stream meandering through woodlands
Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Maryland

The draft proposal and environmental assessment for establishing the Southern Maryland Woodlands National Wildlife Refuge in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland is now available for review and public comment. The proposal would conserve up to 40,000 acres in fee-title acquisitions or easements from willing sellers, helping to conserve habitats that support threatened and endangered species, waterfowl and migratory birds of conservation concern. The public can review the proposal online at: https://www.fws.gov/project/evaluating-new-refuge-lands-southern-maryland

Interested parties can submit comments to: FW5southernmarylandplan@fws.gov by April 21, 2024.

We work with landowners, private and community organizations, government agencies and others to conserve, protect and enhance fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay area including Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Our conservation priorities include: endangered, threatened and at-risk wildlife; migratory birds and fish; pollinators; and wetland, coastal, riparian and upland habitats.

About Us

Our Mission

We work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Our office supports activities that conserve wildlife and their habitats in the District of Columbia, Delaware and Maryland.

What We Do

We work with other agencies and organizations to monitor populations of migratory birds, fish and other wildlife; restore and enhance forest, wetland, and streamside habitat; improve coastal resiliency; conserve endangered, threatened and at-risk wildlife; and provide opportunities for citizens to actively participate in conservation connect with nature.

Our Organization

A rocky shoreline of a river. The water is calm. Mist and green branches line the river.
The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...
Gathering of Puffins on brown rock
The Coastal Program is one of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most effective resources for restoring and protecting fish and wildlife habitat on public and privately-owned lands. We play an important role in promoting the Service’s mission and priorities, delivering landscape-scale...
A bison grazing in the foreground with mountains and a city and electrical infrastructure in the background
The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program improves lives by expanding access to green space, education and outdoor recreation for Americans living in and around cities. Program members work to clear social and historical barriers and foster new connections that advance conservation and strengthen...
Close up of a California condor. Its pink featherless head contrasts with its black feathers.
We provide national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with a range of public...
Partners for Fish and Wildlife: Nevada Coordinator Susan Abele Meets with Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Member to Conduct a Site Visit at Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides free technical and financial assistance to landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land. Since 1987, we have helped more than 30,000 landowners to complete more than 50,...
Pronghorn running through sagebrush with natural gas field facility in background.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works collaboratively with other federal agencies, industries, and other stakeholders to achieve infrastructure development goals in ways that are sustainable and compatible with the conservation of fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

Our Species

We work with other Federal, state and local agencies, conservation organizations and private citizens to conserve and protect fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Chesapeake Bay Ecological Services Field Office is responsible for protecting threatened and endangered plants and wildlife as well as other species that face threats to their survival in Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Conservation activities also support shorebirds, waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, local and migratory fish, aquatic invertebrates and pollinators. 

Cluster of roosting bats.

The Indiana bat is a medium-sized Myotis, closely resembling the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) but differing in coloration. Its fur is a dull grayish chestnut rather than bronze, with the basal portion of the hairs on the back a dull-lead color. This bat's underparts are pinkish to...

FWS Focus
Grey, white and black bird on sand in the foreground

Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

FWS Focus
A group of juvenile and adult red knot forage along the shoreline.

Length: 25-28 cm. Adults in spring: Above finely mottled with grays, black and light ochre, running into stripes on crown; throat, breast and sides of head cinnamon-brown; dark gray line through eye; abdomen and undertail coverts white; uppertail coverts white, barred with black. Adults in...

FWS Focus
Elongated mussels going from yellow to black across its length

The Yellow Lance is a bright yellow elongate mussel with a shell over twice as long as tall, usually not more than 86mm (3.4 inches) in length. Its periostracum usually has a waxy appearance with brownish growth rests and rarely ever has rays (Alderman 2003, p.6). The interior nacre is usually...

FWS Focus
Silvery brown butterfly perched on a stem

The frosted elfin was originally described as Polyommatus irus by Jean-Baptiste Godart in 1824, (Johnson 1991, p. 153). The current name is Callophrys irus, and it was previously assigned to the genus Incisalia (Scudder). The similar looking Henry’s elfin (C. henrici) was not described until...

FWS Focus

The green floater is a small freshwater mussel found in small streams and large rivers in the eastern United States. It is historically native to the District of Columbia and 10 states: Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West...

FWS Focus
A monarch butterfly on a yellow flower

Adult monarch butterflies are large and conspicuous, with bright orange wings surrounded by a black border and covered with black veins. The black border has a double row of white spots, present on the upper side of the wings. Adult monarchs are sexually dimorphic, with males having narrower...

FWS Focus
A bright orange stem, with five leaves and a flower emerging from the leaf-covered forest floor

The small whorled pogonia is a member of the orchid family. The plant is named for the whorl of five or six leaves near the top of the stem and beneath the flower. The species is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. 

FWS Focus
Swamp Pink

Swamp pink has smooth, oblong, dark green leaves that form an evergreen rosette. In spring, some rosettes produce a flowering stalk that can grow over 3 feet tall. The stalk is topped by a 1 to 3-inch-long cluster of 30 to 50 small, fragrant, pink flowers dotted with pale blue anthers. The...

FWS Focus

The sensitive jointvetch is an annual legume native to the eastern United States. Populations currently exist in Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia. The historical range for the species extended to Delaware and Pennsylvania. In Virginia, populations are found along the Potomac,...

FWS Focus

Projects and Research

Our office works with private landowners and other partners to restore or enhance wetland, upland, riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
 and instream habitats for threatened, endangered and at-risk species. We work to recover populations of plants and animals listed under the Endangered Species Act such as the eastern black rail, red knot, bog turtle, Puritan tiger beetle, dwarf wedgemussel, Indiana bat, northern long-eared bat and small whorled pogonia. We connect communities to nature through broad-based initiatives like Baltimore Rivers to Harbor Urban Refuge Partnership and provide landscape level conservation through the Delmarva Conservation and Restoration Network and Chesapeake Bay Nutria Eradication Project. We help to reduce energy impacts to wildlife through recommendations of best management practices. We manage wildlife habitat at beneficial dredge material sites such as Poplar Island and Masonville Cove.

Location and Contact Information