Harford County is located in northeastern Maryland along the upper western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The county is approximate 440 square miles in size with a population of over 230,000 (Projected for 2005 based on the 2000 Census). There are three incorporated municipalities in the county: the City of Aberdeen, the City of Havre de Grace, and the Town of Bel Air, the county seat. In 1977, a development envelope was established along the Route 40 and 24 corridors to direct growth into areas served by public water and sewer. Over 80% of the county’s population resides within this area.
Aberdeen Proving Ground, a 60 square mile federal facility is located at the southern end of the county. While located on the Chesapeake Bay, much of Harford County’s bay shoreline is occupied by Aberdeen Proving Ground and inaccessible to the general public. Harford County is divided into four major river basins – the Bush River Basin, the Gunpowder River Basin, the Lower Susquehanna River Basin, and the Upper Western Shore Basin. There are approximately 1,200 miles of streams within the County.
There are two major dams in Harford County. Conowingo Dam, built in 1928 and located on the Susquehanna River above Havre de Grace, is used to produce hydroelectric power for over 40,000 people daily. Atkisson Dam, located on Winters Run in the Bush River Basin, was constructed in 1942 by the U.S. Army as a drinking water reservoir for Aberdeen Proving Ground. It was never used for this purpose and today is located in the middle of Harford Glen Environmental Education Center.