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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 507   View pdf image (33K)
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of Governor Herbert R. O'Conor 507


October 9, 1941

MARYLAND stands on the threshold of a new era in Conservation. With
the enactment by the 1941 Legislature of Chapter 508, which amended the
laws relating to conservation of natural resources, and set up a unified Board
of Natural Resources, there was accomplished a long-sought re-shaping of the
conservation administrative agencies of the State. Now, for the first time,
there is one central group to coordinate the efforts of every department con-
cerned with the preservation of the natural wealth with which a bountiful
Nature has endowed our State.

From your interest in conservation matters, as evidenced by this meeting
today, I would judge that most, if not. all of you, are conversant with recent
developments in this vastly important field. Nevertheless, to give you the
complete picture of the situation as it exists today in Maryland, I will take
the liberty to review briefly the new administrative setup as established at the
recent session of the General Assembly.

Previous to 1941, there were a number of unrelated agencies looking after
the State's natural wealth, of which the Conservation Department and the Mary-
land State Game and. Inland Fish Commission were perhaps the best known.
Today the Board of Natural Resources supervises the activities of, and works
in close relation with, all the State Departments concerned with conservation.
It is a function of this Board to consider the problems of conservation in their
broader aspects, to act as a clearing house for new ideas regarding handling of
conservation, and to take up such conservation matters as could more properly
be handled by such a group than by one of the subordinate agencies. The Board
also is empowered to review the work of each member department and submit
annually to the Governor a complete report of the. accomplishments and recom-
mendations of all the Departments.

Represented upon the Board is, first of all, the Commission of Tidewater
Fisheries, whose Chairman was designated in the law to sit as Chairman of
the Board of Natural Resources. This Commission, now functioning most effec-
tively under Mr. Edwin Warfield, Jr., as Chairman, previously to 1941 was
known as the Conservation Department. It has jurisdiction over all matters
pertaining to commercial fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,
'with particular attention, of course, to the propagation and administration of
the oyster, crab and fisheries resources of the tidewater area.

The Commission owns and operates the fleet of patrol boats, some 30 in
number, that sometimes are referred to as the Maryland Navy. These boats
are on duty at all times in the Bay and in the principal oyster and crab pro-
ducing tributaries, including the Potomac River.


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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 507   View pdf image (33K)
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