Governor Moore Visits Maryland Department of Natural Resources In Support of Administration’s Efforts to Build Maryland’s Environmental Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

Published: 2/6/2024

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Wes Moore today visited the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Tawes State Office Building in Annapolis. The governor met with Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz, department leadership, and employees to hear first hand about the agency’s leadership in building Maryland’s environmental resilience in the face of climate change.

“Maryland’s culture is defined by the Chesapeake Bay and the moments we create while we enjoy it and its bounty,” said Gov. Moore. “I am proud to learn more about how Maryland's Department of Natural Resources is working across state lines and partnering with organizations to establish a stronger future for the Bay and its watershed – doing so will help Maryland move toward its goal of creating the greenest state in the country.”

Governor Moore speaking the DNR staff 

The department’s approximately 1,500 full-time and seasonal staff operate Maryland’s world-class state park system, protect state forests, manage fisheries and wildlife regulations, enforce natural resource laws, and study changes in the state’s landscape and ecosystems. 

In coordination with other state agencies and outside partners, the agency is re-focusing its Chesapeake Bay cleanup strategy to better target efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution from stormwater and agricultural runoff. The goal is to provide investments that realize visible improvements to living resources, such as fish and crabs, in shallow, near-shore habitats that residents and visitors can more easily access and benefit from.  

“We are leading with science at the Department of Natural Resources to ensure we’re making progress to protect communities from flooding, sustainably manage fisheries and wildlife, and understand how climate change is affecting different ecosystems,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “Under the Moore-Miller Administration, we’re bringing innovation to the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, planting 5 million trees across Maryland, and improving access to natural areas. By focusing on these priorities, we can make the state better–and more beautiful–for all its residents and visitors.”

Governor Moore walking in woods with DNR employees and Secretary Kurtz 

After meeting with staff, Gov. Moore and department leadership joined representatives of environmental organizations including League of Conservation Voters, Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a tour of Holly Beach Farm, a conservation property in Anne Arundel County. 

Last year, Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced that the Department of Natural Resources will be the new owner of the 293-acre waterfront peninsula – and is now working on finalizing the property transfer. At the peninsula, Gov. Moore had the opportunity to view the ecologically sensitive property and receive an overview of its potential for education, research, and enjoyment before the property was formally transferred to the state.