Chesapeake Bay Field Office Protects Another 1,660 Acres in the Pocomoke River Watershed
Lush forest found in the Pokomoke River watershed. Photo by Dan Murphy, USFWS
One of the largest contiguous tracts of forestland in the Pocomoke River watershed in Somerset County Maryland is now protected through the efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Field Office Coastal Program and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW) in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and enrollment in the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP).
Located on Dividing Creek, a major tributary to the Pocomoke River, this property provides upland forests and forested wetlands critical to neotropical birds, waterfowl, and rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals in this region, including the Delmarva fox squirrel.
Formerly managed as timberland, the property was ditched and drained in order to grow commercially important trees. Through WRP and with contributions from the Service, the wetlands and forests will be restored to their natural condition.
With the protection of these forests, 2,460 acres of fish and wildlife habitat on the Pocomoke River and its two main tributaries, Nassawango Creek and Dividing Creek have been protected.
This effort is part of a larger state, private, and federal partnership led by the Service to strategically protect more than 4,000 acres in the watershed using several funding sources including the FWS Region 5 Coastal Program and PFW, North American Wetland Conservation Act grants, National Coastal Wetlands grants, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, TNC, and NRCS.
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Kentucky warbler. Photo by Steve Maslowski, USFWS.