Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex is seeking public review and comment on its Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) for hunting and fishing. Blackwater and Eastern Neck NWRs will eliminate use of lead ammunition for all hunting and lead tackle for fishing starting September 1, 2026. Until then, over the next 3 years we will provide outreach and education opportunities for hunters and anglers to learn about lead impacts and available alternatives. We will initially encourage the voluntary use of non-lead ammunition for hunting and non-lead tackle for fishing.
Please note that we have not made any significant changes to the previous September 2022 hunting and fishing plan — there are no new changes to species, seasons, acreages, methods of take, or regulations. The Supplemental EA is focused on the further analysis of potential impacts of lead ammunition (and tackle), and utilizes the latest research and best available science where applicable. The updated information provides another opportunity for public review and comment; however, much of the written text transferred from the 2022 plan remains unchanged.
The Service seeks comments from the public on the proposed rule for 60 days, beginning with publication in the Federal Register on June 23, 2023. The notice will be available at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2023-0038. If you wish to comment, please note “Chesapeake Marshlands NWRC” in the subject line of an email, and address to [email protected].
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 32,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwood and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife. To learn more, visit our website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/blackwater or @BlackwaterNWR.
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a 2,285-acre island which supports a wide variety of habitats including brackish marsh, natural ponds, upland forest, and grasslands for a diversity of wildlife. The refuge holds the designation of Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. To learn more, visit our website at www.fws.gov/refuge/Eastern-Neck or @EasternNeckNWR.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov.
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