The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently declared its intent to designate Mallows Bay in Charles County as a National Marine Sanctuary, and is seeking public input on how the site should best be used and managed.
Mallows Bay features a host of archaeological, recreational, historical, cultural, educational and environmental qualities, and is home to one of the largest assemblages of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere.
Known as the “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay, the area contains the remains of nearly 200 vessels, some of which which date back as far as the Revolutionary War. Among the wrecks are World War I wooden steamships built for the U.S. Emergency Fleet, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The geographic bounds of the proposed sanctuary run approximately bank-to-bank from Brent Point (Aquia
Creek in Virginia) in the south to Sandy Point (Maryland) in the north.
DNR’s Chesapeake and Coastal Service, the Maryland Historical Trust, Charles County, and other partners submitted the Mallows Bay nomination to NOAA in September 2014.
In early 2015, the nomination became the first to be successfully added to the inventory of areas considered for designation.
The next phase of the process will include a public feedback period that may last up to two years. Feedback will be used to help create a draft plan for the site.
Public Input Meetings:
– Charles County on Nov. 4, 2015, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Charles County Government Building Auditorium: 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata
– Anne Arundel County on Nov. 10, 2015 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Annapolis Maritime Museum: 723 Second Street, Annapolis.
Comments may also be submitted online at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/mallows-bay and are due by Jan. 15, 2016.