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§ 8-1801. Legislative findings, purpose of Subtitle

West's Annotated Code of MarylandNatural ResourcesEffective: April 14, 2009

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Natural Resources
Title 8. Waters (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 18. Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area Protection Program (Refs & Annos)
Effective: April 14, 2009
MD Code, Natural Resources, § 8-1801
§ 8-1801. Legislative findings, purpose of Subtitle
Legislative findings
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that:
(1) The Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries are natural resources of great significance to the State and the nation, and their beauty, their ecological value, and their economic impact all reach far beyond any one local jurisdiction;
(2) The shoreline and adjacent lands, particularly the buffer areas, constitute a valuable, fragile, and sensitive part of this estuarine system, where human activity can have a particularly immediate and adverse impact on water quality and natural habitats;
(3) The capacity of these shoreline and adjacent lands to withstand continuing demands without further degradation to water quality and natural habitats is limited;
(4) Human activity is harmful in these shoreline areas, where the new development of nonwater-dependent structures or an increase in lot coverage is presumed to be contrary to the purpose of this subtitle, because these activities may cause adverse impacts, of both an immediate and a long-term nature, to the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays, and thus it is necessary wherever possible to maintain a buffer of at least 100 feet landward from the mean high water line of tidal waters, tributary streams, and tidal wetlands;
(5) National studies have documented that the quality and productivity of the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have declined due to the cumulative effects of human activity that have caused increased levels of pollutants, nutrients, and toxics in the Bay system and declines in more protective land uses such as forestland and agricultural land in the Bay region;
(6) Those portions of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries within Maryland are particularly stressed by the continuing population growth and development activity concentrated in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan corridor and along the Atlantic Coast;
(7) The quality of life for the citizens of Maryland is enhanced through the restoration of the quality and productivity of the waters of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays, and their tributaries;
(8) The restoration of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries is dependent, in part, on minimizing further adverse impacts to the water quality and natural habitats of the shoreline and adjacent lands, particularly in the buffer;
(9) The cumulative impact of current development and of each new development activity in the buffer is inimical to these purposes, and it is therefore imperative that State law protect irreplaceable State buffer resources from unpermitted activity; and
(10) There is a critical and substantial State interest for the benefit of current and future generations in fostering more sensitive development and more effective enforcement in a consistent and uniform manner along shoreline areas of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries so as to minimize damage to water quality and natural habitats.
Purpose of Subtitle
(b) It is the purpose of the General Assembly in enacting this subtitle:
(1) To establish a Resource Protection Program for the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries by fostering more sensitive development activity for certain shoreline areas so as to minimize damage to water quality and natural habitats; and
(2) To implement the Resource Protection Program on a cooperative basis between the State and affected local governments, with local governments establishing and implementing their programs in a consistent and uniform manner subject to State and local leadership, criteria, and oversight.

Credits

Added by Acts 1984, c. 794, § 1, eff. June 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1990, c. 6, § 2, eff. Feb. 16, 1990; Acts 1991, c. 55, § 1, eff. April 9, 1991; Acts 2002, c. 431, § 1, eff. June 1, 2002; Acts 2002, c. 432, § 1, eff. June 1, 2002; Acts 2002, c. 433, § 1, eff. June 1, 2002; Acts 2004, c. 25, § 1, eff. April 13, 2004; Acts 2004, c. 526, § 1, eff. June 1, 2004; Acts 2008, c. 119, § 1, eff. July 1, 2008; Acts 2009, c. 60, § 1, eff. April 14, 2009.
MD Code, Natural Resources, § 8-1801, MD NAT RES § 8-1801
Current through legislation effective through May 9, 2024, from the 2024 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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