Chesapeake Conservancy Encourages Public Participation for Mallows Bay – Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary

Public Urged to Comment and Attend Public Meetings

WHAT:           The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will hold public meetings to allow comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to designate Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA will also accept public comments online, as well as via mail and email.

March 7, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
Charles County Government Building
200 Baltimore Street
La Plata, MD 20646

March 9, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
Anne Arundel Community College
CALT Building
101 College Parkway
Arnold, MD 21012

Comments can be submitted at: deadline to submit comments is March 31, 2017.

WHY:  Mallows Bay – Potomac River is located approximately 30 miles south of Washington, D.C. and boasts the largest visible collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. As the newest national marine sanctuary, Mallows Bay-Potomac River would highlight one of America’s most extensive and culturally significant collections of shipwrecks. The designation would allow it to be better studied, interpreted, and managed.

In October 2015, NOAA announced its intent to designate a new national marine sanctuary to help conserve nationally significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources in Maryland. NOAA released a DEIS of Mallows Bay-Potomac River in December 2016.

The area offers visitors recreational opportunities, such as kayaking and canoeing among the shipwrecks. The wrecks have created artificial reefs that provide habitat for wildlife, including bald eagles, heron, osprey, beavers, river otters, deer, and turtles. Mallows Bay is also popular for its fishing opportunities, both recreational and commercial, which would continue if the site is designated. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Potomac River Fisheries Commission will continue to manage fishing, as before.

For more information about Mallows Bay – Potomac River, please visit our website.