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Maryland's Brownsville Pond Drained For Public Safety

Brownsville, Md. (August 10, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently draining the Brownsville Community Pond in Washington County because of public safety concerns caused by the severe erosion of the earthen dam. A small stream, which flows along the base of the dam, has eroded the dam to a point where it could collapse.

“Even with the pond substantially drained, the dam will remain unsafe,” said DNR Inland Fisheries Chief Don Cosden. “People should avoid the dam and adjacent pond areas until further notice.”

DNR has posted warning signs at the areas of most concern near the dam and the pond.

DNR field staff first noticed the developing problem in 2011.The deterioration of the dam continued to a point where it became clear that action was needed.

DNR staff began the draining process by closing the inflow from the stream and relocating the resident bass and bluegills to nearby waters. Gradually, a combination of heavy mechanical pumps and natural drainage will remove most of the water over the course of several days.

“We will develop a plan to address the erosion, repair the dam, and refill the pond,” said Cosden. “However, there are no funds currently available for this repair.”

This one-acre pond is owned and managed by DNR to provide recreational fishing opportunities, particularly for youth anglers and their families. The pond is popular as the site of an annual DNR-sponsored youth fishing rodeo.

Don Cosden may be reached at or 410-260-8287.

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