Recommendation/Change since last report:
Lands acquired specifically for preservation and museum interpretation must be protected and detailed review by preservation specialists of potential alternative uses must continue. Completion of the beach stabilization efforts will help reduce shoreline erosion and site destruction, but its effects should be monitored to ensure the desired result. This additional stabilization has been funded in 2004 and work should commence in the spring of 2005, thus controlling a principal threat to the NHL.
A comprehensive groundhog eradication program is necessary to stop archaeological site disturbance. HSMC has commenced an aggressive trapping program to reduce the population in particularly significant areas, and has had some success, but this will continue to be a problem throughout the site.
Protection of the viewsheds and maintenance of the rural setting are important tasks. Planting of vegetative buffers to screen distracting features is a feasible action for some locations. Acquisition of easements or other legal actions to protect key viewsheds will be necessary for others, however, especially down the St. Marys River. An important preservation benefit that will derive from the maintenance of an open, rural setting is archaeological site protection. Keeping sites in grass cover offers the best in situ preservation for these resources. Shallow plowing can occur without damage, since virtually all of St. Marys City sites have been plowed previously, but a long term strategy is recommended to convert plowed land within the historic area into stable, vegetation covered land surfaces that will provide the maximum site protection. One action essential for the preservation of open spaces and viewscapes is the preparation of a joint preservation land use plan and facilities development plan between the affiliated State agencies of Historic St. Marys City and St. Marys College of Maryland. This plan will designate the zones requiring full preservation, identify the most significant historic viewsheds and means to protect them, and formally direct future development so as to minimize the long-term impact on the unique historical setting and archaeological resources that comprise the St. Marys City National Historic Landmark. This action is commencing.