Maryland Congressional Delegation Members Support Expansion of Patuxent Research Refuge

Lawmakers urge OMB to support interagency transfer of more than 100 acres to better protect headwaters of Patuxent and Anacostia rivers, improve public access

January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Jamie B. Raskin today urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to allow the proposed transfer of a 105-acre parcel of land currently owned by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so it can be added to the adjacent Patuxent Research Refuge. Touting the lasting environmental benefits to the Chesapeake Bay and future generations of Marylanders, the lawmakers pointed out the improved public access and enhanced wildlife protections the transfer would deliver. They also underscored the importance of intact landscapes in filtering out pollutants that could enter into the headwaters of the Anacostia and Patuxent rivers, which run through the largely forested parcel in Greenbelt known as Area 400.    

“Area 400 lies adjacent to the Patuxent Research Refuge (PRR), which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The PRR serves as vital habitat for more than 200 species of birds as well as other wildlife including turtles, foxes, beavers, and fish that is open to the public for outdoor recreation. Expanding the PRR by adding Area 400 makes ecological and economic sense and will support progress towards State and federal conservation goals,” the lawmakers write in a letter to OMB leadership.

Full text of the letter is available here.