New Grant Program Funds Nature-Based Solutions to Protect Coastal Communities
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New Grant Program Funds Nature-Based Solutions to Protect Coastal Communities

Four Demonstration Projects Proposed

Photo of Sunset after a storm over the Chesapeake Bay, taken by Krystle Chick

Photo: “Sunset After the Storm” by Krystle Chick

The Board of Public Works today approved funding for a new Coastal Resiliency Grant Program to help Maryland’s coastal communities enhance their resiliency to the effects of extreme storms and weather.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources program will help design four shoreline improvement demonstration projects across the state with an additional two projects pending.

“Maryland is one of the most vulnerable states to the effects of a changing climate and sea level rise,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This innovative new program – the first of its kind – will use natural and nature-based solutions to help protect coastal communities, infrastructure and public resources from climate-related impacts, such as erosion, flooding, storm surge and more.”

Grantees will work with department staff and coastal engineers to complete designs and will partner with local communities to ensure an open and transparent process. Funds for this new pilot program were designated in Governor Larry Hogan’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which set aside dedicated funds for the design of shoreline restoration projects in the following locations:

  • Dorchester County – Address sea level rise, complex sediment dynamics and wave action through a living shoreline built with local dredged material along the mouth of Hurst Creek on the Choptank River.
  • Eagle Harbor – Focus on sea level rise, stormwater impacts and storm surge in Prince George’s County community through a living shoreline, stream enhancement and stormwater practices.
  • Somerset County – Mitigate erosion and flooding along Deal Island Peninsula with a living shoreline that incorporates dune restoration and marsh enhancement.
  • St. Catherine’s Island – Concentrate on erosion and sea level rise at the Jefferson Islands Club’s island in St. Mary’s County with an innovative living shoreline that builds coastal resiliency and wildlife habitat on an island environment in the lower Potomac River.

Two additional projects, slated for Anne Arundel County, will go before the Board of Public Works later this year.

The new Coastal Resiliency Grant Program is part of a larger Resiliency through Restoration Initiative, which also provides technical assistance for communications, education, monitoring and outreach to document and share the benefits of natural solutions.


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