If you are the owner of a property in the Chesapeake
Bay Critical Area, it has never been more important than NOW to
care for your property in a way that protects the Chesapeake Bay
watershed from the impact of human activities.
What is the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area? In 1984, the State of Maryland designated
the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, the 1,000-foot wide ribbon
of land around the Bay and its tidal tributaries, and set
criteria to minimize adverse effects on water quality and
Why protect the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area? Human activity within 1,000 feet of
tidal waters has direct and immediate impact on the health
of the Chesapeake Bay. Eroded soil, pesticides, and fertilizers
that enter the water from the land cause destruction of habitat
for crabs, fish and other aquatic life.
Where is my “First Stop” for advice on
landscaping my property? Talk to your County Planning Office. Permits are required for
changes to your property if any part of your property is in the
Critical Area. Caroline
County 410-479-8100 Kent
County 410-778-7473 Queen
Anne's County 410-758-1255 Talbot
How can I care for my property and protect the Chesapeake
Plant native trees and shrubs
Create wildlife habitat
Reduce impervious surface
Use living shorelines techniques to reduce erosion
Learn about Critical Area buffer regulations adopted
by the state of Maryland in March 2010 here.
Bay-Wise Consultations Available
Invite University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners
to visit your property to consult on "Bay-Wise"
landscape management practices. They will help you make
sure you are doing what is best to protect your local
waterway. Go a step further and have your landscape
certified, with a sign that shows everyone you are doing
what is best for the Bay. Visit the
Bay-Wise web site to learn more about this free
The Green Book for the Bay
illustrated guidebook for Critical Area property owners
living on Maryland's Eastern Shore.