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2002 Annual Update

Anniversary tree planting update

The trees we planted at Roaring Point have so far about a 66% survival rate, which is excellent considering the heavy deer grazing and the severe drought they have had to endure.

2010 Agreement endorsed by the Friends

This year, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy was joined by MD Congressman Gilchrest to propose a voluntary agreement among Eastern Shore (Maryland and Delaware) counties to form a regional partnership to, among other initiatives, protect from development 50% of Eastern Shore land outside locally-designated growth areas by 2010. So far, the 6 Upper Shore MD counties have signed this agreement, and we will continue to support efforts to encourage the other counties to join as well.

Wicomico County Zoning legislation

We sponsored a public forum in February to air issues related to the county’s proposed zoning ordinance. We will continue to provide input as this process goes forward in order to protect open space and natural resources within the Nanticoke Watershed and to ensure the most environmentally sound development possible. Two issues that urgently need to be addressed are transfer of development rights and revision of development design standards.

Roaring Point shoreline

Mitch Keilor from MD Dept. of Natural Resources’ Living Shorelines is reviewing the erosion on the beach at Roaring Point park. Characterization of the rates of loss and recommendations for stabilization will be forthcoming. We are hoping to sponsor a presentation on this subject for our members soon – more on this later!

Other political action

We have gone on record as opposing the recent variance granted for construction of a Ready-mix concrete plant at Sharptown, near Plum Creek (a tributary of the Nanticoke). We also have entered testimony regarding, but did not oppose, other cases, including a concrete crushing operation in Nanticoke and the resurfacing of Wetipquin Road.

Glatfelter properties protected from development

At a cost of $744 per acre, Maryland has agreed to protect with conservation easements (and some outright purchase) almost 20,000 acres of forests, nearly 4,000 acres of wetlands and 31 miles of streams along the Eastern Shore and in Southern Maryland formerly belonging to the Glatfelter Pulp and Paper Co.

Water quality data available

The Chesapeake Bay Program has a very nice web site for information on water quality in the Nanticoke. Recent drought conditions are clearly illustrated in elevated salinity, and other factors that affect life in the river are also depicted. Below is a sample graph. For more, log on to: http://mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/eyesonthebay/index.cfm .