Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - September 2010

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Photo courtesy of Coreen Weilminster

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Volume 2, Issue 8

September 2010

is a service from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources'
Chesapeake & Coastal Program (CCP) that delivers timely information, tools and resources to those who live, work and play in Maryland's coastal zone.
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CCP SPOTLIGHT: Forest heights' Comprehensive Plan to Develop a Green Community
'08-09 Coastal Communities Initiative Recipient Continues Work to Be Green 
CCP 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.


Image of Stormwater Retrofit Plan developed for Forest Heights by Low Impact Design Studio and Raztec Associates.


The town of Forest Heights is an environmentally active, small urban municipality incorporated in 1949, with a population of approximately 2,600 residents located in Prince George's County.  In 2008, Forest Heights was awarded funding through the Coastal Communities Initiative (CCI) to develop a comprehensive plan to become a more green community.


The objectives of this project were to: 1) develop a master plan for the town municipal building and grounds to reduce stormwater runoff into the Oxon Run and ultimately the Potomac River; 2) to review and modify existing codes and ordinances to achieve greater environmental benefits through reduced polluted runoff; and 3) to hold a series of workshops with elected officials and citizens to raise awareness of how the Forest Heights residents can reduce their human imprint and participate in the reduction of non-point source pollution.


A conceptual design to reduce stormwater runoff at the source to zero runoff in a one-two year rain event at the Municipal Complex was accomplished through the assistance of Low Impact Design Studio and Raztec Associates.  This year Forest Heights installed a 'vegetated' green roof on top of their Town Hall as well as 110-gallon rain barrels that were affixed to the building.  Solar panels are next the next installation to offset the energy usage of the building. Further retrofits are pending funding for construction from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, to be announced in mid-October of this year.


The University of Maryland Law Center in Baltimore provided assistance to Forest Heights by reviewing their codes and ordinances along with federal, state and county laws. Results indicated that the town only needed to adopt or reference existing county ordinances.  Updated codes adopted include: Article 3-Building and Construction Regulations, Article 11-Health, Article 15 Parking and Traffic, Article 16-Environmental Noise Control, Article 18-Vehicle and Motor Cycle Repairs and Article 19-Streets and Sidewalks.     


To accomplish the third objective, several workshops were held at the municipal building on topics that included: Energy Conservation; An Introduction to Rain Gardens; Making Forest a More Healthy and Beautiful Community; and a Chesapeake NEMO presentation on Urban Impact on the Chesapeake Bay.


Supplemental to the CCI project, Forest Heights is continuing to take a holistic approach in addressing its environmental sustainability and impact on the Oxon Run Watershed.  The most recent activity was the completion of an Urban Tree Canopy Assessment with assistance from the University of Vermont Spatial Anaylis Lab and through funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.  This will help the town in developing its Urban Tree Canopy Plan.  Additionally, the town is continuing to rethink their stormwater system through their recent hire of Pennoni Engineering, who will survey their entire stormwater system.  The town will use this as a way to target repairs and plan for new green infrastructure.

If you want to learn more about Forest Heights' efforts to become a green community, contact Jacqueline Goodall at 301.518.1898 or e-mail


Communities interested in learning more about the Coastal Communities Initiative and applying for assistance should e-mail Chris Cortina with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8774.


Photo from

Oxon Run Watershed flows through the
District of Columbia and Maryland and runs parallel to Southern Avenue as it crisscrosses the district line finally flowing into the Potomac River at Oxon Cove. According to Jacqueline Goodall, "It is one of the most neglected watersheds in our area and we need your help in removing trash and restoring one of our valued tidal streams." 
Please pass this email on to others who may be interested as there is a lot of work that needs to be done and we would appreciate any assistance that can be given.


This clean up effort is sponsored by the Neighborhood Design Center and the Town of Forest Heights. Community service hours will be offered to students.  If you have any questions contact Jacqueline Goodall at 301.518.1898 or e-mail



Public Invited to Review and Comment, Public Meetings Scheduled


Ches Plan draft cover
On September 1st, Governor O'Malley released Maryland's draft Watershed Implementation Plan as part of the Bay-wide TMDL.  The draft plan provides a series of proposed strategies that will collectively exceed the target of 70 percent of the total reductions needed to meet Maryland's accelerated deadline of 2020. 
The State is seeking comments from the public on the draft plan.  A copy of the draft has is posted on Maryland Department of the Environment's website where Marylanders can view the plan and submit their comments electronically. The draft will be available for review and comment until November 8, 2010.
By continuing to fully engage Maryland's citizens, the State will be able to make the most informed decisions when the final plan is submitted to EPA at the end of November. 
A series of public meetings have been scheduled to provide information and answer questions about the draft Phase I Plan.  Click here for more information about these meetings.
CBSE thumbnail
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Baltimore District, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, has studied erosion on the shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay main stem and tidal tributaries in Maryland. A document has been produced, titled "Chesapeake Bay Shoreline Erosion in Maryland: A Management Guide," to address three needs:

1. Identify areas around the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland where ecological, socioeconomic, or cultural resources may be vulnerable to effects from shoreline erosion over 50 years.

2. Provide information on using stand-alone and online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to screen and evaluate potential impacts from shoreline erosion. 

3. Present background data and studies that may be used to support shoreline erosion project formulation.

In addition to characterizing shoreline erosion in the Chesapeake Bay, the Management Guide outlines the results of a preliminary screening of shoreline areas where erosion is projected to affect selected environmental, social, or cultural resources in the next 50 years. Areas have been highlighted where USACE could have an interest in further investigating solutions that would protect these potentially affected resources.
For more information about this Management Guide, or for information on shoreline management, please contact Gwen Shaughnessy with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8743.  We also invite you to visit CCP's CoastSmart Communities Online Resources Center.
Regional Ocean Partnership is Seeking Increased Involvement and Funding 
On August 31st, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) Management Board, which includes Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Virginia, met with federal agency representatives to discuss opportunities for collaboration on MARCO's habitat, offshore energy, climate change adaptation and water quality priorities. The federal agencies in attendance - which included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, US Geological Survey, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council - discussed technical assistance and funding available within their agencies that could help support MARCO priorities.  NOAA agreed to convene a federal agency standing workgroup that will facilitate federal support for MARCO.  The federal agencies also agreed to participate on MARCO Action Teams, as appropriate.
NOAA also announced a new Regional Ocean Partnership Grant Funding Opportunity that would fund projects that include or emphasize regional coastal and marine spatial planning efforts.  NOAA is requiring that each proposal directly involve, or include a letter of support or endorsement from the lead Regional Ocean Partnership for the region. The lead Regional Ocean Partnership for the Mid-Atlantic States is MARCO. 
Guidance regarding the MARCO endorsement process and priorities for funding will be posted on the MARCO website soon at  Information regarding this funding opportunity can be found on the NOAA Coastal Services Center's website at:


by Chelsie Papiez


chelsie and carrieTaking a brief hiatus from the Chesapeake & Coastal Program's (CCP) busy schedule of shaping and updating policies, funding innovative restoration projects, mitigating coastal hazards, and communicating and sharing data through new online coastal mapping tools, to name a few, we recently took advantage of the chance to participate in the 14th Annual Coast Day. The event was held at AssateagueState and Federal Parks and was co-hosted by the Assateague Coastal Trust, Assateague State Park, Friends of Assateague State Park and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.

The day began with a beach cleanup at Assateague Island National Seashore as part of the International Coastal Cleanup effort led by the Ocean Conservancy. The beach cleanup was a fascinating reminder that there is still much to be done in the way we manage our resources and practices.  It was amazing to see such large amounts of marine debris washed ashore - a National Seashore, for that matter, that is sometimes assumed to be pristine. There is simply no way to control the dispersion of debris once it hits our waterways. During the cleanup, items as large as tires and as small as cigarette butts were recorded.

Click here to read more about CCP's Coast Day Experience.


Next Meeting: Friday, October 22


The Coastal and Watershed Resources Advisory Committee (CWRAC) is scheduled to meet on Friday, October 22 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis, Maryland.  The main topics are: (1) CWRAC letter with legislative recommendations, (2) Plan Maryland, and (3) the Section 309 Assessment and Strategy.  The Committee will also get updates on the following:  Coastal Communities Initiative and the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

CWRAC, established in 1976, is comprised of representatives of local government, concerned local citizens, special interest groups, state and federal agencies and academic institutions. 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. 


If you are interested in attending the upcoming meeting or in need of more information on CWRAC, e-mail Joe Abe with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8740.

CCP logoPlease feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.  We also invite you to visit our website at:
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.NA09NOA4190170. 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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