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Maryland Department of Natural Resources Completes Shoreline Restoration in Dorchester County

Project Funded as Part of ‘Resiliency Through Restoration’

Photo of shoreline with protective netting in place

Goose netting was installed around new plantings along the Hurst Creek living shoreline project. Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today announced the completion of shoreline construction at Hurst Creek in Dorchester County, the second of the department’s 24 Resiliency through Restoration Initiative pilot projects. In this project, nearly 1,200 linear feet of living shoreline was completed along the mouth of the Hurst Creek along the Choptank River.

“Resilient shorelines are essential to adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change for future generations,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “This project also highlights the beneficial use of dredged material, which creates economic opportunities, helps clean the water and increases habitat for our most important species.”

The Hurst Creek project is one of 24 pilot projects that were part of the Resiliency through Restoration Initiative, which the department initiated in September 2017 to enhance community resilience to flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. 

A combination of marsh grasses, sand, and stones were used to construct the living shoreline and adjacent breakwaters to provide increased protection to the surrounding community of Bonnie Brook in Cambridge. About 12,500 cubic yards of clean, sandy dredged material, excavated from the adjacent channel of the creek, was used in the construction of the shoreline. The availability of this material eliminated the need to purchase sand and provided an estimated cost savings of $500,000 to the project.

The Department of Natural Resources administered a grant for $1.39 million to the Dorchester County Council. The department also worked with Delmarva Resource Conservation and Development Council, Coastline Design Inc., and ShoreLine Design. Construction was completed in late winter and additional planting is taking place this spring. 

“The restoration on the shoreline will preserve the existing land, make the land more resilient to changes in weather and provide protection for the community against sea level rise,” said Dorchester County Director of Planning and Zoning Susan Webb.