Charles County's draft Comprehensive Plan holds fate of Mattawoman Creek on the drawing board

Present plan would pave
the land draining to Mattawoman with the same fraction of roofs, roads, and parking lots as the Anacostia River, one of the nation's most polluted rivers!

ate law requires revisions to the plan--and a chance to reverse Mattawoman's decline.

ALERT! The Charles County Planning Commission is taking steps to re-examine the Comprehensive Plan. Will it return to the plan that was worked out before the development lobby hijacked the process?  The next meeting of the Planning Commission is December 12, when it will take up the 18,000 acre "deferred development district," a forested area laced with streams that is central to Mattawoman's health, but that is presently slated for intense growth once the "deferred" status is lifted.
The "Comp Plan" is the blueprint for where and how growth occurs. Unfortunately, past plans called for unbridled sprawl-development that is destroying Mattawoman with polluted runoff. These same policies have also placed Charles County on the bottom rung for property tax rate, use of school trailers, commute time, teacher pay, and more.

To learn more about the costs of sprawl, and about a smarter way to grow,
download this presentation (pdf).

The draft Comp Plan must be revised to agree with a recently adopted septic/sewer plan called the Tier Map. This provides an opportunity to fix the problems that are killing Mattawoman's living resources. Many fixes were detailed in a major report by an interagency Task Force crammed with recommendations for fixing the comp plan to help Mattawoman. So far, this report has been ignored.

The public is hungry to stem reckless growth. At a hearing on the Comp Plan in October of 2013, written comments opposed to sprawl-development policies outnumbered those in favor by 2000 to 30. Even so, Commissioners Rucci, Davis, and Collins refused to reject the draft plan when given the opportunity. And they continue to advocate for projects damaging to the creek. Examples include resurrecting the defeated Cross County Connector even though permits were denied because the highway proposal was "contrary to the public interest," and reviving a failed public-private industrial park in Bryans Road that taxpayers must now pay millions to buy back from developers.

Unfortunately, the draft plan newly revised for nominal consistency with the Tier Map still looks just like past plans--dating to 1990!--that are destroying Mattawoman Creek and that keep Charles County on the bottom rungs for perserved land, high property taxes, suppressed home values, crowded schools, and more.

What you can do:
-Sign the petition at the website of the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County.
-Like the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County Facebook page for frequent updates.
-Like the Facebook for the Mattawoman Watershed Society to receive updates.

Learn more:

-Check out the presentation (pdf) explaining how present and past comp plans have put Charles County on the bottom rungs in Maryland for many issues, even as they are destroying our great outdoors. In a nutshell, the public has a right to be upset because sprawl development costs more to service than it generates in tax revenue, one reason why Charles County has the highest real-estate tax-rate of any county in the state. Sprawl development also explains the longest commute times in the state, and the constant redistricting of students who must then study in trailers--the greatest number of portable classrooms per student in the state. Curtailing sprawl would help fix these problems, and better protect our waterways. What is good for a watershed is good for everyone!
-See land-use issues under "Our Issues." 

-See Video of informed testimony on the comp plan by the Conservation Director of Maryland Bass Nation who knows 1st hand what's at stake


Click each title for more information

  • MWS president wins prestigous award Mattawoman Watershed Society president Dr. Jim Long received the prestigious Carl S. Weber award at the 20th annual conference of the Maryland Water Monitoring Council. The award honors an individual ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2014, 6:35 PM by
  • Chesapeake Bay Agreement signed In a historic first, land use and climate change were recognized as threats to the Chesapeake Bay when the governors of six states and the mayor of the District of ...
    Posted Jun 28, 2014, 11:22 AM by
  • MWS wins Most Beautiful Tent award at ArtsFest 2014 Volunteers for the Mattawoman Watershed Society were surprised when a committee with the Charles County Arts Alliance arrived at their tent on June 7 to deliver the 1st Place award ...
    Posted Jun 8, 2014, 2:44 PM by
  • Governor signs Maryland Wildands bill! May 15 signing nearly doubles Wildand acreage, the first expansion in twelve years.Wildlands offer Maryland's strongest level of protection to enhance the value and sustainability of the "best ...
    Posted May 24, 2014, 6:58 PM by
  • MWS presents at 7th Stream Roundtable The Mattawoman Watershed Society presented "Citizen Monitoring Activities" at the 7th Stream Roundtable held in Annopolis on February 27, 2014. The roundtable is sponsored by the Maryland Water Monitoring Council ...
    Posted Mar 3, 2014, 9:07 AM by
  • MWS participates at River Herring Workshop On February, 6, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center held a workshop on the conservation and monitoring of River Herring in the Chesapeake Bay. MWS provided a history of spawning-usage ...
    Posted Feb 9, 2014, 4:24 AM by
  • MWS Accepted into the Herring Alliance The Herring Alliance, a coalition working to protect wildlife and ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast, has accepted the Mattawoman Watershed Society as a member organization. Founded by the Pew Environmental ...
    Posted Jan 18, 2014, 9:03 AM by
  • Maryland Native Plant Society Conservation Watch Much of the land that sheds water to Mattawoman, and the waters themselves, still harbor remarkable plant communities. As outlined in this MNPS article, all is threatened by a poor ...
    Posted Jan 1, 2014, 9:03 AM by
  • Salty freshwater streams?! Winter brings on the use of salty road treatments for safety. Recent research shows that rivers and streams are saltier as a result. This may explain why fewer River Herring ...
    Posted Dec 22, 2013, 7:31 AM by
  • Bass anglers testify for Mattawoman At the Oct. 29th hearing, bass anglers brought their boats to show how concerned they were for the future of Mattawoman Creek. Included were Scott Sewell, Conservation Director of Maryland ...
    Posted Jan 18, 2014, 8:17 AM by
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 25. View more »


More information here.

Open House--Airport Land-Use Study
Important for Mattawoman Creek!

January 14, 2015
6:30-8:30 PM
Village Green Pavilion, Indian Head, MD

At the request of the development industry that wants to industrialize Bryans Road and western Charles County, the county is funding a land-use study for a large area around the airport. The land is very sensitive: a deeply forested Important Bird Area that is laced with streams and wetlands. This is a chance for the public to make their perspective known.
Public notice for Airport Land-Use study here.

Open House--Joint Land-Use Study for Naval Support Facility, Indian Head

Also important for Mattawoman Creek!

January 15, 2015
6:30-8:30 PM
Village Green Pavilion, Indian Head, MD

From the public notice: "The public forum will present information on the JLUS process and give area residents an opportunity to share their thoughts on Navy operations and surrounding land use."

Once There Were Billions--vanished
birds of North America
Through June 2015
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History & the garden at the Castle

Martha, the last passenger pigeon on the planet, succumbed on Sept. 1, 1914. This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of this stunning extinction, when a part of the sky did, in fact, fall.

Martha is exhibited for the 1st time in 15 years, along with displays examining the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen.

As part of the project, sculptures of Todd McGrain's Lost Bird Project are also on display through March 15, 2015.  Photos and links here.