Natural Design in Development: Promoting a Team Approach to Environmentally Sound Development Design

In Maryland, human populations are increasing and are accompanied by increasing land development. In response, state and local governments have enacted environmental laws and regulations to limit impacts on wetlands, forests, and the Chesapeake Bay. Communication among development, land planning, and natural resource professionals during the development design process could enhance regulation by helping to insure designs meet requirements and consider impacts of development on wildlife habitats not protected by law. This communication seldom occurs. In response, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources created Natural Design in Development (NDD), a series of conference/workshop sessions which trained these professionals to communicate more effectively with each other during the design of a residential development site. Five regional conferences in Maryland attracted over 600 participants. Results of the effort were not quantified. However, NDD has implications for helping other state wildlife agencies open channels of communication between wildlife professionals and the development industry.

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