The Patuxent River Commission, formed four years after the 1980 Patuxent River Watershed Act sought to protect this important Maryland resource, envisions a Patuxent River ecosystem as vital and productive in 2050 as it was in the 1950s. The PRC includes the seven counties, the city of Laurel, and additional watershed stakeholders and interest groups.
The PRC serves as a steward for the Patuxent River and commits to lead and inspire actions to protect, enhance and restore river species as well as the natural, cultural, economic, and recreational values in the watershed.
Read the commission's 2024 PRC Annual Action Plan.
Take the Patuxent Challenge!
Participate in the many outdoor activities throughout the Patuxent River watershed. Complete the activities by December 31, of each year, document your participation by taking a selfie with each activity’s Patuxent Challenge marker, and receive your prize.
Learn more and get the details on the 18 sites at the Patuxent Challenge pages.
Patuxent River Policy Plan
The Patuxent River Policy Plan represents the shared commitment of state agencies and the seven counties and municipalities in the Patuxent River Watershed to protect and enhance this natural resource. The PRC relies on a policy plan to monitor the efforts of local jurisdictions, state agencies and community representatives in their work to restore the river.
The 2015 policy plan
was adopted on May 14, 2014 by the commission and later in 2014 by the elected bodies of the eight local governments represented on the commission. The Maryland General Assembly adopted the 2015 policy plan during the 2016 legislative session through Joint Resolution 1
. The plan document provides a policy framework for local jurisdictions and the state in preserving and restoring the river, raising awareness of the river through advocacy, and creating excitement about the multiple opportunities for interaction with the river. It recognizes the increased role of state and federal bay-related water quality regulations that govern the Patuxent River and shifts from a regulatory framework and guides closer connection between people and the river's resources, focusing on:
- the replenishment of fish and shellfish resources important to local economies
- the temperature and hydrology of stormwater runoff, and wetland and terrestrial habitat protection
- drinking water supplies
- public outreach and education
- recreation and public access
View Patuxent River Policy Plan Biennial Implementation Reports
The 2021-2022 Patuxent River Policy Plan Implementation Report describes local and state government efforts to implement the Patuxent River Policy Plan.
Prior Year Report
View previous Patuxent River policy plans
- 1984 Policy Plan. Established an outline for the implementation of best management and land use practices; 20 goals and 10 recommendations.
- 1997 Plan Update. After the PRC's role was amended by state law to include oversight of the development and implementation of the Patuxent River tributary strategy to meet the Chesapeake Bay Agreement's 40 percent nutrient reduction goal, the PRC's role broadened. In 1997, the PRC updated the plan to reflect its additional responsibilities and increased stakeholder interaction with six programmatic guidelines.
- County resolutions approving the 2015 Patuxent River Policy Plan Update.