Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


Land Conservation

Land Use & Policy

Ways to Give


News / Blog



Board of Directors




Mission Statement
Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

ExcellenceITAC Accreditation
eastern shore maryland farmland conservation


ESLC Supportive of Sustainable Growth Task Force

ANNAPOLIS – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), announced today that it is hopeful the Maryland General Assembly will take action on and accept the recommendations of the Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal.

The Task Force is finalizing its meetings and voted today on recommendations that could lead to significant changes in residential subdivision development, as well as changes that would reduce the amount of nutrients that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The Task Force was developed after HB 1107 and SB 846 (Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2011) legislation stalled earlier this year during the Maryland General Assembly’s regular legislative session.

With the Task Force’s recommendations, counties can define minor subdivisions as having as many as eight lots instead of the five lot cap proposed last year.  This means farmers can develop as many as eight lots on their land without having to build a community sewage treatment facility.   Above eight lots a property must either have access to a sewage treatment plant or build a community treatment facility. Additionally, all new individual septic systems must have best available technology for removing nutrients from the effluent.

“This is a significant compromise and we are greatly supportive and impressed,” said Rob Etgen, ESLC’s Executive Director and member of the Task Force. “A diverse group of individuals with many competing ideas and interests came together to help find a compromise; one that will help curb cornfield developments, lower the State’s nitrogen load to the Chesapeake Bay, and still provide latitude to local decision makers.”

The Task Force recommendations also include an increase of the state’s Bay Restoration Fund (“flush fee”), to $60 per year, compared to the current amount of $30 per year for property owners.  The fund pays for sewage treatment plant and septic system upgrades as well as cover crops that keep pollutants from running off farms into waterways.

“We have made immense progress”, said Etgen.  “This is a great plan that we have provided to the General Assembly and with these recommendations, we can limit unsustainable, costly sprawl as well as reduce the amount of pollution that goes into the bay. Those of us who have worked on this, as well as the state as a whole, should be proud of the strong recommendations put forward.”

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.  For more information please visit www.eslc.org.

Previous Post:

Next Post: