NDAA Provision Helps Protect Greenbury Point Conservation Area
Language Introduced by Senator Van Hollen, Senator Cardin & Representative Sarbanes
Annapolis, MD – Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn issued this statement following today’s passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the U.S. Senate also passed on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. President Biden is expected to sign the bill shortly after he receives it.
Included in the NDAA was language introduced by Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Cardin and Representative John Sarbanes protecting public access at Greenbury Point Conservation Area in Anne Arundel County, which is Navy property managed by Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis as a natural resources conservation area. The site was under threat of being developed for the purposes of a second golf course located at Greenbury Point.
The NDAA language is as follows:
SEC. 2855. LIMITATION ON AUTHORITY TO MODIFY OR RESTRICT PUBLIC ACCESS TO GREENBURY POINT CONSERVATION AREA AT NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Navy may not modify or restrict public access to the Greenbury Point Conservation Area at Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Maryland.
(b) EXCEPTIONS.—The limitation in subsection (a) shall not apply to—
(1) temporary restrictions to protect public safety that are necessitated by emergent situations, hazardous conditions, maintenance of existing facilities, or live fire exercises; or
(2) the terms of a lease or transfer of the Greenbury Point Conservation Area to another public entity
“Senator Van Hollen, Senator Cardin and Representative Sarbanes deserve enormous credit and gratitude. They listened to their constituents and took a stand for our trees and wildlife to protect the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to ensure that everyone, not just the privileged few, will have access to one of the last remaining natural areas of the Severn River.
“We applaud those caring individuals and grassroots activists, Senator Van Hollen, Representative Sarbanes and the conservation nonprofits who pivoted quickly and devoted countless unplanned hours to protecting this special place steeped in our nation’s history against this surprising threat.”