Chesapeake Bay Critical Area (CBCA)

Critical Area Infographic

Overview and Background

The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Act, passed in 1984, was significant and far-reaching, and marked the first time that the State and local governments jointly addressed the impacts of land development on habitat and aquatic resources. Calvert County adopted the local Critical Area Program in December 1988 to implement the requirements of the Maryland State Critical Area Act.

The law identified the "Critical Area" as all land within 1,000 feet of the mean high water line of tidal waters or the landward edge of tidal wetlands, and all waters of and lands under the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. For Calvert County, that includes the Patuxent River.  A statewide Critical Area Commission (CAC) was created to oversee the development and implementation of local land use programs.

Critical Area Maps delineating the Critical Area have been formally approved as part of Calvert County’s Critical Area Program and are available online and in the office of Planning & Zoning.  Zoning regulations governing the Critical Area in Calvert County can be found in Article 8 of the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance.

Learn more about the Critical Area: