Lauren Bunting Associate Broker

Critical Area Program helps protect fish, plant habitats

Thursday, December 17, 2020, Lauren Bunting

Worcester County’s Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program, which was adopted in 1990, accommodates future growth within the Critical Area, while providing for conservation of fish, wildlife and plant habitats, and minimizing adverse water quality impacts.

Among other requirements, the law generally requires a minimum 100-foot buffer of naturally occuring or planted vegetation, measured from the mean high-water line of tidal waters, tidal wetlands and tributary streams with any new development within the Critical Area.

In order to know where the 100-foot buffer begins on a property, a wetlands delineation needs to be done. A wetland delineation is a procedure that determines the location and extent of wetlands on a property.

This is typically completed before a property can be developed, and is not usually offered by land surveyors, but instead done by environmental consultant agencies.

The Worcester County Chesapeake Bay Critical Area begins 1,000 feet beyond the head of the tide at Whiton Crossing, and includes about 10,000 acres of the county that lie within the Pocomoke River watershed.

Worcester County’s program places all lands in the Critical Area into one of three land use categories, which are:

• Intensely Developed Areas. Residential and other development predominates to the virtual exclusion of natural habitat.

• Limited Development Areas. Low or moderately dense development co-exists with natural plant and animal habitats.

• Resource Conservation Areas. Natural resource areas (habitats, wetlands, forest) and resource-oriented activities (farming, fishing) predominate.

In order to accommodate growth, 5 percent of the total Resource Conservation Area may be converted to a Limited Development Area or an Intensely Developed Area. This process is called Growth Allocation.

The official maps delineating the Worcester County Chesapeake Bay Critical Area and exhibiting the land use classifications assigned, are publicly available on the county’s website at

Go Back

Thank you so much for all of your hard work. We are so excited to move into the perfect house for us, and couldn’t have done it without your guidance.

Megan and Brandon Cater

My friend was right, you are the hardest working realtor, bar none. I honestly don’t think that I would have gotten through this house selling process without you. You certainly have done yeomen du...

Brenda Burbage

Lauren made first time homebuying extremely approachable, and took the time to educate me on everything involved in the process.

Amanda Hanke & Keri Swigert

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication that made this purchase possible. You advocate for your clients and I highly regard you for it. You made it possible for me and my family to achie...

Tom Harutyunyan

Thank you so much for the very wonderful, professional job you did with selling our property. You will always be special to me.

Penny Carley

Lauren’s extensive knowledge of the local real estate market proved to be invaluable during the purchase of our first home. We were beyond impressed by her persistence, dedication and how easy she ...

Allison Shockley & Patrick Molloy

We want to say a sincere “Thank You” for all you've done for us! We know at times the road seemed never ending. Thank you for always staying positive even through our ups and downs of this process....

Mike and Patty Locke

Lauren is very easy to work with. She has helped me sell and buy homes in the area and has always been hard working and professional.

Jennifer K. Leggour

MLS Information

Listing information is provided courtesy of The Coastal Association of REALTORS® which neither guarantees nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program of The Coastal Association of REALTORS®. The materials contained within this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of this broker. The information contained within this page is for personal non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All room dimensions and other measurements are approximate. All information is deemed reliable but is not guarantee. Prospective purchasers should verify the information to their own satisfaction. All data is provided 'AS IS' and with all faults. Listings displayed on this website may be subject to prior sale or removal from sale; availability of any listing should always be independently verified. Some real estate firms do not participate in Internet Data Exchange® and their listings do not appear on this website. Some properties listed with participating firms do not appear on this website at the request of the seller. Some or all of the listings displayed may not belong to the firm whose web site is being visited. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Realtor logo   Equal Housing Opportunity logo
Contact Me
  • Atlantic Shores Sotheby's International Realty
  • Lauren Bunting Associate Broker
  • 7510 Coastal Highway | Ocean City, MD 21842
  • Office Phone: 410-524-0919
  • Cell: 410-422-9899
  • Email: