Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 15, 1999) – A project to evaluate the existing Western Branch watershed and recommend improvements to the degraded ecosystem was approved for a $88,700 grant increase today from the Maryland Board of Public Works. Western Branch is a tributary of the Patuxent River, located in Prince George’s County.

"We have an obligation to preserve and protect the ecosystems in our precious Chesapeake Bay," said Governor Parris N. Glendening. "This study will determine the current state of this important watershed in Prince George's County and make recommendations so that we can continue to save our natural resources and ensure that the water in the Patuxent River and the Bay is clean and healthy."

The project entails a preliminary engineering design to evaluate the existing hydrologic and water quality concerns of the watershed and the recommendation of improvement practices. The resulting projects will restore the degraded aquatic, riparian and wetland ecosystems in the Western Branch watershed. This project is consistent with the Governor’s Smart Growth Initiative in that it will enhance water quality in an urbanized area of the county.

The project received a previous grant of $385,050, a local matching grant of $473,750 from Prince George’s County and a federal grant of $947,500 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Chaired by Governor Glendening, the Board of Public Works also is comprised of Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon. The Board is empowered by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.