The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area was established in 1985 to improve water quality, protect the wildlife habitat, and reduce impacts of human activity on sensitive lands. Included is all land area within 1,000 feet of the Mean High Water line of tidal waters and tidal wetlands. It also includes the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, tidal areas, and the land beneath these tidal areas.
The Department of Public Works is responsible for administering the county's floodplain program. With over 414 miles of coastline and 29.2 square miles of water area, many properties in Queen Anne’s County are prone to the effects of hurricanes, tropical storms and heavy rain events.
On December 31, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set limits on the amount of nutrients and sediments that can enter the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to setting these limits, known as total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), EPA required the bay states to develop statewide Phase I Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP).