Mid-Atlantic Field Office: Maryland DC Delaware
National parks in the District of Columbia and Maryland include the iconic National Mall--the living stage for our American democracy; Antietam National Battlefield-- commemorating the bloodiest single day in America's military history; and Assateague Island National Seashore--where visitors escape from our daily cares by enjoying the wildlife and wild beach; and lesser-known sites such as the Fort Circle Parks--Washington's Civil War defenses. While the National Park Service is studying potential sites for its first national park in Delaware, the nation's first state features several sites managed by the NPS, including White Clay Wild and Scenic River, and sites that are part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
National parks in D.C. and Maryland attract visitors from all over the world. More than 3 million people visit national parks in Maryland, and 31 million visit national parks in D.C. each year, generating more than $1 billion in visitor spending, supporting 28,000 jobs, and generating more than $383 million in income.
America's cultural treasures and wildlife havens in the national parks in D.C. and Maryland are at risk due to incompatible development and chronic under-funding. Nationwide, the National Park Service operates on a $750-million annual funding shortfall. As a result, C & O Canal National Historical Park falls behind on routine maintenance of its more than 1,300 historic structure. Assateague Island's wildlife habitat is threatened by proposed commercial aquaculture in the shallow waters of the national park.
By empowering local citizens, community leaders, organization and elected officials to implement innovative strategies and tactics that advance park advocacy, NPCA is building an active, effective constituency protecting and preserving our national parks in the region. Our work is advanced through the implementation of the following strategies:
- Building key allies – We enhance our ability to preserve national parks by working strategically with other organizations such as park friends groups, community leaders, and other influential individuals and organizations.
- Building public support for park protection and funding- NPCA employs targeted communication strategies to increase awareness among key constituencies of national park issues, including federal funding shortfalls, land acquisition needs, resource protection needs, and park benefits to communities.