase or rental.
The Fish and Wildlife Service Small Wetland Acquisition Program uses the fund to acquire fee-simple title or easements on wetlands in the prairie pothole region. FWS then manages the acquired wetlands as federal waterfowl production areas. Easements prohibit the draining, burning, or filling of wetlands. When the wetlands are dry, landowners can crop, hay, graze, plow, or work them. Landowners can open or close their lands to hunting or trapping and can retain the right to develop minerals. Fee-simple title is acquired mostly for permanent water areas. Adjacent uplands that are important as nesting habitat can be acquired; drained wetlands that can be restored may also be eligible.
Related laws/programs:Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Migratory Bird Conservation Act
Contacts:
Regional Office
300 Westgate Center Drive
Hadley, MA 01035-9589
Phone (413) 253-8200
Fax (413) 253-8308

Title:Montgomery County laws
Lead agency/organization:Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services
Summary:
Montgomery County laws mimic the State law in the requirement of a 25 foot buffer around nontidal wetlands, and a 100 foot buffer around wetlands of special state or county concern. These buffers can also include steep/highly erodible slopes adjacent to wetlands.
Related laws/programs:Forest Conservation Act
Contacts:
Montgomery County
Department of Permitting Services
255 Rockville Pike, 2nd Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
phone: (240) 777-636
Links:Department homepage

Title:National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 4321-4375 (1977 & Supp. 1991))
Lead agency: Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Quick summary:
The National Environmental Policy Act allows states, local governments, and private groups to ensure that the environmental impacts of federal actions affecting wetlands are considered. Federal agencies are obligated to consider additional state or local environmental analysis requirements as long as these requirements do not conflict with this act. Environmental review is required for all federal actions, including permits, licenses, loans, and other subsidies.
Summary:
NEPA requires that environmental impacts be considered in federal decision making. Federal agencies must prepare environmental impact statements (EIS's) on major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Major federal actions may include construction projects, permits, licenses, loans, and other subsidies. An environmental assessment (EA) is undertaken to determine whether a full EIA is necessary.
Preparing and EIS is a costly, lengthy process that requires extensive comment from the public and various governmental agencies. NEPA review must consider direct, indirect, and cumulative effects as well as alternatives to the proposed actions.
Individual Section 404 wetlands permits require review under NEPA. EA's are undertaken for most individual Section 404 permit application;, EIS's are done only for a small percentage of applications. General permits require NEPA review only for the overall permit. Other wetlands alterations that involve federal activities require NEPA review and the preparation of either EA's or EIS's.
Full text of law:Click here for full text
Related laws/programs:Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Contacts:List of NEPA points of contact
General Counsel,
Council on Environmental Quality,
722 Jackson Place NW,
Washington, D.C. 20006;
(202)-395-5754.

US Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Federal Acitivities
Mail Code A-104
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 260-5053
Links:CEQ's NEPAnet

Title:National Estuary Program (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1330 (Supp. 1991))
Lead agency: Oceans and Coastal Protection Agency, Coastal Management Branch
Other agencies involved: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), - Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
Quick summary:
The National Estuary Program provides impetus, funding, and technical assistance for the management of nationally significant estuaries, of which wetlands are an important component. Governors can nominate estuaries for inclusion in the program.
Full Summary:
Authorized by the Water Quality Act of 1987, the National Estuary Program (NEP) targets nationally significant estuaries for researh, planning, and management. For each estuary in the program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides technical assistance and facilitates a planning process that results in a strategy for cleanup, called a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Plan participants must commit to specific financial, instituional, and political actions. High-priority "demonstration" projects can be undertaken before completion of the plan.
Estuaries in the program as of 1991 are: Buzzards Bay and Masschusetts Bay in Massachusetts; Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island; Long Island Sound in Connecticut and New York; New York- New Jersey Harbor; Delaware Bay in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware; Delaware inland bays; Albemarle/Pamlico Sounds in North Carolina; Sarasota Bay, Indian River Lagoon, and tampa Bay in Florida; Galveston Bay in Texas; Santa Monica Bay and san Francisco Bay in California; Puget Sound in Washington; Casco Bay in Maine; and Barataria- Terrebone Bays in Louisiana. A Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan has been completed and approved by EPA and the state of Puget Sound; the plan for Buzzards Bay is expected to be completed soon.
Other estuaries can be aded to the program by congressional action or by EPA in response to nomination by a governor.
Related laws/programs:Chesapeake Bay Program
Contacts:
U.S. Environmental protection Agency
Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds
Oceans and Coastal Protection Division
Coastal Management Branch
WH-556F
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC
(202)260-6502
Links:National Estuary Program website

Title:National Flood Insurance Program (42 U.S.C. Sec. 4001-4128 (1977 & Supp. 1991))
Lead agency: Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
Other organizations involved: Federal Insurance Administration (FIA), Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) - The Science Services Administration (formerly TARSA), local jurisdictions
Quick summary:
The National Flood Insurance Program can benefit wetlands by (1) designating "floodways" along rivers and streams (thereby severely restricting restricting any development within the area), and (2) encouraging communities to protect open space and limit floodplain development by offering advantageous flood insurance rates for communities that exceed minimum federal standards. (This program is subject to change due to pending legislation.)
Summary:
The federal government plays two roles in floodplain management: limiting its own activities and making flood insurance available in local communities that have adopted floodplain management regulations. Federal floodplain policy calls for protecting the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains (including wetlands) in addition to protecting public safety and property.
Executive Order 11988, "Floodplain Management" (May 24, 1977,42 F.R.26951, as amended by Executive Order 12608, September 9, 1987, 52 F.R.34617), requires federal agencies to avoid the adverse impacts associated with the modification or development of floodplains and to avoid the direct and indirect support of floodplain development if there is a practicable alternative.
While floodplains regulations are designed to reduce flood damages, many of the regulations incidentally protect other values and functions of floodplains such as wetlands. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has implemented a community rating system (CRS) that offers advantageous insurance rates to communities exceeding minimum federal standards for open-space preservation and new development.
More than 18,000 communities nationwide have adopted floodplain management regulations in order to qualify for federally supported flood insurance. More than 2.5 million local policies are in effect.
The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 as amended and the Flood Disaster Prevention Act of 1973 as amended requires that local jurisdictions adopt and enforce floodplain management which meet federal requirements (44 CFR Parts 55-77). Local jurisdictions must do this in order to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program and remain eligible for federally subsidized flood insurance, federal disaster relief, and federal and state financial assistance. These regulations are federal/state standards with local implementation for activities in 100-year floodplains. Insurance benefits are unavailable for non-participants. Wetlands are encouraged to be zoned as a special subdistrict within the floodplain.
Contacts:
Federal Insurance Administration
Federal Emergency Management Administration
500 C Street, NW
Washington, D. C. 20472
202-646-2781

Title:The Nature Conservancy, Maryland Office
Lead agency/organization: The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Summary:
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
Conservancy initiatives:
Center for Compatable Economic Development
CCED works with communities to develop businesses, products and land uses that conserve ecosystems, enhance local
economies and achieve community goals.
Climate Change Program
The Climate Change Program seeks to implement conservation projects and ensure that the climate change policy
framework recognizes the important role conservation can play in addressing global warming and encouraging sustainable
development.
Freshwater Initiative
The goal of The Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Initiative is to dramatically increase freshwater conservation in the
United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Wings of the Americas
Wings of the Americas protects critical habitats for birds of conservation concern throughout the western hemisphere.
Contacts:
Maryland/DC Field Office
Chevy Chase Metro Bldg.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 300
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 656-8673
Links:TNC website

Title:Near Coastal Waters Program
Lead agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Oceans and Coastal Protection Division Coastal Management Branch
Quick summary:
The Near Coastal Waters Program seeks to improve management of the environmental quality of near coastal waters, which include tidal inland waters and those ocean waters affected by pollution from the land.
Summary:
In 1986 the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) began the Near Coastal Water Program by developing a 10-to-15- year strategic plan for near coastal waters. A number of joint EPA- state demonstration projects were funded, including marsh restoration projects in Louisiana.
Contacts:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds
Oceans and Coastal Protection Division
Coastal Management Branch
WH-556F
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202)260-6502
Links:

Title:Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (Annotated Code of Maryland10-2A-01)
Lead agency/organization: MD Department of Natural Resources (DNR) - Wildlife and Heritage Division
Summary:
This Act is supported by regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations 08.03.08) which contain the official State Threatened and Endangered Species list. Secondarily, DNR's Fisheries Service maintains an official list of game and commercial fish species that are designated as threatened or endangered in Maryland (Code of Maryland Regulations
08.02.12).
The Wildlife and Heritage Division tracks the status of over 1100 native plants and animals that are among the rarest in Maryland and most in need of conservation efforts as elements of our State's natural diversity. Of these species, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources officially recognizes 659 species and subspecies as endangered, threatened, in need of conservation, or endangered extirpated. Only 37, or 3% of the total tracked species, are listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as nationally endangered or threatened.
Contacts:
Wildlife and Heritage Office
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-260-8540
FAX 410-260-8595
TTY 410-260-8835
Links:DNR's Endangered Species homepage, Endangered Plants in Maryland, Endangered Animals in Maryland,

Title:Nontidal Wetlands Protection Act & Program
Lead agency/organization: Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
Other organizations involved: US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), MD Department of Natural Resources (DNR), MD Historical Trust (MHT)
Summary:
The Nontidal Wetlands Protection Act seeks to protect nontidal wetlands by regulating and restricting all activities that could impact nontidal wetlands or waters of the state. The Act also helps to insure "no net loss" in wetlands, by requiring mitigation or compensation for any wetland losses. The Act also has provisions for the structuring of a smooth and expedient application review process, for dealing with developments in wetlands.
Regulated activities include:
Removal, excavation, or dredging of soil or materials of any kind;
Changing existing drainage or flood retention characteristics;
Disturbance of the water level or water table by drainage, impoundment, or other means;
Filling, dumping, discharging of material, driving piles, or placing obstructions;
Grading or removal of material that would alter existing topography;
Destruction or removal of plant life.
Three aspects of Maryland law differ from federal regulation: isolated wetlands, the alteration of vegetation and hydrology, and regulation of a 25-foot buffer. Buffer requirements are expanded to 100 feet for "nontidal wetlands of special State concern". These wetland areas are designated by regulation and mapped as having exceptional ecological or educational value of Statewide significance.
The Nontidal Wetlands Protection Act allows for delegation of all or part of the State program to local governments and provides for the development of watershed management plans. Watershed management plans, developed in accordance with the Nontidal Wetlands Protection Act and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), can be used as the basis for regulatory decisions. The plans are developed in cooperation with local governments and specifically protect wetlands by incorporating them into a jurisdiction's land use decisions. To date, watershed plans have been adopted for the Big Annemessex River watershed in Somerset County and initiated in Baltimore, Calvert and Montgomery Counties.
Related laws/programs: Nontidal Wetlands Act & Program, Critical Area Law, Tidal Wetlands Act & Program, Maryland State Programmatic General Permit
Contacts:
Maryland Department of the Environment
Nontidal Wetlands Division
1800 Washington Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone (410) 537-8094
Fax (410) 537-8047
Links:MDE Wetlands and Waterways Program homepage

Title:North American Waterfowl Management Plan
Lead agency/organization: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office
Quick summary:
By participating in "joint-venture" partnerships under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, states, local governments, and private groups can benefit from the resources of other partners as well as from research and educational information developed under this program. The program encourages partnerships for protection, enhancement, or restoration of wetlands that are important to waterfowl and other migratory birds.
Summary:
The North American Waterfowl Management Plan was initiated by a 1986 agreement between the United States and Canada. The plan responds to the decline of waterfowl and other wetlands dependent species in the past 10 years. Its goal is to protect, enhance, restore, and create in North America six million acres of wetlands and upland crucial to waterfowl survival. The plan is implemented through partnerships: in areas identified as critical for waterfowl, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) coordinates "joint ventures" of public and private partners. Currently, eight joint ventures are underway in the United States, and three more are in the planning stages.
The plan entails research on wetlands restoration and the effects of contaminants on wetlands, wetlands status surveys, and wetlands inventories. Moreover, the plan encourages regional planning, involvement of farmers as primary partners, and citizen advocacy for wetlands conservation.
The North American wetlands Conservation Act broadened the focus of the plan to include protection of wetlands habitat that is important to species beyond waterfowl.
Related laws/programs:North American Wetlands Conservation Act
Contacts:
Director of Communications
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 110
Arlington, Virginia 22203
Links:Plan homepage

Title:North American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. Sec. 4401-4413 (Supp. 1991))
Lead agency/organization: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office
Quick summary:
Under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, states and private groups or individuals can receive matching grants for wetlands conservation projects if the projects further the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and international Migratory bird treaties and if they entail public/private partnerships. Grants are available for acquisition of land or water rights and for restoration, management, or enhancement of wetlands.
Summary:
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act encourages partnerships among federal agencies and others to protect, restore, enhance, and manage wetlands and other habitats for migratory birds, fish, and wildlife. It is intended to support implementation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Federal matching grants are available to acquire land and water rights for restoration, management, or enhancement of wetlands. The act requires biennial assessments of progress.
Land acquired must become part of the National Wildlife Refuge System unless approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission for conveyance without cost to a state or private organization. For such conveyance to occur, the state or private organization must ensure that it can provide long-term protection of the wetlands.
Related laws/programs:North American Waterfowl Management Plan
Contacts:
Director of Communications
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 110
Arlington, Virginia 22203

Title:North American Wetlands Conservation Fund
Lead agency/organization: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office
Related laws/programs:North American Waterfowl Management Plan
Contacts:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 110
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703)358-1784
Links:Detailed description of Fund,

Title:Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
Lead agency/organization: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Other organizations involved: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Quick summary:
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is a technical and financial assistance program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It works in voluntary partnership with private (non-federal) landowners to restore wetlands, streams and river corridors, prairie, grasslands and other important fish and wildlife habitats for Federal trust species (migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, anadromous fish, and some marine mammals).
The Program provides advice on the design and location of potential restoration projects as well as financial assistance to implement the projects. Program staff also provide technical assistance to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its conservation programs.
Summary:
The Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, formerly named the Partners for Wildlife program, offers technical and financial assistance to private (non-federal) landowners to voluntarily restore wetlands and other fish and wildlife
habitats on their land. The program emphasizes the reestablishment of native vegetation and ecological communities for the benefit of fish and wildlife in concert with the needs and desires of private landowners.
Since the program began in 1987, these partnerships have generated significant habitat restoration accomplishments on private lands, primarily focused on the restoration of wetlands, native grasslands, stream banks, riparian areas, and in-stream aquatic habitats. Many of these projects are located near existing National Wildlife Refuge System lands, or State Wildlife Management Areas, providing increased benefits to fish and wildlife that rely on these lands for survival.
The assistance that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers to private landowners may take the form of informal advice on the design and location of potential restoration projects, or it may consist of designing and funding restoration projects under a voluntary cooperative agreement with the landowner. Under the cooperative agreements, the landowner agrees to maintain the restoration project as specified in the agreement for a minimum of 10 years.
Restoration projects may include, but are not limited to:
Restoring wetland hydrology by plugging drainage ditches, breaking tile drainage systems, installing water control
structures, dike construction, and re-establishing old connections with waterways.
Planting native trees and shrubs in formerly forested wetlands and other habitats.
Planting native grasslands and other vegetation.
Installing fencing and off-stream livestock watering facilities to allow for
restoration of stream and riparian areas.
Removal of exotic plants and animals which compete with native fish and wildlife
and alter their natural habitats.
Prescribed burning as a method of removing exotic species and to restore natural
disturbance regimes necessary for some species survival.
Reconstruction of in-stream aquatic habitat through bioengineering techniques.
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program also provides enhanced fishery management expertise for projects that benefit interjurisdictional and declining fish species. This expertise is directed towards lakes, streams, estuaries, and associated riparian and upland buffer habitats to restore and enhance fishery resources. Practices include the techniques listed above as well as
streambank revegetation, silt removal, restoration of water circulation, streambed renovation, reduction of non-point sources of pollution, and fish passage reestablishment for migratory fish. These actions increase native fish populations and improve the water quality in downstream reaches.
Assistance provided is directed by habitat restoration standards that ensure the Service maximizes the ecological benefits from the funds invested. Since the program's initiation, landowner interest has out-paced the Service's delivery capability. In many States, there is a waiting list of landowners interested in program participation
Contacts:
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Habitat Conservation
Branch of Habitat Restoration
1849 C. Street NW
Room 400 - Arlington Square
Washington, D.C. 20240
phone: 703-358-2201
fax: 703-358-2232
Links:Program homepage

Title:Price George's County laws
Lead agency/organization:Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources
Summary:
Development is restricted in or near the 100-year floodplain. New subdivisions with land in the 100-year floodplain may not use floodplain land to meet minimum lot sizes, and residential buildings must be located 25 feet back from the edge of the floodplain. Additionally, 100-year floodplain land in a subdivision must be designated as a floodplain easement, with restrictions on activities. Floodplains to watercourses with less thatn 50 acreas of watershed upstream may be excluded drom identification of the floodplain area. The County also mandates 50 foot buffer zones from each bank around perennial streams. This buffer can be extended to include the 100-year floodplain, slopes of 25% or greater, and erodible soils on slopes of 15% or greater. The 25 foot State wetlands buffer can also be expanded to include slopes of 25% or greater, and erodible soils on slopes of 15% or greater.
Related laws/programs:Forest Conservation Act
Contacts:
Montgomery County
Department of Environmental Resources
9400 Peppercorn Place
Largo, MD 20774
phone: 301-883-5390
Links:Department of Environmental Resources website

Title:Program Open Space
Lead agency/organization: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Summary:
Maryland introduced Smart Growth legislation during the 1997 session making Program Open Space the keystone for Maryland's new Rural Legacy Program (RLP).  Maryland's first Rural Legacy Areas were announced in June 1998.
When a person buys a house or land, a small percentage of the state real estate transfer tax goes into a special fund for Program Open Space. This effort has resulted in the acquisition of more than 150,000 acres of open space for state parks and natural resource areas and more than 25,000 acres of local park land.
Program Open Space also administers the Waterway Improvement funds previously managed by the Boating Administration. The boating industry in Maryland, with more than 194,000 registered vessels, is one of the strongest on the East Coast, and relies heavily on state and local parks funded by Program Open Space and Waterway Improvement Fund grants.
Related laws/programs:Rural Legacy Program
Contacts:
Program Open Space
Tawes State Office Building E-4
580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
phone: 410-260-8403
Links:Program Open Space homepage

Title:Queen Anne's County laws
Lead agency/organization: Queen Anne's County - Department of Planning and Zoning
Summary: Queen Anne's County has established the Resource Protection Area (RPA). The RPA includes 100% of rivers, floodplains, and wetlands, 100% of streams and buffer zones (80% in agricultural land), 60% of woodland acres (50% in agricultural land), and 100% of all steep slopes (>5%). Development is restricted in the RPA. The County also enforces the State Critical Area law.
Related laws/programs:Forest Conservation Act
Contacts:
Queen Anne's County
Department of Planning and Zoning
107 N. Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617
410-758-4088
Links:Queen Anne's County homepage