Newsletter: April 2020

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Photo of bluebirds sitting on fence

April 2020

COVID-19 Outbreak Update

Following Governor Hogan’s emergency actions to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources remains operational, but we are implementing changes to certain department activities, customer service functions, and scheduled events to minimize virus spread.

  • Governor Hogan has issued a Stay at Home Order in response to the global COVID-19 public health crisis. While there are certain exceptions for essential functions, the primary intent of the order is for people to stay at home in order to limit the spread of the virus. The directive does allow for some outdoor recreation, with strict rules and guidelines in place to prevent virus spread. Read the department's guidance for more information.

  • Grace period extended to all license holders. Governor Hogan has issued an executive order related to licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations that may be expiring or up for renewal during the state of emergency. The executive order grants a grace period of 30 days after the date of termination of the state of emergency. 
  • State parks taking precautions. Maryland state parks are enacting enhanced measures to mitigate the risk of contact with the COVID-19 virus. This includes enhanced cleaning protocols at our state park public buildings and facilities. Additionally we are canceling all events and gatherings of groups larger than 10 people and restricting access by the public to certain park buildings and facilities. We will continue to adjust operations as events warrant. Park patrons are encouraged to check the individual website page of their favorite park for updates.
  • Classes and meetings canceled, online alternatives available. The Maryland Natural Resources Police are suspending in-person safety classes, referring all who are required to attend to take online classes instead. All in-person council meetings, workgroups, advisory boards, or other official public gatherings are also suspended indefinitely.
  • For more information about DNR activities during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit our website. The health and safety of the public is paramount, and we encourage you to keep track of the latest factual information regarding COVID-19 at the Maryland Department of Health website.​​​​​​
Photo of planted tree sapling

Spring is here, and April is a time to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day. If you want to plan a tree, check out this helpful how-to video from the Maryland Forest Service about planting container trees.

Graphic depicting social distancing guidelines

Stay Safe and Practice Social Distancing

Governor Hogan has stressed that safely practiced outdoor recreation time is essential to health and well-being. Most Maryland state parks and other public lands remain open, allowing residents to engage in safe, isolated outdoor activities.

Under the executive order, no Marylander should leave their home except for an essential reason. Therefore, recreational boating is not allowed. Limited hunting and limited recreational fishing and crabbing for sustenance can continue, however social distancing must be adhered to strictly. Follow this guide to safe outdoor activity.

Photo of female red-winged blackbird

Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest Now Open

Sitting inside and wishing you were out? Use this time to look through your favorite nature photos. Choose your best shots and enter the Maryland Natural Resource photo contest! Learn how to enter on our website.

Pictured here: Female red-winged blackbird by Larry Helms, second place in spring category of the 2019 Maryland Natural Resource photo contest.

Photo of young fox in spring

Every Marylander Counts!

Get counted in the 2020 census! The United States is required to perform a national count of all people living in each state every ten years. The census is now underway. Completing your census form ensures Maryland families, neighbors, and communities receive the support they need to live, work, play, and grow. Thanks for being counted and ensuring that others you know participate.

For more information about the 2020 census, visit Maryland's census website.


Department Issues Guidance on Stay at Home Order

Environmental Education Month Celebrated in April

Black Bears Emerging from Dens

Leave Maryland's Spring Wildlife Wild

Pumpout Grants Available for Maryland Marinas

Maryland’s Endangered Tiger Salamanders Stage a Comeback

Spring Wildfire Season Has Begun in Maryland


Are you wondering how to support your community during the COVID-19 crisis?
Visit Governor Hogan's Maryland Unites website to learn about how individuals can help.

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