Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Service News - June 2013

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Volume 5, Issue 6   

JUNE 2013


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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Anacostia Watershed Society and Chesapeake Bay Foundation receive grant to restore wetlands and streams in Anacostia and Little Patuxent watersheds

Photo provided by Anacostia Watershed Services.

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has awarded two environmental organizations grants totaling $3 million to restore wetlands and streams in the Anacostia and Little Patuxent watersheds in coordination with local, state and federal partners. These projects will help Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties meet Chesapeake Bay restoration goals by decreasing nutrient and sediment pollution.


The Chesapeake Bay Foundation received $1 million for several wetland and stream restoration projects at the Sunrise-Navy Dairy Farm in Gambrills within the Little Patuxent watershed. The funding will be used to plant trees along 20 acres of stream to filter polluted runoff, clean and enhance wetlands, and restore nearly 7,000 linear feet of stream to improve wildlife and aquatic habitat.


Riparian buffers with the Anacostia Watershed Society
Riparian buffers with the Anacostia Watershed Society.

The Anacostia Watershed Society was awarded

$2 million to enhance wetlands and streams, and develop multiple rain gardens in the Anacostia watershed. The grant will fund restorations at William Wirt Middle School and several locations throughout the city of Hyattsville in Prince George's County. The project will establish stream buffers to help filter polluted runoff from more than 15 acres of impervious surface, reconnect stream floodplains, and enhance wildlife and aquatic habitat. Click here to view the full press release.


For more information regarding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, please contact Jenn Raulin with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8745.  

CCS partners with Parks & People Foundation to create urban green space
Click Image to view full photostream.
Photo by Parks & People Foundation.

State and city officials, local nonprofits and volunteers gathered to plant trees on June 15 at the New Broadway East Community Park in Baltimore as part of the projects final stage. One of many partners, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, contributed $153,000 toward this new urban park. The project was identified through the Trust Fund as a great opportunity to use new innovative concrete in an ultra-urban setting. The material was used to create park paths and a parking lot that allows polluted rainwater runoff to flow through to the ground, keeping it out of local streams and waterways.


These types of projects help beatify neighborhoods, enhance quality of life, and contribute to a cleaner waterways, furthering Watershed Implementation Plans and helping cities and counties reach their Chesapeake Bay restoration goals.  Click here to view the full press release. 


For more information regarding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, please contact Jenn Raulin with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8745.


MD Partnership for Children in Nature along with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks sponsors outdoor environmental education 


Click Image to view full photostream. Photo by Gabe Cohee.

June 4, 2013 was a great day for the children and parents of the Samuel F.B. Morse Elementary School in Baltimore.  Over 220 students were treated to a field day in Carroll Park that focused on enjoying nature and spending time outdoors.  They participated in 17 stations including fishing, bicycling, geo-caching in the historic orchard and planting seeds in pots.  They learned about birds, clean water and recycling, what frogs eat and where they live and about wild animals.  They even made "grow buddies" to care for at home and wildlife art on tee shirts!  Doctors and nurses were on hand to talk to parents about the importance and health benefits of spending more time active and outdoors.   Most parents said they would make an effort to bring their children back to the park and would try some of the activities on their own.  The school is located in West Baltimore where green space is at a premium and not easily accessible for many residents.


Photo by Gabe Cohee. 

The event was sponsored by the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature along with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks; and Docs in the Parks program with doctors, nurses and staff from St Agnes Hospital and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  DNR staff, Catherine Shanks and Britt Slattery, led a team from the school, Baltimore City and the Docs in the Parks program to organize the day.   


The National Wildlife Federation provided a grant to the school for transportation.  Other organizations that participated with their time and resources include the Maryland Departments of the Environment and Agriculture, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Parks and People Foundation, Montgomery County Parks, Carrie Murray Nature Center, Patterson Park Audubon Center, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland Coastal Stewards, the Isaac Walton League, and the Carroll Park Foundation. Twenty staff from DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service, Chesapeake and Coastal Service, Office for a Sustainable Future and Fisheries Service shared their time, knowledge and energy with the children and their parents.


The Partnership for Children in Nature was originally established by Governor Martin O'Malley through an executive order in 2008.  Since that time, the Partnership has developed an Environmental Literacy Plan for the State, influenced the adoption of an environmental literacy graduation requirement for all public schools, and worked to make connections between educators, educational institutions, parks, and the public on the benefits of being active outdoors in nature.  


For more information on the Partnership for Children in Nature, please contact Britt Slattery with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8715. 

MARCO coordinates with ELI to produce a guide to manage offshore wind

Photo provided by MARCO.
The State of Maryland has been taking bold steps to encourage offshore wind energy development along our Atlantic Coast.  As part of this effort, Maryland's Coastal Program has engaged stakeholders, mapped the natural resources and human uses off our coast, and has promoted the responsible development of this valuable renewable resource.

The Coastal Program, in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, has released a new report; A Guide to State Management of Offshore Wind Energy in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The guide, which was developed with Coastal Zone Management funds, provides an overview of the issues affecting offshore wind energy projects in the region and identifies the basic elements of state authority to address resource concerns and competing uses such as navigation and fishing.

MARCO is an effort launched by the Mid-Atlantic state governments (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia) four years ago to protect Atlantic Ocean waters while promoting the development of offshore wind energy projects.  The federal government and the five MARCO state governments are actively exploring offshore wind energy development for its potential to promote energy independence, enhance local economic development goals, and help meet state renewable energy standards. Within 50 nautical miles* of the shore from New York to Virginia, there are roughly 410 gigawatts of wind energy potential covering an area of 82,000 square kilometers. Much of that area can be developed using current technology, with a gently sloping, shallow continental shelf and steady offshore winds. But placement of turbines and planning for transmission depends upon characteristics that may vary from site to site. These include local wind resources, ocean bottom conditions, and the compatibility of wind development with existing coastal resources and uses. Added to this complexity are political boundaries and differing state and federal regulatory and planning authorities.  Click here to view the full press release.

For more information regarding MARCO's involvement with State management of offshore wind energy, please contact Gwynne Schultz with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8735.

Gwynne Schultz brings 25 years of coastal resource experience to new role
Photo provided by the Chesapeake & Coastal Service.
Gwynne Schultz, a senior Coastal and Ocean Policy advisor with the Chesapeake and Coastal Service, was recently named the new Board Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean's (MARCO). With over 25 years working for the State of Maryland on coastal resource issues, Gwynne is currently a Senior Coastal and Ocean Policy Advisor at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
With over 25 years working for the State of Maryland on coastal resource issues, Gwynne has been actively involved in ocean and coastal policy development and collaborates with federal, state, regional and local agencies and stakeholders on a variety of issues including ocean planning and offshore wind energy development. She led Maryland's efforts to establish MARCO and along with her new role as Chair of the Management Board, Gwynne is the State Co-Lead for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body.  Gwynne has represented Maryland on the Coastal States Organization since 1995 and is currently a member of the Executive Committee representing the Mid-Atlantic region. She also represents the State on the Maryland Coastal Bays Program Foundation Board of Directors.

Click Image to view past issues.
MARCO debuts newsletter to provide information on regional ocean issues

In celebration of World Oceans Day on June 5, MARCO introduced the first issue of "MARCO News." The electronic newsletter will provide you with updates about MARCO and our partners, share information about upcoming events, and offer a way for you to stay informed about regional ocean issues. Click here to provide comments or suggestions and to join our email distribution list.


For more information regarding MARCO, please contact Gwynne Schultz with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8735. 
King tides photo initiative captured high tides from June 22nd - 25th

Click Image to view full photostream. Photo by Eric Epstein.

Maryland experienced the highest tides of the summer from June 22-25th.  The Chesapeake & Coastal Service asked residents in coastal areas to take pictures of the resulting high waters and flooding and submit them here. These King Tides, as they are often called, give planners a look at what potential future sea level rise may look like.    


These photographs will be used in educational and outreach materials to build awareness on how coastal flooding affects Maryland's shoreline. Building a photo library will help planners understand how floods are impacting area schools, homes, harbors, beaches, public access points and other public infrastructure. CCS will also use this information to help vulnerable communities that may experience coastal hazards and increased flooding in the future.


King Tides are natural, predictable tides and are not related to sea level rise or climate change. As waters continue to rise, coastal areas will become more at-risk to the impacts of storm surges, flooding and other coastal hazards. Click here to view the Environmental Protection Agency's fact sheet on King Tides.

"Climate change is expected to increase the number of extreme storm events to the point where the floods of today become tomorrow's high tides," said DNR CoastSmart Communities Planner Kate Skaggs. "If the State and its citizens do not adapt however, areas that do see flooding from the King Tides could be an example of what communities may experience as a result of future sea level rise."  Click here to view the full press release.


The next opportunity to capture these king tides will be from July 21-24th! We are asking people to take pictures of historic and culturally significant structures, public infrastructure, and other places that may be good illustrations of this high tide.


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

CCS and partners set to host CRS workshop on September 20th

Photo by Jim Thompson.
Representatives from nine communities, who are either currently participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) or planning to apply within the next year, got together in Queestown, MD at the University of Maryland Extension, Wye Research & Education Center on May 22nd to kick-off the Maryland CRS User Group.

The two-hour meeting covered an overview of CRS, the status of MD CRS communities, the purpose of a user group, and elevation certificate training.  The meeting also allowed time for communities to share their CRS experiences with one another.  Communities who are in the process of applying to CRS were able to ask participating communities for tips, advice, and lessons learned. The goal of the user group is to be eventually led and coordinated by participating communities.  A user group can provide a forum for relevant discussion, Continuing Education Credits, and for communities to be able to pool resources for their Programs for Public Information.


The Community Rating System is a voluntary program for NFIP-participating communities.  The goals of the CRS are to reduce flood losses, to facilitate accurate insurance rating, and to promote the awareness of flood insurance.  The CRS has been development to provide decreases in homeowners' flood insurance premiums for communities to go above and beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements to provide protection from flooding.  CCS's CoastSmart Communities Grant is currently funding Talbot County and Calvert County to apply to the Community Rating System.  Application to CRS requires each community to review its strengths and weaknesses regarding their current floodplain management including areas of flood insurance and risk outreach, green and open space programs, and programs that preserve natural floodplain functions. 


Additionally, MDE and DNR will partner for a day-long CRS workshop that will be held on Friday, September 20, 2013 and will be based on the new CRS manual.  The location for this training is still being decided on.


For more information, please contact Katie Lipiecki, (FEMA Region III), Kevin Wagner (MDE), or Kate Skaggs with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8743 .

Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.
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A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA12NOS4190169. 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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