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Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh records

Abstract

Title:
Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh records
Author/Creator:
Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh
Collection number:
2004-2
Size:
5.25 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1988-1994
Inclusive dates:
1945-1999
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

The Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh was a non-profit citizen's action group formed in 1990 to preserve and to conserve Baltimore County's Black Marsh, a 232-acre marsh that lies within North Point State Park, part of the Gunpowder Falls Maryland State Park system. In 1987, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) purchased the land that comprises North Point State Park from Bethlehem Steel and began to develop plans for the park, including such facilities as a refurbished trolley station, parking lot, visitors' center, and boat slip. The Coalition strongly objected to the DNR's plans and spearheaded a number of non-litigious activities to raise awareness about Black Marsh and to voice concern about the DNR's proposal. In addition, the group unsuccessfully pursued several legal actions hoping to change the DNR's plans for the park. In Summer 1996, the Coalition became the Friends of North Point State Park and appears to have disbanded officially in Summer 1997. The collection contains minutes and correspondence of the Coalition; records of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' activities relating to the development of North Point State Park; copies of publicity campaigns, including relevant articles; maps and photographs of the state park; a video of a panel hearing in 1991; and official and unofficial documentation of the Coalition's legal activity, including files kept by its attorneys. |b The bulk of the materials concentrates on the active years of the Coalition, 1990 to 1994. Early twentieth-century materials include photocopies of court cases and statutes.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh records, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1408
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

In 1990, a group of concerned individuals formed the Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh, Inc. (CPBM), a non-profit citizen's action group, to preserve and conserve Baltimore County's Black Marsh, a 232-acre marsh that lies within North Point State Park, part of the Gunpowder Falls Maryland State Park system. The four main officers of CPBM were Richard C. Pollack, Sr., president; Daniel Lynch, vice president; Vera D. Hinkelman, treasurer; and Cindy Stitz, secretary. By 1995, its roughly 1,000 individual and fifty group members comprised mostly area residents and local organizations.

North Point State Park consists of 1,320 acres in southeast Baltimore County, including six miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, and contains several marshes, the largest of which is Black Marsh. Rare birds found in Black Marsh include bald eagles, great horned owls, American bitterns, Northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, black rails, herons, egrets, canvasbacks, goldeneyes, ruddy ducks, mergansers, and scaup. Flora species in Black Marsh include whorled water-pennywort, Koehne's ammannia, flattened sedge, agalinis fasciculata, small's spikerush, white-bracted boneset, large marsh pink, and tickseed sunflower.

Continuously farmed from the seventeenth century, the site was the scene of skirmishes during the War of 1812 and housed an amusement park called "Bay Shore Park" from 1906 until the 1940s. Bethlehem Steel purchased the land in 1946, announcing the acquisition to the public in August 1947. Because the area is convenient to shipping in the Chesapeake Bay, Bethlehem Steel Company located at nearby Sparrows Point wanted to prevent competitors from developing a rival steel plant in the area. Bethlehem Steel never developed any of the property, using it only as a recreational facility for guests and employees who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and target shooting. Through the state's Program Open Space, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) purchased the land that comprises North Point State Park from Bethlehem Steel for over $5 million on December 22, 1987.

In 1988, the DNR began to develop plans for North Point State Park (then called Black Marsh State Park). The focus of the DNR's plans for development was (in this and subsequent plans) both to protect the natural resources of the wildlands and to create bay access, including such facilities as a refurbished trolley station, parking lot, visitors' center, boat slip, fishing pier, boardwalk, pavilion, amphitheatre, fountain, picnic area, and - at one time - a restaurant.

CPBM strongly objected to the DNR's proposals for development at North Point. The They argued that the marsh was a sensitive and unique environment that should be conserved and felt the DNR's plans would adversely affect that conservation. The CPBM wanted the land to be converted into a low-impact natural park and opposed any construction (buildings or roads) on the waterfront or in the marsh itself.

From 1990 until Fall 1991, CPBM pursued a number of non-litigious activities to raise awareness about Black Marsh and to voice its concern about the DNR's proposal, including letter-writing campaigns, petition-signing drives, a press campaign, a phone-a-thon, yard sales, and a march. They also mounted a campaign opposing Maryland Senate Bill 417 and Maryland House Bill 596, measures to designate North Point State Park as a wildland. CPBM believed that the new law would artificially split the park into two areas--one protected and another that could be developed at will. In addition, members of CPBM met with state delegates and DNR representatives, held public information meetings, and drafted their own plans for the park.

On September 25, 1991, the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission (CAC), chaired by Judge John C. North, II, held a hearing on DNR's draft plan for Black Marsh. Lee Epstein of Linowes & Blocher spoke at the hearing on behalf of the CPBM. The Critical Area Commission released its decision, in the form of a panel report, on November 26, 1991; it conditionally approved the DNR's concept plan in a 16 to 1 vote. On January 3, 1992, the CPBM - now represented by George Kelly and Thomas Eastman of Ober, Kaler, Grimes, and Shriver - filed an appeal in the Baltimore County Circuit Court to reverse the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission's hearing decision. On February 19, 1993, the appeal was dismissed with prejudice (a final and binding decision that bars further prosecution of the same cause of action or motion). On October 4, 1993, the CPBM sued the Critical Area Commission for a writ of mandamus, which was dismissed on October 11, 1994.

In Summer 1996, CPBM became the Friends of North Point State Park (FNPSP). As a group, members argued for an inland visitors' center and the elimination of boat tie-ups. They also supported a main trail instead of a new road through the park, arguing for the existing Haul Road to serve as the main road. In 1996, the Friends of North Point State Park accepted DNR Secretary John Griffin's offer to work with the DNR in the development of the park, acting in an advising capacity at least until the Summer 1997. They also tracked the development of North Point State Park, helped to recruit volunteers for park educational activities, and donated some materials, such as binoculars, to the park. In 1997, the FNPSP (formerly CPBM) received a certificate of appreciation from the DNR. The FNPSP appears to have disbanded officially in the Summer 1997.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh include materials dating from 1945 to 1999. The bulk of the materials concentrates on the active years of the CPBM, 1990 to 1994. Early twentieth-century materials include photocopies of court cases and statutes. The collection contains CPBM's minutes and correspondence; records of the DNR's activities; copies of publicity campaigns, including relevant articles; maps and photographs of the state park; a video of the panel hearing in 1991; and official and unofficial documentation of the CPBM's legal activity, including files kept by its attorneys.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Polly Walker, a member of the Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh, donated the papers to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2003.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Emily Ellerbe and Jennifer Evans, January 2004.

Processing note:

In its original state, the organization of the CPBM records was both inconsistent and largely incoherent. Upon closer examination, it became apparent that two groups of individuals created the records--the Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh and the law firm Ober, Kaler, Grimes, and Shriver. The first set of records consisted both of folders with headings and loose documents; many of the headings on the folders were not descriptive of the contents. In the second set of records, most of the documents were housed loosely inside accordion folders. Documents located in manila folders among the loose documents were labeled "TBE 13399/42380 Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh," referring most likely to the initials of one of the attorneys, Thomas B. Eastman, and the case number or client number in the law firm's filing system. Also, many of these documents are imprinted with a footer that has a similar alphanumeric system, probably an intra-office tracking system.

The first step of arrangement separated the two sets of records into two series: Series I: Administrative Records (the records created by the CPBM) and Series II: Legal Records (the records created by the law firm). Although there is some overlap in subject matter between the series, the two sets of records were separated by provenance. Series I, for example, contains some legal documents, and both series have maps. Most of the records were reorganized and filed under newly created folder headings, but headings that corresponded with folder contents were retained, and in some cases, relevant documents were added to those folders. Although staples were removed and folder contents were rehoused in acid-free folders, materials in "Correspondence, 1987-1991, n.d."; "Correspondence, 1990"; "Correspondence, 1991"; "Chronological File, 1988, 1991-1992"; and "Chronological File, 1993 and n.d." were kept intact, as originally they were bound together with a large, metal fastener. The original order of the contents of these folders and that in the "Statutory and Case Law" folders was retained. All other materials were arranged chronologically within folders.

Duplicate items within the same series were discarded. Metal fasteners were replaced with acid-free clips over acid-free paper. Sheets of acid-free paper mark the beginning and the end of those items too large to be clipped together with plastic clips. Post-It Notes with marks on them and news clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper. Oversize items were separated from the collection, placed in acid-free folders, and housed in a map case. Documents were removed from binders, items were unfolded, and photographs were housed in non-reactive, polyester sleeves.

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Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine, November 2004.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is organized as three series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1987-1999 (1.25 linear feet and 7 oversize items)

This series contains the records of the administrative, fundraising, and public awareness activities of CPBM; the records of the DNR's plans for North Point State Park as collected by CPBM; and some records of CPBM's legal actions. Minutes, correspondence, newsletters, articles of incorporation and bylaws, and news clippings record the administrative, fundraising, and public awareness functions of the group. The DNR's plans are recorded in draft plans, maps, correspondence, notes, and articles. Court documents, correspondence, and reports contain references to CPBM's legal activities. Significant correspondents include Richard C. Pollock, Sr., president of CPBM; Torrey C. Brown, Maryland Department of Natural Resources; and Judge John C. North, II, Chairman, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission. Arrangement is alphabetical by document type or subject.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Appeal (Oversize), [1988, 1991-1992, n.d.] series 1box 1folder 1
[Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws], [1990] series 1box 1folder 2
Bill 417 '91, [1991] series 1box 1folder 3
[Boating Facility and Amphitheater, Opposition to], [1988-1993] series 1box 1folder 4
[Citizens Advisory Committee], [1990-1993] series 1box 1folder 5
[Correspondence], [1987-1991 and n.d.] series 1box 1folder 6
[Correspondence], [1990] series 1box 1folder 7
[Correspondence], [1990] series 1box 1folder 8
[Correspondence], [1991] series 1box 1folder 9
[Correspondence], [1991] series 1box 1folder 10
[Correspondence], [1991] series 1box 1folder 11
Correspondence--Attorneys, [1992] series 1box 2folder 1
Correspondence--Letters to Government, [1990-1995 and n.d.] series 1box 2folder 2
Correspondence In-Misc., [1990-1997 and n.d.] series 1box 2folder 3
Correspondence Out-Misc. (Thank Yous), [1991-1995] series 1box 2folder 4
[Critical Area Commission-- Approval] (Oversize), [1993-1994 and n.d.] series 1box 2folder 5
[Critical Area Commission-- Changes to Baltimore County Critical Area Regulations], [1994-1995] series 1box 2folder 6
[Critical Area Commission-- Correspondence], [1991] series 1box 2folder 7
[Critical Area Commission-- Guidelines and Panel Report] (Oversize), [1989-1991] series 1box 2folder 8
[Department of Natural Resources-- Certificate of Appreciation], [1996] series 1box 2folder 9
[Department of Natural Resources-- Correspondence], [1989-1997] series 1box 2folder 10
[Department of Natural Resources-- Draft Plans], [1990-1992 and n.d.] series 1box 2folder 11
[Department of Natural Resources-- Organizational Chart], [1992] series 1box 2folder 12
Land Use Inventory, R.O. Schurmann, 02/95 series 1box 2folder 13
[Letterhead], [n.d.] series 1box 2folder 14
[Maps] (Oversize), [n.d.] series 1box 2folder 15
Members, 4/02/96 [and n.d.] series 1box 2folder 16
[Members]--Groups, 1990-1995 and n.d. series 1box 2folder 17
Minutes--Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh, [1990-1997] series 1box 3folder 1
Minutes--Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh, [1990-1997] series 1box 3folder 2
[Newsclippings], [1990-1999 and n.d.] series 1box 3folder 3
Newsletters/Updates, [1992-1993, 1996 and n.d.] series 1box 3folder 4
[North Point Peninsula Community Coordinating Council], [n.d.] series 1box 3folder 5
[Notes], [n.d.] series 1box 3folder 6
Park Donations, Park Services, Education Camps, [1995-1999] series 1box 3folder 7
Publicity--Misc., [1990-1995 and n.d.] series 1box 3folder 8
[Reports, Black Marsh Wetlands Ecology], [1992] series 1box 3folder 9
Senate Bill 517 Action Alert, [n.d.] series 1box 3folder 10
Summary of Vision/Facts About Coalition, [1990, 1992 and n.d.] series 1box 3folder 11
Trolley Station and Rail Trail Misc., [1991-1992] series 1box 3folder 12

Series 2: Legal Records, 1945-1995 (3.75 linear feet and 6 oversize items)

Official court documents, such as the Appeal and Writ of Mandamus, as well as working drafts and research materials for the various legal cases in which the CPBM was involved comprise the bulk of the material in this series. Arrangement is alphabetical by document type.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 3folder 13
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 3folder 14
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 4folder 1
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 4folder 2
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 4folder 3
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 4folder 4
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 4folder 5
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 4folder 6
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 5folder 1
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 5folder 2
[Appeal--Administrative Records Working Papers], [1988-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 5folder 3
[Appeal--Oral Argument], [1993] series 2box 5folder 4
[Appeal--Pleadings], [1991-1993] series 2box 5folder 5
[Appeal--Pleadings], [1991-1993] series 2box 5folder 6
[Appeal--Pleadings--Affidavit of David G. Burke], [n.d.] series 2box 5folder 7
[Appeal--Pleadings--Appellants' Memorandum], [1992] series 2box 5folder 8
[Appeal--Pleadings--Appellants' Reply to Appellee's Answering Memorandum], [1993] series 2box 6folder 1
[Appeal--Pleadings--Appellee's Answering Memorandum], [1993] series 2box 6folder 2
[Appeal--Pleadings--Memorandum in Response and in Opposition to Appellee's Motion to Dismiss], [1992] series 2box 6folder 3
[Appeal--Pleadings--Motion for Summary Judgment], [1993] series 2box 6folder 4
[Appeal--Pleadings--Order], [1993] series 2box 6folder 5
[Appeal--Pleadings--Reply to Appellants' Memorandum in Response and in Opposition to Appellee's Motion to Dismiss], [1992] series 2box 6folder 6
[Appeal--Record Appendix and Exhibits to Appellants' Memorandum], [1992] series 2box 6folder 7
[Appeal--Record Appendix and Exhibits to Appellants' Memorandum], [1992] series 2box 6folder 8
[Articles], [1987-1992 and n.d.] series 2box 6folder 9
Billing, [1992-1994] series 2box 6folder 10
[Chesapeake Bay Foundation v. Department of Natural Resources], [1992] series 2box 6folder 11
[Chronological File], [1988, 1991-1992] series 2box 6folder 12
[Chronological File] (Oversize), [1988, 1991-1992] series 2box 7folder 1
[Chronological File], [1993 and n.d.] series 2box 7folder 2
[Chronological File], [1993 and n.d.] series 2box 7folder 3
[Correspondence] (Oversize), [1990-1995] series 2box 7folder 4
[Correspondence] (Oversize), [1990-1995] series 2box 7folder 5
[Critical Area Commission--Agendas and Minutes], [1991-1994] series 2box 7folder 6
[Critical Area Commission--Minutes--1/4/89 with Research], [1988-1989 and n.d.] series 2box 7folder 7
[Critical Area Commission--Minutes--9/6/89 with Research], [1989-1992] series 2box 7folder 8
[Critical Area Commission--Minutes--10/4/89 with Research], [1987-1989 and n.d.] series 2box 7folder 9
[Critical Area Commission--Minutes--1/3/90 with Research], [1989-1990 and n.d.] series 2box 7folder 10
[Critical Area Commission--Minutes--2/6/91 with Research], [1988-1991] series 2box folder 11
[Department of Natural Resources--Plans] (Oversize), [1978, 1990-1993 and n.d.] series 2box folder 12
[Department of Natural Resources--Plans--Comments], [1988, 1991] series 2box folder 13
[Document Index], [1992] series 2box folder 14
[Hearing Before the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission in the Matter of Black Marsh], [1991] series 2box folder 15
[Hearing] Panel Report, [1991] series 2box folder 16
[Hearings, Additional Materials], [1991-1992 and n.d.] series 2box folder 17
[Jury Instructions], [1992 and n.d.] series 2box folder 18
[Maps] (Oversize), [1990, 1994 and n.d.] series 2box folder 19
Notes, [1992-1994 and n.d.] series 2box folder 20
[Presentation on Innocent Purchaser Defense by G. Kelly], [1992] series 2box folder 21
[Reports], [1988-1991 and n.d.] series 2box folder 22
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 9folder 1
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 9folder 2
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 9folder 3
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 9folder 4
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 9folder 5
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 10folder 1
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 10folder 2
[Statutory and Case Law], [1945-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 10folder 3
[Statutory and Case Law], [1992-1994 and n.d.] series 2box 10folder 4
[Statutory and Case Law], [1994] series 2box 10folder 5
[Statutory and Case Law], [1993-1994] series 2box 10folder 6
[Statutory and Case Law--Memoranda], [1993] series 2box 10folder 7
[Writ of Mandamus--Oral Argument], [1994] series 2box 10folder 8
[Writ of Mandamus--Pleadings], [1994] series 2box 10folder 9
[Writ of Mandamus--Pleadings--Complaint for Writ of Mandamus and Request for Expedited Trial] , [1994] series 2box 10folder 10

Series 3: Audio-Visual Materials, 1990-1995 and n.d. (0.25 linear feet)

This series contains one videotape, entitled "Video of 9/25/91 Panel Hearing," and five groups of photographs labeled "Kathy Feper photos," "June 1990," "Defender's Day 1992," "Feb 95," and "Nov 95." Subjects of these photographs include the North Point State Park, park signs, litter on park grounds, views of the Chesapeake Bay, the dilapidated trolley station, and Defender's Day festivities at Todd's Inheritance (an historic location near North Point State Park) that included a display about protecting Black Marsh.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
[Photographs], [1990-1995 and n.d.] series 3box 11folder 1
Video of 9/25/91 Panel Hearing, 1991 series 3box 11folder 2

Related Material

Information on Bay Shore Park, the amusement park that operated during the first half of the twentieth century on the current site of North Point State Park, is among the holdings of the University of Maryland Libraries' Marylandia Collection: Victoria Crenson's Bay Shore Park: The Death and Life of an Amusement Park (New York: W.H. Freeman, 1995; Maryland Stacks GV1853.3.M32 M84) and Kevin A. Mueller's Bay Shore Park: Fun on the Chesapeake ([s.l.]: Kevin A. Mueller, 2001; Maryland Stacks QH105.M3C74 1995). In addition, the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the University of Maryland Libraries holds the Papers of Daniel Lynch, a member and officer of the Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh, which contains correspondence, maps, and newsclippings about CPBM's activities and about Black Marsh.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects