State and federal officials warn that one of the Chesapeake Bay region's most fertile fish breeding grounds would be damaged if Charles County, Md., succeeds in building a four-lane, $60 million highway across Mattawoman Creek in Southern Maryland. Environmentalists are urging the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the county a permit to destroy seven acres of wetlands needed to complete the Cross County Connector. With a projected growth rate of 50% through 2030, county officials argue that they will have to build multiple roads -- with greater environmental impact -- if the connector project is not approved.

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