About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.



Statute Text

ati263906.tmp
Article - Natural Resources
§8–1801.  
(a)   The General Assembly finds and declares that:
(1)   The Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries are natural resources of great significance to the State and the nation, and their beauty, their ecological value, and their economic impact all reach far beyond any one local jurisdiction;
(2)   The shoreline and adjacent lands, particularly the buffer areas, constitute a valuable, fragile, and sensitive part of this estuarine system, where human activity can have a particularly immediate and adverse impact on water quality and natural habitats;
(3)   The capacity of these shoreline and adjacent lands to withstand continuing demands without further degradation to water quality and natural habitats is limited;
(4)   Human activity is harmful in these shoreline areas, where the new development of nonwater–dependent structures or an increase in lot coverage is presumed to be contrary to the purpose of this subtitle, because these activities may cause adverse impacts, of both an immediate and a long–term nature, to the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays, and thus it is necessary wherever possible to maintain a buffer of at least 100 feet landward from the mean high water line of tidal waters, tributary streams, and tidal wetlands;
(5)   National studies have documented that the quality and productivity of the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have declined due to the cumulative effects of human activity that have caused increased levels of pollutants, nutrients, and toxics in the Bay system and declines in more protective land uses such as forestland and agricultural land in the Bay region;
(6)   Those portions of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries within Maryland are particularly stressed by the continuing population growth and development activity concentrated in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan corridor and along the Atlantic Coast;
(7)   The quality of life for the citizens of Maryland is enhanced through the restoration of the quality and productivity of the waters of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays, and their tributaries;
(8)   The restoration of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries is dependent, in part, on minimizing further adverse impacts to the water quality and natural habitats of the shoreline and adjacent lands, particularly in the buffer;
(9)   The cumulative impact of current development and of each new development activity in the buffer is inimical to these purposes, and it is therefore imperative that State law protect irreplaceable State buffer resources from unpermitted activity; and
(10)   There is a critical and substantial State interest for the benefit of current and future generations in fostering more sensitive development and more effective enforcement in a consistent and uniform manner along shoreline areas of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries so as to minimize damage to water quality and natural habitats.
(b)   It is the purpose of the General Assembly in enacting this subtitle:
(1)   To establish a Resource Protection Program for the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tributaries by fostering more sensitive development activity for certain shoreline areas so as to minimize damage to water quality and natural habitats; and
(2)   To implement the Resource Protection Program on a cooperative basis between the State and affected local governments, with local governments establishing and implementing their programs in a consistent and uniform manner subject to State and local leadership, criteria, and oversight.