News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Fisheries Service Holds Public Meeting on AEZs

Chesapeake Beach, MD –The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service will hold a public meeting Monday June 22, 2009, at the Northeast Community Center to discuss the possibility of establishing new aquaculture enterprise zones (AEZs), which are areas of the Chesapeake Bay approved for raising of aquatic animals. At the meeting, DNR representatives will discuss the role of AEZs and start public discussion over the newly proposed sites.

A new bill introduced in the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly requires the Department to establish the zones. Tonight’s meeting will discuss the possibility of establishing new AEZs in the Patuxent, West and Rhode Rivers.

“AEZs are essential for promoting the growth of Maryland’s aquaculture industry,” said DNR Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “Having these areas approved early will allow for a streamlined lease process that will get projects into the water more quickly.”

The meeting will be held in Room C at the Northeast Community Center located at 4075 Gordon Stinnett Ave., Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732. Those who cannot attend may view maps of the sites and submit their comments at Comments will also being accepted by fax at 410-260-8310 or by mail to Fisheries Public Feedback, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 580 Taylor Ave., B-2, Annapolis, MD 21401. All comments are due back to the Department by June 28, 2009.

   June 19, 20099

Contact: Nick Kirby

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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