A planned visitors center on Otter Point Creek in Edgewood has gotten a go-ahead from federal officials, who have earmarked $600,000 to build it.
"It's a tremendous asset, environmentally, for Harford County," said Bob Staab, director of the county Department of Recreation and Parks. "It's important for people's knowledge."
The center will be used to educate Harford and upper Chesapeake Bay residents about the bay and its estuaries, said Dr. Torrey C. Brown, secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources.
The Otter Point facility will be operated as a partnership by the recreation department, the Department of Natural Resources and the county chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America.
Construction is scheduled to start in November and to be completed by May.
The federal money will be made available through the National Oceanic and Atmospherics Administration.
The remaining money will come from the county, which has set aside $200,000 in its budget, Mr. Staab said.
The center will be on a site designated as a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The program was created by Congress as a nationwide network of research centers for studies of estuaries, bodies of water where rivers or bays meet larger waters.
Otter Point Creek is a tributary of the Bush River, which flows into the bay.
Other Maryland locations in the NERR program are Jug Bay in Prince George's County and Monie Bay in Somerset County.