Southern Maryland Heritage Area
Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties
The goal of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium is to act as a catalyst to coordinate regional tourism and preservation efforts. These efforts will be directed towards recognizing the significance of our heritage resources, conserving them, and galvanizing the human resource base of the region to increase significantly both the quality and quantity of heritage tourism in Southern Maryland. Ultimately, the regional cooperation generated by the heritage area development effort will enhance the regional tourism product, promote a better understanding of the value of our heritage resources, and support public policy initiatives aimed at supporting the preservation of our heritage resources.
The Southern Maryland Heritage Area, consisting of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties, lies entirely within the Atlantic Coastal Plain and is bounded by the Chesapeake Bay on the east and by the Potomac River on the west and south. While the land area covers over 1,100 square miles, some 150 square miles of water further extend the physical boundaries of the area. Distinctive natural features of the area are defined by the three primary watershed regions: the rivers and streams draining the Lower Potomac River; the streams and stream valleys associated with the Patuxent River; and the Chesapeake Bay shoreline with its three primary stream systems in the upland plateau and two stream systems in the lowland plain areas. The natural environment both historically and currently has attracted development for a leisure and recreational industry, rich in its variety and centered on fishing, boating, and sailing. Cultural and natural resources open to the public in all three counties include numerous state forests and parks, regional parks, beaches with boardwalks, and a variety of museums illustrating local history.
The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium was certified in 2003 by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority in order to develop a public and private partnership that recognizes the unique assets of Southern Maryland as a heritage area and puts in place a plan of action that deals with cultural, historical and natural resources which balance preservation, conservation, recreation and economic development activities relating to these resources. The Consortium has an Executive Director who, along with departments of the three counties, oversees the implementation of the heritage area’s management plan.
Preparation of a management plan approved by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is a requirement for becoming a Maryland “Certified” Heritage Area. The approved Management Plan includes information on the boundaries of the Certified Heritage Area and “Target Investment Zones,” and presents the heritage area’s vision and goals and the strategies, projects, programs, actions, and partnerships that will be implemented to accomplish them.
Click here to view the management plan
Ms. Roz Racanello, Executive Director
Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium
Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland
PO Box 745
Hughesville, MD 20637
This page updated: January 6, 2012
- Anacostia Trails Heritage Area
- Baltimore City Heritage Area
- Canal Place Heritage Area
- Four Rivers Heritage Area
- Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area
- Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area
- Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area
- Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway
- Montgomery County Heritage Area
- Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area
- Southern Maryland Heritage Area
- Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area
- Maryland Office of Tourism Development
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- National Heritage Areas Program (NPS)
- National Alliance of Heritage Areas