NOAA seeks public input on proposed Mallows Bay sanctuary

Two public meetings in La Plata and Arnold, Maryland
March 1, 2017
Mallows Bay contains more than 100 known and possible shipwrecks.

NOAA is considering a national marine sanctuary along the Potomac River in Maryland to protect historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources, and is holding two public meetings asking for input on a draft management plan and proposed rule released in January.

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, which currently operates a system of 13 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, is proposing a sanctuary along a 52-square mile stretch of the tidal Potomac River, adjacent to Charles County. Local organizations proposed the designation to NOAA with broad community support. If approved, it will be managed in partnership with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Historical Trust and Charles County.

Mallows Bay contains more than 100 known and still to be discovered shipwrecks, including the remains of “Ghost Fleet” vessels built as part of America’s engagement in World War I, as well as sites related to the region’s Native American cultures and maritime battlegrounds from the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

Public meetings to provide information and gather input on a proposed national marine sanctuary in Mallows Bay


  • March 7, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Charles County Government Building Auditorium; 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, Maryland
  • March 9, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Anne Arundel Community College; Center for Applied Learning and Technology (CALT) Building, Room 100, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, Maryland  

In addition to the two public meetings, NOAA is accepting public comments online and by mail through March 31.

The public may provide comments online at, using docket number NOAA-NOS-2016-0149, or by mailing comments to:

Paul Orlando, Chesapeake Bay Regional Coordinator
NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
410 Severn Ave, Suite 207-A
Annapolis MD 21403

Additional media resources are available at

Media contact:
Vernon Smith,
Paul Orlando240-460-1978