Land Preservation Through the Rural Legacy Program
St. Mary’s County is situated on a peninsula in Southern Maryland with over 500 miles of shoreline on the Patuxent River, Potomac River, and Chesapeake Bay. As the southernmost point in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay's western shore, St. Mary’s County is one of the most ecologically and environmentally sensitive lands in the country.
Home to over 105,000 residents, St. Mary’s County is also the home base for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the Air Test Wing Atlantic Command, and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Command (NAWCAD). With over 200 high-tech aerospace and defense contractors, the County has emerged as a world-class center for maritime aviation research, development, testing, evaluation, and acquisition. The area combines access to technology with a rich heritage and a myriad of outdoor sports and recreational opportunities. The County’s location allows for easy access to major metropolitan areas while offering residents a high quality of life and affordable lifestyles.
As such, the County realizes the importance of combining land preservation and protection of its natural resources with the responsibility of supporting the Navy’s mission in our community. Commitment to these major objectives has resulted in a strong, successful land preservation program that is now supported by and funded by three sources: Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources Rural Legacy Program, St. Mary’s County’s Land Preservation Program, and the Department of Defense (DOD)’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program.
Recently, RC&D entered into a partnership with Calvert County to help preserve land there as well. RC&D continues to look for other areas to expand its land preservation efforts in the future.