The Dernogalizer

May 26, 2009

Protect the Mattawoman Creek

One important local issue that has been taking place in Maryland involves the Mattawoman Creek.  There’s a proposal in Charles County for the Cross County Connector(CCC) a 6.5 mile four land highway that would plow across the full width of the sensitive Mattawoman Creek Watershed.  However, before the highway can be built, the Maryland Department of Environment(MDE) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have to issue a wetlands destructions permit.  

The Mattawoman Creek is a very important habitat.  It’s the healthiest fish nursery in the Chesapeake Bay since it’s protected by surrounding forests and wetlands.  This highway proposal would destroy the Mattawoman Creek by increasing traffic, development, and pavement in its watershed.  The creek has also been ranked as the fourth most endangered river in the country.  There is some very good and informative press about this issue here and here.  If you would like to give input on the preservation of Mattawoman Creek, please email MDE Secretary Shari Wilson today at stwilson@mde.state.md.us <mailto:stwilson@mde.state.md.us> (or call 410-537-3084) and ask MDE to deny the permits for the proposed Cross County Connector extension in Charles county.  I’m going to put some notable excerpts below from the articles I’ve cited to give a sense of what’s at stake.  If you’d like to do more, check out the Mattawoman Watershed Society\’s website.

“The opponents say they have yet to see anyone build a road without damaging a stream.”

“One of the Chesapeake Bay’s few remaining healthy streams could soon be seriously degraded if a plan to build a major highway moves forward.  This threat landed Mattawoman Creek in the number four spot in America’s Most Endangered Rivers: 2009 edition. The listing was announced today in a press conference on the banks of the creek by American Rivers, the nation’s leading river conservation organization, and by local advocates.”

” The Army Corps of Engineers stated that intense development of the watershed would have “severe repercussions on the biological community and would decrease the habitat quality within the estuary.” Also at risk is the economic loss of the county’s “natural” infrastructure — the healthy forests, wetlands and floodplains that filter water, provide natural flood protection, and contribute to the overall health of the Bay.”

“Nestled among still-extensive forests in this growing region, Mattawoman Creek sustains a thriving recreation industry and is one of the region’s largest tourist draws. Kayaking and canoeing are prized experiences on the creek’s quiet tidal waters, while scores of bass fishing tournaments are launched from its shores every year as part of the Potomac River’s internationally-renowned, multimillion-dollar largemouth bass fishery.”

“You have to ask yourself, are we willing to sacrifice Mattawoman Creek?” said Bonnie Bick, an outspoken member of the Mattawoman Watershed Society who has opposed the road since the plan’s inception. “The value of the creek outweighs the county’s need for infrastructure in that area. … The future of the Chesapeake is in danger.”

“It’s a poster child situation,” Long said. He said that if the county and the state cannot save the Mattawoman, one of the bay’s most productive fish hatcheries and one of the last in anything approaching pristine condition, “then where are you ever going to protect the Chesapeake Bay?”

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1 Comment »

  1. […] a highway which would cut across the Creek.  You can find out more information on this issue from this post and this column.  I’ve just gotten an e-mail from the Sierra Club saying the state’s […]

    Pingback by Good News on the Mattawoman « The Dernogalizer — December 3, 2009 @ 10:30 pm | Reply


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