Federal Reauthorization Continues Gateways Program through 2008
Annapolis, MD (12/20/02) - The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network continued to expand throughout 2002 and now offers visitors the opportunity to experience, enjoy and learn about the Bay at more than 115 parks, refuges, historic sites, maritime museums and water trails throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. With a newly enacted federal reauthorization, officials plan to further improve and expand the Gateways Network for an additional five years.
Coordinated by the National Park Service in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Gateways Network aims to foster a broader commitment to Bay restoration and conservation efforts by providing citizens the opportunity to experience the Bay and its rivers firsthand. Each Gateway site links visitors to the places and stories that make the Bay region unique.
The Network will continue its work to tell the story of the Chesapeake for years to come as a result of the recent passage of the North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act. Signed into law by President Bush on December 2, the Act extends the original authorization for the Gateways Network through 2008. Legislation sponsored by Senator Paul S. Sarbanes created the Gateways Network in 1998.
"I have been pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming enthusiasm for this program throughout the State of Maryland and the entire watershed," said Senator Sarbanes. "The Gateways Network has opened up some great new opportunities which are enhancing public awareness and involvement in our on-going efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Each of these sites tells a different Bay story, and enables people to better understand and appreciate the Chesapeake Bay and all it has to offer."
In 2002, the National Park Service provided $825,798 to more than 40 sites to improve visitor experiences at Gateways sites. When matched by private, state and federal contributions, these grants will result in more than $1.65 million in improved facilities available to Gateways Network visitors.
"By providing our Gateway partners with technical help and seed money, the Gateways Network expands facilities and creates educational materials that reach a large number of people," said Gateways Network Manager Jonathan Doherty. "Around the whole Chesapeake watershed, Gateways celebrate the Bay story and carry the Bay conservation message."
During the year, 24 new sites joined the Gateways Network, including:
District of Columbia:
- Anacostia Park
- C&O; Canal National Historical Park (also MD)
- C&O; Canal National Historical Park
- Concord Point Lighthouse
- J. Millard Tawes Museum
- Fort Washington Park
- Greenwell State Park
- Gwynns Falls Trail and Greenway
- Nassawango Creek Preserve/Furnace Town
- The Nathan of Dorchester
- Patuxent River Park, Jug Bay Natural Area
- Pemberton Historical Park
- Pocomoke River State Forest & Park
- Richardson Maritime Museum
- USS Constellation and Museum
- The Wharves at Choptank Crossing
- Caledon Natural Area
- Great Falls Park
- Huntley Meadows Park
- Lower James River Water Trail
- Nauticus: The National Maritime Center
- Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge
- Powhatan Creek Blueway
- Stratford Hall Plantation
- Spruce Knob and Seneca Rocks Natural Recreation Area
For more information contact:
John Maounis (410) 267-5778
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