WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has received a $400,000 matching Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to develop outdoor recreation facilities at Newtowne Neck State Park in St. Mary’s County. The park is critical in preserving diverse natural water land areas, safeguarding wildlife habitats, conserving sustainable forest lands, and protecting the quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
“All Marylanders have a stake in the conservation of Newtowne Neck Park, because it plays such a large part in preserving our history and protecting the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife. “This grant will allow more visitors to appreciate the magnificent scenery and history of the park, instilling in them a dedication to protecting its natural beauty for future generations. It should also draw more tourists to St. Mary’s, providing an economic boon to local residents.”
“This federal funding will help grow Maryland’s tourism economy. It makes an investment that will not only draw in new visitors, but provide new jobs today and tomorrow,” Senator Mikulski said. “Generations of Marylanders have enjoyed Newtowne Neck State Park’s magic and charm. This federal grant will help make sure that children and families can continue to experience this Maryland treasure.”
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use the grant to help fund construction of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, tent and RV camping sites, mini-cabins, swimming, picnicking and shelter areas, interpretative outings and motor-boat access areas. Newtowne Neck State Park is a 776-acre peninsula surrounded by Breton Bay, St. Clements Bay, and the Potomac River. It contains woodlands, wetlands, a tidal pond and agricultural fields, and has seven miles of ecologically and recreationally important waterfront on the Chesapeake Bay. It is also designated as the first historic district in St. Mary’s County and is listed on the National Register of Historic places.
The DNR is providing $400,000, bringing total project funding to $800,000. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a partnership program that provides matching funds to states and local communities for acquisition, development and conservation of parks and open space. The program is administered by the National Parks Service.