Worcester Hosting Listening Sessions for Comprehensive Critical Area Code Update

As part of the Comprehensive Critical Area Code updating process, Worcester County Environmental Programs staff will host two public listening sessions on October 20 and 27, 2021. 

Worcester County Maryland SealThis draft legislation, which was introduced by the commissioners on September 21, represents a comprehensive rewrite of the existing law.

According to a County press release:

“The draft bill simply codifies the combination of the two existing programs, Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area program and Chesapeake Bay Critical Area program, and provides updates in accordance with State law changes that are already enforced by staff,” Environmental Programs Director Bob Mitchell said. “It does not address or include any additional regulations over and above that which we already must apply or have been agreed to in prior local amendments to this code.”

The listening sessions will be opportunities for Worcester County citizens to ask questions, share ideas, and provide input. All are welcome to attend and participate in the sessions. The sessions will take place at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Ocean Pines Branch Library meeting room at 11107 Cathell Road, Berlin.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 5-7 p.m. in the Worcester County Government Center, 1St Floor meeting room at 1 West Market Street, Snow Hill.

For more information, contact Jenelle Gerthoffer at jgerthoffer@co.worcester.md.us or 410-632-1220.

According to the County website, “the Worcester County Chesapeake Bay Critical Area begins 1,000 feet beyond the head of the tide at Whiton Crossing, and includes about 10,000 acres of the County that lie within the Pocomoke River watershed.” The Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area program was a part of the Atlantic Coastal Bays Protection Act, which passed in 2002. This legislation was created by the Maryland General Assembly “for the purpose of preserving, protecting, and improving the water quality and natural habitats of the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries…It [was] the intent of the Mayor and City Council of Ocean City to establish a local program to implement the requirements of the act” (Article VII, Sec. 30-51).

Learn more about the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area program.

Read the full press release.