Who We Are
The Southern Maryland Conservation Alliance (SMCA) formed in 2021 to coordinate land conservation and restoration in the five-county “Southern Maryland” region, located between the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Potomac River to the west. The region encompasses the counties of Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s. The Alliance is composed of non-profit land trusts as well as other non-governmental conservation and environmental organizations, along with historical societies and governmental agencies (federal, state, and local government) working in the region.
The Southern Maryland Conservation Alliance is a network of partners who work to conserve and restore Southern Maryland’s landscapes, waterways, and shorelines that are special to its people, fundamental to its economy, reflected in its culture, and vital for its native fish, wildlife, and plants on which we rely.
The Alliance envisions Southern Maryland as a place where native fish, wildlife and plants thrive, and the fabric of healthy natural and working lands and waters enrich the communities of those who live, work, and play here. Our culture and history are remembered and told, and our rich forests, fruitful farmlands, and resilient shorelines sustain present and future generations.
This map incorporates several green infrastructure and Conservation Design layers that visualize habitat hubs and movement corridors that, if protected, will maintain a working rural Southern Maryland landscape that supports thriving populations of fish and wildlife into the future. It also shows our SMCA priority conservation areas.
The SMCA has five goals that address its overarching mission to protect and restore significant natural, agricultural, scenic, and cultural resources in Southern Maryland.
The Southern Maryland Region
Southern Maryland is home to some of the nation’s earliest settlements, sought after for its proximity to water and safe harbors, healthy soils, and abundant wildlife. Up until the 60’s, Southern Maryland remained a landscape dominated by agricultural production.
Today, our region is still home to many farms, but has expanded its reach to include more than it had in the past, hosting several breweries, wineries, and outstanding sustainable and diverse growing operations. Despite a population growth of over one million people since the the 1940s, Southern Maryland remains one of the most ecologically valuable landscapes in the state.
Home to rich amphibian and freshwater fish species habitats, and an important refuge for a multitude of migratory and coastal bird species, this region punches well above its weight in ecosystem services. Furthermore, according to the Nature Conservancy Resilience Maps, we have some of the most resilient landscapes in the region, as seen in the map to the right. Resiliency is based on biodiversity and natural connectedness, two things we are trying to support and improve upon in through our alliance.
US Fish and Wildlife Service (Chesapeake Bay Field Office)
Conservancy for Charles County
Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust
Prince George’s Soil Conservation District
Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Destination Southern Maryland (Southern Maryland Heritage Area)
Anne Arundel County Planning and Zoning
Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation
Calvert County Historical Society
Non-Profit Institute of Southern Maryland
Ujaama Cooperative Farming Alliance
The Advocates for Herring Bay, Inc.
Mattawoman Watershed Society
The Friends of St. Leonard Creek
Port Tobacco River Conservancy
Office of Outdoor Recreation (MD DNR)
Prince George’s and Anne Arundel County Urban Farming Workgroup
Prince George’s Planning Department