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New MPT Program Explores Critical Area Law as Maryland Legislators Meet to Debate Stricter Chesapeake Bay Waterfront Development
OWINGS MILLS, MD - As the Maryland General Assembly meets to debate new, stricter regulations on Chesapeake Bay waterfront development, Maryland Public Television (MPT) airs a riveting new program that examines Maryland’s Critical Area Law.
MPT’s Weary Shoreline, airing Wednesday, February 27 at 9 p.m., explores how Maryland’s Critical Area Law—enacted in 1984 to preserve sensitive Chesapeake Bay shoreline by limiting growth—has instead fostered development, lawlessness and community animus through its complexity and ambiguity.
Weary Shoreline scrutinizes the impact of Critical Area violations on Chesapeake Bay water quality and its ecosystem in heavily and sparsely-populated regions The program captures violations on tape and brings both little-known and high-profile cases to light on the Nanticoke, Patuxent, Magothy, West, Rhodes and Severn Rivers. Included in the program are the controversial issues of construction on Dobbins Island and Little Island in the Magothy River.
Political figures interviewed include Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, former Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens and Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler.
Fervent discussion over HB 1253—set for General Assembly debate February 28 (the day after Weary Shoreline’s premiere)—is expected. Among several proposed changes to this controversial law, the bill mandates that new development (including houses, outbuildings, decks, patios, driveways, landscaping and swimming pools) be even farther away from the bay shoreline than the current 100 feet. Instead, the inner Critical Areas shoreline buffer would be expanded from 100 feet to 300 feet.
For more information visit mpt.org.
February 25, 2008
Contact: Jessica Leshnoff, MPT
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov