U.S. Rep. Jim Moran speaking to the COG Board of Directors on April 14, 2010.
Washington, D.C. – The COG Board of Directors voted on Wednesday to support the National Capital Region Land Conservation Act. The bill, which has been proposed by U.S. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), would appropriate $50 million in federal matching funds for 5 years to local governments for the planning, evaluation, and acquisition of parkland and other greenspace.
Moran emphasized the necessity of parks, open space, fish and wildlife habitat, and historic preservation sites for current and future residents of the National Capital Region. He cited COG statistics that show rapid development has led to 25% of land in the metropolitan area being impervious, paved-over surfaces.
COG members responded favorably to the proposal and said it would help the region meet goals related to sustainability in its recently-endorsed Region Forward plan. The plan identifies as a goal the “preservation and enhancement of our Region’s open space, greenspace and wildlife preserves.” In addition, COG’s Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee and Metropolitan Development Policy Committee urged the COG Board to support the bill.
Moran noted the federal commitment to providing parkland and other public lands in region dates back to visionary leadership more than a century ago. The bill represents an amendment to the Capper-Cramton Act of 1930, which recognized the unique character of the National Capital Region and sought to preserve its natural resources.