Volume 4, Issue 3
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.
CCS SPOTLIGHT: MONITORING
MARSH SURFACE ELEVATION CHANGE
From Science to
Policy: How Wetland Monitoring Has Informed Maryland's Land Conservation Efforts
SET station at Jug Bay.
In an effort to better
understand how marshes will respond to sea level rise, Maryland DNR's Chesapeake
Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve-MD (CBNERR-MD) research program started
a project in 2007 to monitor marsh soil elevation change as a result of erosion,
marsh settlement, compaction, and sediment accumulation. The study uses two
different field techniques: Surface Elevation Tables (SETs) and marker horizons.
Both techniques are widely employed around the world as they allow scientists to
determine if a marsh will be able to survive sea level rise trends. If a marsh
surface elevation increases at a similar or greater rate as increase in water
levels, it is expected that the marsh will be able to survive sea level rise,
otherwise the marsh will start to become more flooded and fall apart.
marsh surface elevation monitoring is currently conducted at Jug Bay and Monie
Bay. In each of these sites, SETs are located in low and high marsh zones and
are distributed along emergent vegetation transects that are also monitored by
the Reserve. All SETs sampled by CBNERR-MD are measured twice a year: in the
spring (start of growing season) and fall (start of non-growing season). The
data from these sites will help inform DNR policies and statewide climate change
example was the use of Jug Bay SET data in Maryland's land conservation
targeting. Over the last two years, Maryland made strides to increase the
State's resiliency and adaptability to climate change through land conservation
targeting using predictive wetland modeling as a guide for future coastal
landscape. Jug Bay wetland accumulation rates derived from CBNERR-MD SET data
were used to help predict the rate of wetland response to sea level rise for
Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties. This effort has led to the
identification of priority land conservation and restoration areas in those
counties that will be used to help direct the State's land conservation and
Sea level rise is an
important factor leading to the deterioration of Maryland's coastal marshes.
The only way marshes can keep up with increasing water levels is by building
up their elevation (through sediment accumulation on top of the marsh soil
surface) and/or by migrating to uplands. Understanding how wetlands may
respond to the effects of sea level rise will influence the way Maryland DNR
manages State lands, directs conservation and restoration efforts, and
further helps the State become more resilient to sea level rise and other
For more info please
contact Dr. Patricia Delgado, CBNERR Research Coordinator at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
PROPOSALS FOR COASTSMART COMMUNITIES GRANTS DUE THIS WEEK!
Funding Available to Help Coastal Communities Prepare for Climate Change
offering grants and technical assistance to help local communities prepare to
respond and adapt to the anticipated impacts of coastal hazards and climate
change through the CoastSmart Communities Initiative (CCI). In partnership with
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the State will
provide grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 to coastal communities to support
the planning and preparation needed to adapt to climate related impacts. In
addition to competitive grants, the State will offer on-the-ground expertise,
planning guidance, training and tools to support local planning efforts.
The deadline to submit proposals is rapidly approaching!
If you would like to discuss your project ideas or require pre-proposal
assistance, please e-mail CoastSmart Planner,
more information on this opportunity as well as the services offered by the
State or to apply for a grant, please visit the CoastSmart Communities Online
Resource Center at http://dnr.maryland.gov/CoastSmart.
SAVE THE DATE: RESOURCES FOR RESTORATION
A Spring Forum Sponsored by Maryland's Watershed Assistance Collaborative
Assistance Collaborative is sponsoring a "Resources for Restoration" Spring
Forum on April 17, 2012 at University of Maryland's College Park's Stamp Student
Union. Learn about: opportunities from the area's top restoration funders; tips
for building sustainable financing strategies with a focus on stormwater
management projects; how to access real one-on-one technical assistance; and top
notch contractors and service providers who can assist in completing your
you a contractor or service provider that focuses on stormwater management? If
so, please consider applying to be part of our Spring Forum Service Provider
Showcase. Please click
here for exhibitor/sponsorship
Registration is free. For more information and to register
The Watershed Assistance
Collaborative, with its dedicated staff of regional watershed restoration
specialists, has given more than $1M in hands-on technical assistance and has
helped more than 40 communities in the identification, design and engineering of
shovel-ready restoration projects. It has also identified more than 75 acres of
necessary forested buffer plantings, and assisted several communities with
innovative financing strategies and new stormwater utilities.
MEASURING THE IMPACT OF TRUST FUND PROJECTS
New Fact Sheet Available Describing Monitoring Efforts
partnership with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science,
DNR is tasked to monitor the effectiveness of the Trust Fund. Past
accomplishments include the development of a monitoring strategy designed to
guide Trust Fund recipients in the development of local watershed monitoring
plans as well continuous on-the-ground baseline monitoring. Recent efforts have
focused on the effectiveness of Best
Management Practices (BMPs) which will guide future investments with the
BMPs are practical structural or
nonstructural methods designed to prevent or reduce the movement of pollutants
from land to surface and/or ground waters. Evaluating BMP effectiveness is
necessary for demonstrating whether projects actually reduce pollutant yields.
The current monitoring strategy indicates that BMPs implemented in Trust Fund
projects must demonstrate a water quality response (e.g., improvement in water
quality) within three years of completion. Monitoring water quality both before
and after BMP implementation is a preferred and effective method that can be
used to evaluate the pollutant reduction capabilities.
For more information on Trust Fund projects and monitoring effectiveness, click
the thumbnail above to view the new fact sheet, or visit
LIVING SHORELINE INSTALLED ON AYERS CREEK CELCP PROPERTY
with New Soft Launch and Water Trail Access Site
Photo of a recently completed biolog living shoreline project (biolog is
buried) on Ayers Creek. Marsh grass planting is scheduled for Spring 2012.
Photo by Bhaskar Subramanian.|
The Maryland Department of
Natural Resources, Town of Ocean City, and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program
have partnered to install a living shoreline and create a soft launch on Ayers
Creek in Worcester County. The project will provide public recreational boating
access to Ayers Creek from a site that was formerly the Ocean City Landfill.
The 37-acre site,
with approximately 450 feet of shoreline, is owned by the Town of Ocean City and
was the municipal landfill until 1980. Once designated as a Superfund site, the
area has since been cleaned of toxic materials and was cleared by MDE in 2007.
The site is also adjacent to the 442-acre Ayers Creek/Holly Grove Swamp property
- a large, forested wetland complex along a half-mile stretch of Ayers Creek -
which was preserved for public open space through a partnership between DNR, the
County, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, NOAA's Coastal
and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) and the
Trust for Public Land in 2011.
Specific features of the project include:
- Installation of a parking area fitted with Grass
Protecta (a pervious mesh material);
Creation of an ADA accessible path to the Ayers Creek shoreline (also fitted
with Grass Protecta);
- Creation of an access
site/marsh area along the shore which is about 20 ft. wide and is composed
of biologs, sand fill, and wetland plantings;
Planting of native trees, shrubs and grasses that adhere to State Critical
Area Commission and County requirements; and
Installation of bike racks, a portable toilet, and an entrance gate.
This new access site will benefit paddlers, recreational trail users and nature
lovers by providing an amenity that is accessible by persons with disabilities,
and provides access to the headwaters of Ayers Creek. The public will be able to
experience both nearby CELCP properties from the water, which are also
accessible for passive recreation opportunities like hiking and bird watching.
And finally, this new access site provides much needed access to the
northwestern areas of the Assateague Water Trails network which is being
developed by DNR Boating Services, Worcester County and Delmarva Low Impact
Trail Experiences (DLITE). The trail network will feature a series of routes for
paddlers and other recreational boaters who want to explore Ayers Creek,
Newport, Chincoteague and Sinepuxent Bays, Ocean City and the Atlantic Ocean.
For more information about this project contact Lisa Gutierrez with DNR Boating
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MAJOR STEPS TOWARD LEASING FOR OFFSHORE WIND
PROJECTS IN MID-ATLANTIC
Leasing Process for Commercial Wind Development Initiated for Offshore Maryland
Kentish Flats wind power
farm, in sunset.
Photo by Vattenfall.
On February 2, 2012,
the Department of Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
(BOEM) is moving forward with the process for wind energy lease sales off the
coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. BOEM's
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found that there would be no
significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing wind energy
leases in designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas off the mid-Atlantic
assessment considered potential environmental impacts associated with site
assessment activities, such as geophysical, geotechnical, archeological and
biological surveys and the installation and operation of meteorological towers
and buoys. BOEM will use this environmental
assessment to inform future leasing decisions in the Mid-Atlantic, including
those emerging from BOEM's recent Call for Information and Nominations (Call)
for Maryland's Wind Energy Area (WEA). Through this Call, BOEM is soliciting
additional lease nominations and is requesting public comments about site
conditions, resources and other existing uses of the WEA off the coast of
Maryland. Once a lease is obtained and the developer proposes a wind energy
generation project on its lease, BOEM will prepare a separate site- and
project-specific analysis under NEPA of its construction and operations plan,
and provide additional opportunities for public involvement.
The Call Area
offshore Maryland contains nine whole OCS blocks and 11 partial blocks. A map of
the area of interest can be found at:
For more information on
Maryland's efforts to plan for offshore wind and to help the State to balance
multiple uses in the ocean, visit
CCS's OWN WINS MARYLAND OUTDOOR EDUCATOR OF 2011
Congratulations to Martha Shaum!
Chesapeake and Coastal Service's very own, Martha Shaum, has won a statewide
education award. The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor
Education (MAEOE) presented Shaum with the Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the
Year Award on February 10.
Shaum has worked within DNR's Chesapeake and Coastal Service for more than five
years as the Angler Education Coordinator. She leads the
Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program, which teaches school students,
summer campers and even adults how to fish. She also develops curricula on
aquatic animals, including fish husbandry programs. Shaum combines science with
important conservation messages to deliver captivating lessons to children in
school, and at education and outreach events.
Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award recognizes individuals who
demonstrate leadership and innovation in environmental and outdoor education.
This year's annual MAEOE conference was held in Ocean City, Md. and had more
than 600 attendees.
Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award honors his memory by rewarding
the efforts of those who strive for these qualities. The award began in 2007;
Martha is the 6th recipient.
Click here to view the full press release.
Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future
IN THE ZONE
A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA11NOS4190151. 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.