Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Service News - January 2014

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Volume 6, Issue 2        

January 2014 


IN THE ZONE is a service from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS) that delivers timely information, tools, and resources to those who live, work, and play in Maryland's coastal zone.

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Past chair, Mayor Vincent Gray, commended for his local actions for the Bay

Click image to view full photostream. Photo by Jay Baker.
On December 12, 2013 Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley became the new chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, taking over the leadership role from the District of Columbia's Mayor, Vincent C. Gray. Governor O'Malley vowed to continue the positive momentum of the Chesapeake Bay Program and lead the regional partnership into a new era of progress and accountability.

"I thank my fellow council members for the opportunity to once again take the helm of this partnership, and to help get a new Bay agreement signed, sealed and delivered to the 18 million souls who call the Chesapeake's Watershed home," said Governor O'Malley. "We have only one planet to sustain us, and one Chesapeake Bay standing at the heart of our environment, our economy and our way of life. The commitments we make today will define its future, creating the resource that our children and grandchildren will come to know."

At the Executive Council press conference, held at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., Mayor Gray, the outgoing chair, recognized the importance of thirty years of collaboration and progress by the Chesapeake Bay Program partners and the need to plan for the future.

"Over the last eighteen months, Bay Program partners have continued to work in the spirit of collaboration that is the hallmark of our thirty-year-old partnership. Today, using our solid history of science and restoration experience, it is incumbent upon us to work diligently and create a successful new direction forward for the partnership," said Mayor Gray. "I am pleased to have been Chair during this time and look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts under Governor O'Malley's leadership."

Click here to view the full press release.

For more information regarding the Chesapeake Executive Council or the new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, please contact Chris Becraft with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8734.
New Broadway East Park recognized for innovations in stormwater management

New Broadway East Trust Fund Project
New Broadway East Trust Fund Project.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joe Gill and Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers presented the Parks & People Foundation with the Smart, Green & Growing (SGG) Award for Innovations in Stormwater Management. The New Broadway East Community Park in Baltimore City, the second Project UP park for ACTrees and its partner Boise Inc., received the recognition for reducing stormwater runoff through multiple best management practices.

The SGG award recognizes groups, organizations, county and municipal governments and projects that have fostered the creation of new approaches to address the impact of stormwater runoff pollution in Maryland. Urban and suburban stormwater pollution accounts for 18 percent of the pollution into our rivers, streams, lakes and drinking water reservoirs.


"Congratulations to the Parks & People Foundation for their receipt of the 2013 Smart, Green & Growing Award for Innovations in Stormwater Management. The New Broadway East Community Park project is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when state, local and private stakeholders partner," said Joe Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. "This project not only changed the landscape of one Baltimore neighborhood from dilapidated row houses to trees, green space and native species, but also implemented innovative stormwater filtration to protect our waterways."


Click here to view the full press release. 

For more information regarding the New Broadway East Community Park, please contact Laura Connelly with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8825.
Tool helps local governments assess vulnerability and plan for climate change

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Photo by Jim Thompson.
The State is offering CoastSmart Communities grants to help local governments improve their ability to respond to coastal threats such as storm surge, flooding and sea level rise. To further assist communities in this effort, DNR has launched the CoastSmart Communities Scorecard, a new tool through which governments can evaluate their hazard preparedness based on current efforts.


"As our climate continues to change and the seas continue to rise, Maryland's coastal areas are highly susceptible to storms, flooding, hurricanes and other hazards," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "By providing funding and technical assistance, we are helping our most vulnerable communities combat this threat, and build a stronger, more resilient Maryland."


The Scorecard is designed to be completed by local officials in a group setting to prompt discussion on risk, planning, response strategies and opportunities through a series of yes or no questions. While the results will not be used to rank or compare communities, they will help direct officials to recommendations, tools and resources, and may be used to inform future project proposals to the CoastSmart Communities Grant and other funding programs. DNR will provide staff to facilitate an in-person Scorecard exercise upon request. The Scorecard PDF and online exercise is available here.


Click here to read the full press release.


For more information regarding CoastSmart Communities grants, please contact Kate Skaggs with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8743. 

Governor O'Malley's new initiative set to care for streams across Maryland

Students across the state are gearing up to take action to care for Maryland's streams, as a key part of Bay restoration. Approximately 110 teachers representing schools in 22 counties across Maryland are participating in this year's "Explore and Restore your SchoolShed" initiative.


Governor O'Malley Visits Dunloggin Middle School
Governor O'Malley Visits Dunloggin Middle School.

Aligned with the Governor's vision of schools using their local streams as outdoor classrooms, teachers will engage their students in studying the health of their streams, and then take action to help make improvements over time. By investigating real-world, local environmental issues, and using these findings to make informed decisions, schools are directly in line with Maryland's environmental literacy graduation requirement, which has been in place since 2011.


Many of the participating schools are already busy examining their streams and making plans for ongoing work. Check out this video highlight of Dunloggin Middle School, a SchoolShed participant, showing their recent visit from Governor O'Malley.


Click here to sign-up for the Eyes on the Bay newsletter for monthly updates on Explore and Restore your SchoolShed.


For more information regarding the Explore and Restore Your SchoolShed initiative, please contact Britt Slattery, with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260- 8715. 

Climate Change and CoastSmart Construction Working Group plan for areas vulnerable to coastal flooding and sea level rise

Maryland's Climate Change and CoastSmart Construction Working Group has issued its Final Report, intended to guide what, where and how the State builds in areas vulnerable to coastal flooding and future sea level rise.  The report recommends specific siting and design guidelines for State construction projects to protect against the impacts of climate change.

"As storms such as Hurricane Sandy have shown, we must commit our resources and expertise to create a ready and resilient Maryland, taking the necessary steps to adapt to rising seas and unpredictable weather," said Governor Martin O'Malley, who is currently serving on President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. "By studying and planning for storms and climate change, we can ensure that Maryland's land and infrastructure and most importantly its citizens, are safe and prepared."


The report issued in response to directives outlined in Governor O'Malley's 2012 Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction Executive Order recommends that the State employ CoastSmart practices to State structures during construction or rehabilitation.

Click here to view the full press release.

Fore more information regarding these new construction guidelines for areas vulnerable to coastal flooding and sea level rise, please contact Zoe Johnson with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8743.
Summit highlights emerging sciences, new partnerships, and vast progress

Click image to view full photostream. Photo by Bhaskar Subramanian.

"We are on a journey through the unknown," said Evamaria Koch, a Brazilian-born scientist, who came to Maryland for her doctoral work and became captivated by the Chesapeake's shorelines and submerged aquatic vegetation.


Speaking in Cambridge, MD, on the second day of the Mid-Atlantic Living Shoreline Summit, she was referring to her research on the effects of shoreline structures on SAVs and to the wider question of the effectiveness of shoreline defense strategies.


Koch could have been talking about any scientific inquiry, but her statement had special resonance for the more than 300 attendees who had braved snow and ice to spend a couple of days sharing knowledge and building community in support of living shorelines - one of the most promising tools that has emerged for protecting coastal properties from sealevel rise while enhancing habitat and ecological systems.


Summit organizers had hoped that the two days would be an opportunity to share research, tools and techniques as well as to discuss how to use this information to energize state and local programs in the mid-Atlantic region. What emerged after two days was consensus that more communication is needed to persuade property owners and governments to use living shorelines as the method of choice for sealevel adaption in coastal communities.


Click here to view the full article published in the Bay Journal.


For more information regarding this Living Shoreline Summit or any other questions regarding CCS' Shoreline Conservation Service, please contact Bhaskar Subramanian at 410-260-8734.


Resilient and robust living shoreline set to be finished with plantings this Spring 


Click image to view full photostream.  Photo by Bhaskar Subramanian. 

After nearly five years of planning and five months of construction, the deteriorating coast along Ferry Point will soon be fully transformed to a resilient and robust living shoreline, following a grass planting this spring. Made possible through a partnership between the State and Queen Anne's County, the project restores the loss of wetland in Kent Island, safeguards land and sea life habitat, protects Kent Narrows from extreme weather, and enhances recreation.


Located on the north end of Kent Narrows within Ferry Point Park, the property is a 41-acre parcel of marshland that provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, such as horseshoe crabs, terrapins, bald eagles and osprey. The park serves as an environmental education site, offering a variety of activities include fishing, swimming, bird watching, hiking, canoeing and kayaking.


"From the moment this property was available for acquisition, it was decided the land of Ferry Point Park would serve to provide not only passive recreation and habitat protection opportunities, but the very important service of protecting the county economic hub of Kent Narrows from the perils of storm surge, erosion, wind and weather," said Queen Anne County Environmental Planner Nancy Scozzari. "This land has really worked well to perform the job!"


Click here to view the full press release.


For more information regarding the Ferry Point living shoreline project, please contact Bhaskar Subramanian with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8786.

Maryland experienced winter King Tides from December 31 through January 3

Click image to view full photostream. Photo by Jim Thompson.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asked residents in coastal areas to take and share photos of the resulting high waters and flooding from the winter King Tide, which took place from December 31 to January 3. While not all communities experienced flooding, in some areas, these unusually high tides gave planners a look at what potential future sea level rise may look like.


Pictures from the King Tides Initiative will be used, along with photos from other flood events, as visual aids in building awareness around how coastal flooding currently impacts Maryland's coastal communities. DNR's Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS) will use this photo library to help state and local practitioners further understand how floods are impacting area schools, homes, harbors, beaches, public access points, and other public infrastructure.  


King Tides are natural, predictable tides and are not related to sea level rise or climate change. However, as waters continue to rise, coastal areas will become more at-risk to the impacts of these tides, as well as storm surge, flooding and other coastal dangers. Learn more via EPA's fact sheet here.


Click here to view the full press release.


For more information regarding Maryland's King Tides. please contact Kate Skaggs with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8743. 

CCS invites adults interested in teaching elementary and middle-school students about Maryland's natural environment

Photo by Chris Hintz.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites adults interested in teaching elementary and middle-school students about Maryland's natural environment to become a part of TEAM, Teaching Environmental Awareness in Maryland.

Volunteers should have an outgoing personality, a strong environmental ethic, and a desire to teach 45-minute to 1.5-hour lessons in classrooms. Although no prior teaching experience is necessary, volunteers MUST attend a three-session TEAM training before beginning. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old have their own transportation.


The next set of workshops will be held consecutive weeks in February/March. Participants must attend all three for necessary training.

  • Friday, February 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at DNR Tawes Building (580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis 21401)
  • Thursday, February 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 pm at DNR Tawes Building (580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis 21401)
  • Thursday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary (1361 Wrighton Rd., Lothian 20711) 
Click here to view the full press release.

For more information regarding volunteering opportunities, please contact Chris Hintz with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8809.


Draft Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Planning Framework discussed on February 24


Photo by Michelle Lennox.

The Maryland Coastal Program wishes to highlight upcoming opportunities for you to engage in ocean planning activities in the Mid-Atlantic.


The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB) is seeking input on the Draft Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Planning Framework. The Draft Framework includes a proposed vision statement, principles, goals, objectives, and geographic focus which will guide the regional ocean planning process.  


A webinar will be held on Friday, February 14, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. to offer the public an opportunity to comment on the Draft Framework, and to describe the listening sessions, which will be held throughout the region in the coming weeks. Two listening sessions will be held in Annapolis on Monday, February 24 - 1:00 to 3:30 pm and 5:00 to 7:30 pm - at the Marriott Waterfront; located at 80 Compromise Street.


Details about the webinar and the public listening sessions will be posted on the MidA RPB website, or for more information, please contact Michelle Lennox at 410-260-8747. 

Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.

A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA13NOS4190136. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.

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Maryland Department of Natural Resources | Chesapeake & Coastal Service | Tawes State Building | 580 Tayor Avenue, E-2 | Annapolis | MD | 21401