The contact for permits in Calvert County is Robin Munnikhuysen. Her phone number is (410) 535-1600 ext. 2502.
The contact for permits in St. Mary's County is Amber Thompson. Her number is (301) 475-4200 ext. 1542
What is the Critical Area?
The Critical Area is all land area within 1,000 feet of the mean high water line of tidal waters or the landward edge of tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays and their tidal tributaries. The exact limits of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area are established on official maps.
What is the 100-Foot Buffer?
The Critical Area Buffer is an area of natural vegetation of at least 100 feet, measured landward from the mean high water line of tidal waters, tributary streams and tidal wetlands. The 100-foot buffer is expanded to include any contiguous sensitive areas, including steep slopes, hydric soils and highly erodible soils.
How do I know whether my property is in the Critical Area?
Maps delineating the Critical Area have been formally approved as part of each local jurisdiction’s Critical Area program and are available in the jurisdiction’s planning and zoning offices. When in doubt, always call Calvert County Community Planning and Building.
I live in the Critical Area and I have a dead tree that I want to remove. Do I need a permit?
Yes. All vegetation removal including dead or damaged trees requires a permit and sometimes an approved vegetation or Buffer Management Plan as determined by Community Planning & Building.
Do I need a permit to cut trees on my waterfront lot that are less than 4 inches in diameter?
All trees of any size, as well as shrubs and vines, are considered habitat in the Critical Area and are subject to the Critical Area regulations. BEFORE you cut any trees or other vegetation on your property in the Critical Area - call Community Planning & Building.
Can I remove trees from my property if they are located in the Critical Area 100-foot Buffer?
That depends. No trees may be removed from the Buffer unless they are dead or diseased, are a safety hazard to person or property, or for permitted development. A county approved permit and Buffer Management Plan are required prior to removal.
Can I remove invasive species (phragmites, English ivy, and kudzu) from my Buffer?
Yes, with a permit. The county encourages the removal of invasive species. However, you must have a county approved Buffer Management Plan to replant the area with native species and control the re-growth of the invasive species.
Do I need a permit to plant trees and shrubs in the Buffer?
Community Planning & Building approval is required and planting native vegetation is encouraged. Sometimes a permit may be required depending on the scope of proposed work, i.e. using heavy machinery. When planting trees and other vegetation in your Buffer, be sure to use native species and avoid exotic and invasive species.
All information was obtained at the Calvert County Government site. (www.co.cal.md.us)