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Collaboration and Partnerships

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Highlands Action Program Charter
EPA Region 3 - Philadelphia

Geographic location or area of activity:  Mid-Atlantic Highlands (Appalachian Highlands of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)

Description of activity:   In 2006 EPA, with the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, began the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program.  The Program’s state liaisons (funded through EPA) established the goals to be:

  1. Highlighting special places that have ecological and cultural importance;
  2. Revitalizing damaged ecosystems;
  3. Empowering citizens and communities to strengthen the linkages among cultural heritage, economic viability, and the condition of the environment;
  4. Enhancing opportunities for the restoration industry in the Highlands which will enhance lasting employment opportunities for its residents;
  5. Leveraging existing resources to support all these goals.

These goals were incorporated in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Program Charter which further states that the Highlands should remain a special place where stewardship of the environment is an important part of the community, quality of life, and economics of the region.  The governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia signed the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Charter in 2007 and enthusiastically announced their endorsement of it in press releases throughout the region.  Members of Congress also expressed their formal support of the Charter and the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program.

The Mid-Atlantic Highlands encompass 79,000 square miles of the Appalachians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  This region hosts some of the most diverse and globally important resources on Earth.  It is rich in natural and cultural heritage where the environment plays an important role in the quality of life.

Interagency partners: EPA, MD DNR, PA DEP, VA DCNR, WVDEP

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