(The Center Square) – Environmental conservation through the creation and enhancement of wetlands is the newest focus of elected officials in Maryland.

Four bay-area environmental projects in Maryland have received the green light, following a stamp of approval from the three state officials overseeing the Board of Public Works.

The board – which is comprised of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Dereck Davis – approved the four wetland licenses with minimal discussion at a meeting on July 6.

The largest of the four licenses pertains to the Maryland Port Administration, which is planning work at Chesapeake and Tar bays with the creation of more than 3.61 million square feet of new wetland area.

According to documents in the board packet, the project will include “dredged material placement for local federal navigation channels, protect and restore Barren Island and increase wetland acreage in the Chesapeake Bay by promoting conditions to establish and enhance wetlands.”

The project, according to state documents, also has other environmental impacts in mind, including oyster recolonization, colonial bird nesting, and planting marsh vegetation.

The Maryland Port Administration’s wetland license carries a 30-year term.

Additionally, the board granted White Marlin Marina in Ocean City, Worcester County, a permit “to improve navigable access by mechanical maintenance dredging an area,” within Sinepuxent Bay, according to state documents.

Other smaller-scale permits were issued for several shoreline erosion projects. Impacted areas include portions of the Patuxent River in Saint Leonard within Calvert County and portions of the Potomac River in Leonardtown within St. Mary’s County.

The Center Square contributor

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