On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, Laurel City Councilmember Michael R. Leszcz was elected to serve as Chairman of the Patuxent River Commission (PRC). This follows Councilmember Leszcz’s March 2007 election as Vice-Chair, when he served with the Chair, Senator Fowler. He represents the City of Laurel and other municipalities that abut the Patuxent River Watershed. He was last appointed to the PRC by Governor Martin O’Malley. Howard County Council Chair Mary Kay Sigaty was elected Vice Chair of the PRC to serve with Councilmember Leszcz.
The PRC is a 34-member, inter-jurisdictional group that was created by legislative action of the General Assembly in 1980 to address Patuxent River watershed issues. The PRC is charged with the implementation of the Patuxent River Policy Plan; and in 1995, assumed the additional role of the Patuxent River Tributary Team. The focus of the Patuxent River Policy Plan is to address programmatic and land management issues while the Patuxent Tributary Strategy seeks to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution.
Membership of the PRC represents a cross-section of the watershed’s interest groups and serves as an inter-jurisdictional forum for the protection and restoration of the Patuxent River’s economic, recreational, and environmental resources. Membership includes businesses, developers, state and local governments, federal facilities, and environmental, academic, agricultural, and watermen interests.
Councilmember Leszcz stated he is very pleased by the support of the other PRC Commissioners and looks forward to continuing to be a part of the Commission’s programs and planning activities geared toward the restoration and protection of the Patuxent River. He noted that the Patuxent River is an integral part of Laurel’s rich history as noted by the mills that were established in Laurel and powered by the river. Councilmember Leszcz said he looks forward with excitement and optimism to serving the citizens of Maryland in the very important area of protecting the Patuxent River watershed.