Before you begin any activities on property located within the Critical Area, your first stop is your town or county planning department.

First Stop for the Bay currently focuses on Maryland’s Mid-Shore, in Caroline, Kent, Talbot, and Queen Anne’s counties. The Green Book for the Bay addresses Critical Area concerns related directly to these four counties.

However, the basic concept of contacting your town or county planning office to obtain information about local Critical Area regulations and permitting requirements applies throughout the Critical Area in Maryland.

Staff at local planning offices can confirm whether your property is located in the Critical Area, direct you to the appropriate regulations, and provide guidance on plans, permits, and approvals needed to meet both local and Critical Area requirements. A street address and/or tax map and parcel number (depending on jurisdiction) is needed for officials to identify properties in the Critical Area.

For general guidance on Critical Area and the law in Maryland, contact the Critical Area Commission:

Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays
1804 West Street, Suite 100
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 260-3460

Please complete the form below to receive regular updates on ways your property can contribute to a healthier Chesapeake Bay.

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Mid-Shore County Planning Offices

Caroline County Department of Planning, Codes and Engineering
Health & Public Services Building
403 South 7th Street, Suite 210
Denton, MD 21629-1335
(410) 479-8100

Kent County Department of Planning, Housing and Zoning
400 High Street
Chestertown, MD 21620
(410) 778-7475

Queen Anne’s County Land Use, Growth Management and Environment
160 Coursevall Drive
Centreville, MD 21617
(410) 758-1255

Talbot County Office of Planning and Zoning
215 Bay St., Suite 2
Easton, MD 21601
(410) 770-8030

First Stop for the Bay/ Shore Land Stewardship Council
Adkins Arboretum
P.O. Box 100
Ridgely, MD 21660
410-634-2847, ext. 0

  Adkins Arboretum

12610 Eveland Road, P.O. Box 100, Ridgely, MD 21660
Phone: 410-634-2847, Fax: 410-634-2878
E-mail: info@adkinsarboretum.org