The Sustainable Monocacy Commission was established in January 2020 through Bill No. 19-17. The Sustainable Monocacy Commission will focus on improving water quality, maintaining and restoring the ecological health of the River and its tributaries, conserving and protecting wildlife habitat and the natural, cultural, and scenic qualities of the Monocacy River and its tributaries flowing in and through Frederick County.
The Monocacy River was designated by the State of Maryland as a State Scenic River in 1974 following the adoption of the Maryland Scenic and Wild Rivers Act of 1968. The Monocacy River forms at the confluence of Marsh Creek and Rock Creek at the Pennsylvania state line and forms the boundary between Frederick and Carroll Counties. From this point the Monocacy flows for 58 miles to the Potomac River. The Monocacy River watershed encompasses some 974 square miles including portions of Frederick County, Carroll County, and Adams County, Pennsylvania and is the largest Maryland tributary to the Potomac River.
With the State Scenic River designation came the need to address how the River, its uses, and resources can be managed. In the late 1980's the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) initiated the preparation of a management plan with assistance of staff from Frederick County and Carroll County and the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens’ Advisory Board. The Monocacy Scenic River Study and Management Plan was published in May 1990.
In April 2019, the Frederick County Council approved an update to the original 1990 Monocacy Scenic River Study and Management Plan, prepared by the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens’ Advisory Board which, at the time, was a bi-County board comprised of residents from Frederick County and Carroll County.
After the 2019 adoption of the Monocacy River Management Plan, both Frederick County and Carroll County determined that a new approach for a citizen-based volunteer group was warranted to address each county’s unique needs and challenges relating to the Monocacy River. On January 23, 2020, Frederick County formally established the Sustainable Monocacy Commission through Bill No. 19-17.
For information on watershed reports and water quality studies in the Monocacy River Watershed in Frederick County, click here.