Annapolis, MD— As of 2022, data collected by the Chesapeake Bay Program show that 9.1 million acres of land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed—roughly 22% of the total land in the region—are permanently protected from development. The Chesapeake Bay Program works to extend the acres of protected lands through its Protected Lands Workgroup, which is led primarily by the National Park Service and includes representatives from state and federal agencies, nonprofits and local governments. In 2010, the partnership set a goal to protect an additional two million acres of land on top of what had been previously protected across the watershed. In particular, the goal calls for 225,000 acres of wetlands and 695,000 acres of forest. As of 2022, nearly 1.64 million acres have been added since 2010, achieving 82% of the Protected Land Outcome in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The overall Protected Lands Outcome is expected to be achieved by its 2025 deadline. Protected lands are areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed with cultural, historical, ecological and agricultural value that have been permanently protected from development. Chesapeake Bay Program partners secure land conservation by holding easements, accepting donations and purchasing properties and development rights. Land conservation is one of […]
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