300+ Acres on Patuxent River Protected (MD)

Annapolis, MD, 3/16/2004 — County Executive Janet S. Owens announced today that Anne Arundel County has now acquired the land known as the Jug Bay Farm owned by the Riggleman family, permanently protecting an additional 303 acres along the Patuxent River immediately adjacent to the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. Ms. Owens joined the Rigglemans on March 5, along with representatives of the nonprofit Trust for Public Land to sign the settlement papers and officially transfer the property to the County.

“This marks the end of a series of heartfelt negotiations between the Riggleman family and Anne Arundel County,” said County Executive Janet S. Owens. “The Rigglemans are to be commended for sharing our interest in forever protecting this pristine land and leaving their legacy to the citizens of Anne Arundel County. I wish to thank the Trust for Public Land for working so diligently to obtain the $2.5 million in federal funds and I also thank Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer for their support of this acquisition. I am extremely grateful to Governor Ehrlich, Comptroller Schaeffer and Treasurer Kopp for their unanimous support of the $1.37 million in State money that made this acquisition possible.”

The parcel is located along Pindell Road in Lothian, Maryland. The parcel has nearly a mile of river frontage on the Patuxent River and contains significant stands of wild rice, cattails and other vegetation that support the rich assortment of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals that populate this property, the adjoining Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary and the Merkle Wildlife Management Area.

“We’re pleased to have negotiated an agreement that works for everyone-the Riggleman family, Anne Arundel County, and all who benefit from the protection of the watershed and this unique natural habitat,” said Debi Osborne, project manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL), the nonprofit land conservation organization that negotiated the purchase.

With the addition of this parcel, the total number of protected acres on Jug Bay will be more than 5,000 and will permanently prevent the possibility of incompatible development from compromising the integrity of the already preserved properties. A natural preserve as large as that found at Jug Bay has the potential to have a significant positive impact on water quality in the Patuxent River, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Anne Arundel County has entered into a ten-year lease with the Rigglemans, who will continue to operate and maintain the property that includes an historic residence.

This acquisition presents a rare opportunity to preserve a fragile ecosystem through shoreline and watershed preservation, while protecting the majority of shoreline on the Anne Arundel County side of the Patuxent River from Route 4 at Wayson’s Corner south to the Calvert County line.

The total cost of the property is $5.1 million funded through a $2.5 million grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, $1.25 million from State Program Open Space, $127,000 from Rural Legacy, and $1.25 million from the Anne Arundel County Agricultural Preservation Program.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.6 million acres of land in 45 states, including more than 7,000 acres in Maryland.