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MWS presents to MNPS

posted Sep 19, 2016, 2:53 PM by   [ updated Sep 19, 2016, 3:05 PM ]
On September 17, 2016, MWS's president spoke about the watershed's two globally rare Magnolia Bogs to the annual conference of the Maryland Native Plant Society. Unfortunately, one of the bogs is located within the site of the huge Guilford subdivision proposed for Bryans Road. This project could not happen under Charles County's new common-sense comprehensive land-use plan, but is grandfathered. Guilford's shoddy approval is being challenged at the Board of Appeals October 11th, 2016 meeting, 7 PM, at the government building in La Plata. The public is invited to attend to show support. The project would increase traffic on rural but too-busy Billingsley Rd by 60%! As we often say, protecting a watershed protects people!

"Fall-Line Terrace-Gravel Magnolia Bogs," as they are termed by NatureServe, are extremely rare wetlands found only in the mid-Atlantic near the "fall line" zone. They form in gravelly soils at the headwaters of small streams. Technically a nutrient-poor fen, these wetlands depend on a constant supply of groundwater seepage to keep soils saturated, or nearly so. The required stable surficial water-table is vulnerable to pavement covering its recharge area, so even if a bog is not destroyed outright, it can be desiccated by the impervious surface of nearby development.  Over time most Magnolia Bogs have been destroyed or degraded by development. No exception is Charles County's only two know bogs, both in the Mattawoman watershed. Araby Bog is being degraded by a subdivision, and Bryans Road Bog is threatened by Guilford.
 A brief description of some of the remaining bogs is here.