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John P. Sarbanes

05/24/2024 | Press release | Archived content

Sarbanes, Van Hollen, Cardin Welcome U.S. Navy Steps to Increase Public Access to Greenbury Point

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes and Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (all D-Md.) welcomed the U.S. Navy's announcement that it will facilitate enhanced public access to Greenbury Point Conservation Area at Naval Support Activity Annapolis (NSA Annapolis) this summer. Beginning May 31, NSA Annapolis will open the East and West Access roads to the public for up to four days per week - on Sunday, Monday, Friday and alternating Saturdays most weeks - with the schedule remaining subject to change for safety considerations, in line with longstanding practice. Currently, the roads are open two days per week.

The new public access plans follow the lawmakers' successful effort to include a provision(link is external)in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibiting the Navy from modifying or restricting public access to Greenbury Point, with few exceptions such as for emergencies or temporarily in the interest of public safety - as it currently does for live fire exercises. The lawmakers' provision also preserves the Navy's option to transfer or lease the Conservation Area property to another public entity.

"Preserving Greenbury Point and ensuring increased access for Maryland residents and visitors is critical to providing opportunities for natural recreation and experiencing the wildlife and beauty of the Bay," said Congressman Sarbanes. "We will continue working with NSA Annapolis to maximize public access to the space in a safe manner."

"Greenbury Point offers the public rare access to the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding shores. That's why we fought to protect its public use in law," said Senator Van Hollen. "While this is a moderate step forward, making the conservation area open to the public more frequently is a win for the Annapolis community. We will not stop working to protect and expand opportunities for residents and visitors alike to experience the natural beauty that Greenbury Point has to offer."

"Public access to Greenbury Point is important to the community and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay. I'm pleased the Navy has moved to increase access to this treasured outdoor space. In working directly with the Secretary of the Navy, we are addressing safety issues at the Naval Support Activity Annapolis rifle range and increasing access to Greenbury Point even more," said Senator Cardin. "I look forward to the Navy awarding a contract this fall to cover the range and bring it into compliance with modern safety standards."

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