Maryland is the 42nd largest state, making it one of the smaller states in America. It is
located in the South Atlantic region on the United States eastern seaboard. Prince George's is
one of twenty four counties in Maryland. It is also the geographic center of the state. Maryland
has a varied climate. The state is home to a variety of different ecosystems. This is also true of
Maryland’s environment, which has the Atlantic Ocean on the coast, mountains, and forest land.
My paper will focus on Prince George’s county and the state of Maryland. The size of the state
and how connected parts of Prince George’s county is to its neighboring counties and cities
makes it sensible to take a wider view of Maryland’s ecology and environment.
There are many fresh water ecosystems in Maryland. Many of these are found in Prince
George’s County. There are several streams and rivers in the county that feed into the
Chesapeake Bay. Many of these water ways developed after glaciers began to melt flooding
existing rivers and craving out new waterways. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries grew and
formed as the ice age ended. These rivers and streams are home to several species of fish. These
species include small and large mouth bass, catfish, bluegill sunfish, yellow and white perch,
carp, pumpkinseed sunfish, pickerel, and eel. Perch and sunfish are considered threatened or
endangered species. This is true of many creatures that live in fresh water dwellings. Forty –
one percent of Maryland’s fresh water fish are now listed as rare, threatened, or endangered. The
state of Maryland and Prince George’s county are trying to save and restore these fresh water
dwellings. The county along with the state created the National Park and Planning Commission.
Since 1927 the commission has acquired over 13,300 acres of stream valley and river parks.
These areas are used to protect natural resources, conservation, and education. Many of these
water ways are considered ecological greenways.
Before European settlers colonized parts of Maryland, the area was dominated by mixed
hardwood forests. European settlers cut down native forests at a high rate and the timber was
sold in Europe. These old growth forests are now virtually extinct in the state. Environmental
activists have been fighting for decades to preserve these endangered habitats for the animals and
plants that live in them.
The essay, Maryland’s Environment: A 20,000 Year History of Change states, in the
early days of the colony, European settlers themselves slowly cleared the land. Their
pigs, cattle, horses, and fowl were fenced out of house yards and ranged free in the
Maryland woods. The activities of the livestock were very effective in clearing the
understory and preventing the regeneration of forests. Farming practices -- especially
tobacco agriculture, which was so widespread in Tidewater Maryland --...