Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - September 2009

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Volume 1, Issue 10

September 2009

IN THIS ISSUE
CCP SPOTLIGHT: COAST-SMART COMMUNITIES PROJECTS
INTERM REPORT OF OBAMA'S OCEAN POLICY TASK FORCE
MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL COUNCIL ON THE OCEAN UPDATE
CHESAPEAKE WATERSHED FORUM WORKSHOP ON PLANNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
CCP WELCOMES NOAA COASTAL FELLOW
 
You Are Now... IN THE ZONE 
 
IN THE ZONE
is an e-mail service from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Chesapeake & Coastal Program (CCP) that delivers timely information, tools and resources to those living and working in Maryland's coastal zone.
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CCP PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: MARYLAND'S FIRST COAST-SMART COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE PROJECTS

CCP Program Spotlight is a feature of the In the Zone e-mail service that highlights programs that have been developed by the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or through partnership and support from federal, state and local partners helping to advance coastal management in Maryland.

The first four projects that will kick-off Maryland's new Coast-Smart Communities Initiative have been announced. The initiative provides financial and technical assistance to coastal communities to address vulnerability to the impacts of sea level rise and climate change.

gove quote picLaunched by Governor O'Malley in April 2009, the Coast-Smart Communities Initiative was created in response to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change Action Plan, which outlined a comprehensive strategy to protect Maryland's people and property from rising sea levels and changing weather patterns.  Jumpstarted with the help of a competitive grant program for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funds and administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the funding provides resources at the local level to help tackle climate change related risks.

Out of the nine proposals received, four projects have been selected and will begin in October 2009. These include: the development of a strategic plan targeting sea level rise and climate change in Anne Arundel County; improvements to Caroline County's floodplain and stormwater management programs; a sea level rise adaptation and response plan for the City of Annapolis that includes a vulnerability and impact assessment as well as outlines policy response options; and an integrated community and watershed design project for the town of Queenstown.

Communities interested in learning more about the Coast-Smart Communities Initiative and steps they can take to address vulnerability to climate change impacts should contact Gwen Shaughnessy with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program at 410.260.8743.

Click here to see the full press release.

reportPRESIDENT OBAMA'S INTERAGENCY OCEAN POLICY TASK FORCE INTERIM REPORT UNDERGOING REVIEW AND COMMENT PERIOD

On June 12, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum establishing a new interagency Ocean Policy Task Force to deliver recommendations for a National Policy for the Oceans, Coasts and Great Lakes and to develop a recommended framework for coastal and marine spatial planning.

The Task Force's Interim Report is now available and is undergoing a 30-day public review and comment period.

Click here to read the report.

MARCO's "ACTIONS, TIMELINES AND LEADERSHIP" NOW AVAILABLE

brothers at oceanOn June 4, 2009, the States of Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia hosted the Mid-Atlantic Governors' Ocean Summit in Manhattan.  The Summit resulted in an interstate agreement signed by the five Governors that created the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), and charged the States to collaboratively address shared priorities, including;

  1. Coordinate protection of important habitats and sensitive and unique offshore areas:
  2. Promote improvements in the region's coastal water quality;
  3. Support the sustainable development of renewable energy in offshore areas; and
  4. Prepare the region's coastal communities for the impact of climate change on ocean and coastal resources.

The Ocean Summit also led to the identification of actions, timelines, and leadership that will advance the shared priorities.  Click here to see the "Actions, Timelines, and Leadership to Advance The Mid-Atlantic Governors' Agreement on Ocean Conservation" paper on the MARCO website. 

For more information about Maryland's role in MARCO and efforts already underway to protect our ocean, e-mail Gwynne Schultz with the Department of Natural Resources, or visit: www.dnr.maryland.gov/ocean.

AN INVITATION FROM THE COASTAL & WATERSHED ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- from Brice Gamber, CWRAC Vice Chair


I have been a member of CWRAC for about six years and joined as
cwracrepresentative of the Talbot County Creekwatchers, for which I now serve as Chairman. The regular meetings, as well as discussions with CWRAC members and DNR staff, have proven to be both rich and rewarding.  Initially, it was a learning experience for someone who had retired from the private sector but had an abiding commitment to the environment, especially the Chesapeake Bay.  As my experience grew, I was able to bring more to CWRAC in the way of locally-based input as well as opinions based on experiences.

Further, I was able to use the relationships formed through CWRAC to communicate to my organization, other "water-based" non profit groups, and county officials programs that were in effect or being designed by State of Maryland agencies (DNR, MDE, University of Maryland, et. al.) as well as NOAA, that would either impact or benefit the entities. The networking that the membership in CWRAC provided has been invaluable for resourcing problems as well as assisting other groups in their efforts.

Separately, I have seen county and local municipal employees benefit from networking with peers from other counties who "wear the same shoes" and who may have experienced more scar tissue "on the job".  To me, CWRAC has become more dynamic in the past several years, addressing key issues facing State and local agencies and helping those agencies prioritize their efforts.

I would strongly recommend membership in CWRAC to both environmentalists and local government staff looking for a group that could help them understand existing and proposed programs and give them an opportunity to influence decisions through recommendations that are forwarded to the Secretary level of State Government.

Finally, I want to encourage public and private organizations to join CWRAC.  This is one area of the state community that is underrepresented and is missing an opportunity to participate in program review and influence program development.

For more information on CWRAC, contact Joe Abe at 410-260-8740.

CWRAC Background
Since 1976, The Maryland Coastal and Watershed Resources Advisory Committee (CWRAC) has served a unique and invaluable role in managing the State's coast.Supported administratively by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, CWRAC acts as an independent advisory body to the Secretary of Natural Resources and to Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program on policy issues affecting the coastal areas of Maryland. Funding is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Coastal Zone Management grant. The diversified membership on the committee allows for informed discussion of coastal issues often leading to integral input into state programs and policies.The membership includes concerned citizens, representatives of business, civic and conservation groups and local government agencies.

CHESAPEAKE WATERSHED FORUM WORKSHOP: "How to Plan for Climate Changes in the Chesapeake Watershed"

cwforumThis year's Chesapeake Watershed Forum is hosting special full-day pre-forum workshops on Thursday afternoon, October 8 through Friday noon, October 9.  The Chesapeake Watershed Forum will be held at at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

CCP staff will be facilitating the workshop entitled, "How to Plan for Climate Changes in the Chesapeake Watershed."  During this intensive, interactive workshop you will work through key decisions affecting communities. You will work on adaptation planning to protect people, infrastructure, and investments from the impacts of climate change and you will leave with solid tools and real examples from around the watershed.

This is a great chance to go into a topic in much greater depth than the regular forum sessions on the weekend allow. Don't miss this great interactive opportunity to explore how to deal with climate change in your community!

For more information on the workshop, contact Gwen Shaughnessy with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program at 410.260.8743.  Click here to be directed to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay website to register for the event and workshop.

CHESAPEAKE & COASTAL PROGRAM WELCOMES NEW NOAA COASTAL FELLOW CHELSEA PAPIEZ

chelseaIn the January issue of In the Zone, we announced that NOAA's Coastal Services Center had selected Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program as one of the state coastal programs that would receive a Coastal Fellow from 2009-2011. 

Finally this August, Chelsea Papiez joined the CCP staff.  Chelsea's project, titled, "Coastal Land Conservation in Maryland: Targeting Tools and Techniques for Sea Level Rise Adaptation and Response," will help CCP and the state of Maryland identify high priority coastal habitats threatened by sea level rise and climate change and direct management and restoration activities to protect their long-term viability.

Chelsea holds a B.A. in Botany from University of Washington and a M.E.S. from The Evergreen State College.

If you are interested in discussing the project, please contact Chelsea Papiez at 410.260.8726 or Catherine McCall at 410-260-8737.

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CALVERT MARINE MUSEUM WILL HOST 4th ANNUAL PATUXENT RIVER SUMMIT
 
The 2009 State of the River Summit will be held at the Calvert Marine Museum on Friday, October 9 from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Join concerned citizens, scientists and policy makers to discuss the health and future of the Patuxent River.  This 4th Annual Summit will feature several speakers who participated in the Governor's Climate Change Commission.  See visual models of sea level rise in vulnerable areas; hear how rising temperatures, increased precipitation, and stronger storms will affect this region in the future; and discuss how our community can begin to plan for the challenges of climate change.
 
Don't miss what promises to be a very informative and important discussion on the local challenges we all need to start planning for. The Summit will close with a Call to Action by Senator Fowler. For more information and a complete schedule, please visit www.calvertmarinemuseum.com.
CCP logoPlease feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.
 
Sincerely,
Your Chesapeake & Coastal Program Team

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No.NA08NOS4190469. 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 Program | Tawes State Building | 580 Tayor Avenue, E-2 | Annapolis | MD | 21401