HUGHESVILLE, MD — Yesterday, following House passage of the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Act, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) attended a meeting with the National Heritage Area Steering Committee, which is charged with overseeing these protected lands. Congressman Hoyer brought legislation to the Floor last week to designate Southern Maryland as a National Heritage Area. This meeting provided an update on the legislation and what it means for the Steering Committee moving forward.
“I was so glad to speak to the National Heritage Area Steering Committee this afternoon,” said Congressman Hoyer. “It is critically important that we designate Southern Maryland as a National Heritage Area. This official designation would commemorate and conserve the history and cultural resources of the Fifth District, and I was glad to ensure the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Act passed the House last week to achieve this goal. I look forward to the work that the Committee continues to do on behalf of our communities. I hope to work with them shortly to preserve the great history and environment Southern Maryland has to offer.”
National Heritage Areas are partnerships among the National Park Service, states, and local communities in which the Park Service supports state and local conservation efforts through federal recognition, seed money, and technical assistance. Lands within heritage areas typically remain in the state, local, or private ownership rather than under federal control, such as National Parks.
The Southern Maryland Heritage area would include locations such as the National Religious Freedom Byway, Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and sites related to the American Revolutionary War, War of 1812, American Civil War, WWI and WWII, and the Project Mercury human spaceflight program. Most recently, the area included Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in Charles County.