Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Service News - November 2012

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Volume 5, Issue 1 

November 2012


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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Baltimore City Utilizes Last Year's Grants, Kicks off Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project 

Hurricane Sandy, Crisfield. Photo courtesy of Lori Livingston.

Hurricane Sandy was a deadly reminder of the dangers and risks associated with living on the coast. Maryland's CoastSmart Communities program wants to remind citizens that there are grants available to help coastal areas prepare, respond and adapt to the effects of flooding, shoreline erosion, increased storm intensity, accelerated sea level rise, and other anticipated impacts of climate change. In response to Sandy's impact, the State is announcing its request for proposals earlier this year to provide applicants with more time for pre-proposal consultation and assistance.


Baltimore City took advantage of last year's CoastSmart Communities grant and is currently working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop a climate change response plan. DNR and the City kicked off the project, "Creating a Ready and Resilient Baltimore City" on November 19 at Baltimore City Planning Department's office.


Baltimore City will use the funding to create a Climate Adaptation Plan which the City will include in its overall emergency preparedness plan, the All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Climate Adaptation Plan will require city planners to consider climate change and disaster preparedness anytime there is a decision regarding the capital and operating budget. The plans also require Baltimore City to conduct a thorough survey ¦΅ using CoastSmart guidelines ¦΅ of areas along the coastline to determine how much major storm damage would cost in different scenarios.


The project will then help Baltimore City take proactive steps to reduce the City's vulnerability to future storms and climate change by studying data from past storms, forecasting future scenarios, and engaging and requesting help from the community.


Launched by Governor O'Malley in April 2009, Maryland's CoastSmart Communities program has awarded more than a half-million dollars to coastal communities to help prepare for the anticipated impacts of climate change.  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. In addition to competitive grants, the State will offer on-the-ground expertise, planning guidance, training and tools to support local planning efforts.


Recent CoastSmart Communities projects have included: adopting new digital flood insurance rate maps and updating floodplain ordinances in Talbot County and Queen Anne's County; updating Critical Area regulations in Queen Anne's County, and adopting a Shoreline Development and Protection Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments in Calvert County. As part of their projects, both Calvert and Talbot Counties will be completing and submitting applications to participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Rating System program where communities that take steps to go above and beyond to protect people and property from flooding can earn reductions in flood insurance premiums for their residents.


For more information or to apply for a grant, citizens may visit

or email Maryland's CoastSmart Communities Planner Kate Skaggs at


Click here to download the Request for Proposals. The deadline for project proposals is February 28, 2013.


Local Governments, Decision-makers and Coastal Residents Gathered in Annapolis to Learn How Other Communities are Addressing Coastal Issues


Photo by Chris Cortina.

On Thursday, November 29, 47 participants representing local, state and federal governments, universities, consultants, and nonprofit organizations attended this interactive workshop at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland sponsored jointly by the Chesapeake and Coastal Service (CCS) and the Coastal and Watershed Resources Advisory Committee (CWRAC). The purpose of the Coastal Communities Exchange was to serve as a venue to highlight projects completed or underway in Maryland's coastal zone (many of those supported by CCS funding made possible through NOAA grants); to share ideas and lessons learned; to discuss best practices; and to share products and outcomes that might be applicable to - or replicable in - other coastal communities.


The Coastal Communities Exchange featured the following:

  • Brice Gamber, Chair of CWRAC, provided a welcome and opening comments.  
  • Frank Dawson, Assistant Secretary of DNR, described the importance of CWRAC and the Coastal Zone Management Program at DNR in addressing Maryland's coastal management issues.
  • Queen Anne's County spoke about the multi-agency collaboration within their county and its importance seeing environmental projects through to completion.
  • Kent County spoke about partnering with local watershed organizations to help Kent County's restoration goals.
  • The Town of Berlin presented a feasibility study they performed with the help of the University of Maryland's Environmental Finance Center on the creation of a stormwater utility.
  • Zoe Johnson with DNR's Office for a Sustainable Future discussed planning for climate change in Maryland and showed the areas that would be most impacted by climate change and sea level rise.
  • Calvert County spoke about their efforts to develop a shoreline development guide for both citizens and contractors.
  • The Furbish Company gave a presentation on their SmartSlope and Ecocline stormwater management technologies.
  • Lastly, new CoastSmart Planner Kate Skaggs engaged attendees in a spirited discussion about an assortment of coastal environmental issues of concern to many of the attending citizens, members of local governments, and watershed groups.

All presentations will be uploaded to the CCS website in the coming weeks.


CWRAC, established in 1976, is an advisory committee comprised of representatives of local government, concerned local citizens, special interest groups, state and federal agencies and academic institutions. Located administratively under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, CWRAC acts as an independent advisory body to the Secretary of Natural Resources and to Maryland's Coastal Program on policy issues affecting the coastal areas of Maryland.


For more information on how to get involved with CWRAC, e-mail Chris Aadland at or call 410-260-8740.


BMPs Implemented to Enhance Water Quality and Restore Habitat


Photo by Claudia Donegan.

The Chesapeake & Coastal Service has been working with the Town of Vienna to preserve and implement best management practices (BMPs) on the agricultural lands that surrounds the southern portion of the Town, which sits on the western shore of the Nanticoke River.


This property, known as the Vienna Greenbelt Project, began when the DNR Program Open Space (POS) purchased approximately 260 acres of existing agricultural land slated for development. At the time, 135 homes were planned for the parcel (adjacent to the historic riverside town). The property also abuts the Mill Creek Natural Heritage Area - a riparian wetland complex that contains two rare and threatened wetland species rarely found anymore along the Eastern Shore. For these reasons, community organizers and river advocates wanted this open space area to be preserved in perpetuity and petitioned DNR to purchase the property. DNR purchased the land and sold the parcel to the Town of Vienna. CCS's Habitat Restoration and Conservation Division was asked to create and implement a resource enhancement plan that would maintain some farming activities on the property and implement a suite of BMPs to enhance water quality and restore some of the habitat, specifically wetlands and forests.


After a few renditions of the plan, all parties - from environmental advocates like the Captain John Smith Trail planners to the Vienna Town Council and the area farm community - agreed on the Vienna Resource Enhancement Plan. This multi-phased restoration and enhancement plan allowed for continued farming on more than half the parcel with the rest designated as resource enhancement area, providing approximately:

  • 27 acres of riparian reforestation
  • 22 acres of warm-season grass buffers
  • 20 acres of wetland restoration
  • Maintained approximately 149 acres in agricultural production
Vienna Greenbelt Project
Vienna Greenbelt Project video

In November of this year, Chesapeake & Coastal Service staff, the Maryland Conservation Corps, and volunteers from the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance completed the reforestation and planted 800 trees and shrubs.  This effort was a follow-up on earlier riparian forest and warm season grass buffer plantings and several large wetland restoration areas. This $250,000 project, in addition to protecting the river, helps link existing upland forests to riparian areas along the Nanticoke.  It not only improves habitat for migratory birds, but also helps the beloved Delmarva Fox Squirrel that is known to live in the area.


For more information on CCS's habitat restoration and conservation activities, Bhaskar Subramanian at or call 410-260-8786.


CCS Taking Action with Environmental Education



Photo by Paula Mansfield.

"I really hope we find a water penny!"


"A caddisfly, it's a caddisfly. Look at its home!"

"Oooo, that water is cold!"


Students' excitement is obvious to teachers, parents, and DNR staff and volunteers as they guide students in collecting and identifying benthic macroinvertibrates to assess the health of the stream nearest their school.


This fall, nearly 240 Maryland 4th-6th graders participated in TEAM DNR's Streams programs. TEAM (Teaching Environmental Awareness in Maryland) has designed this interactive program to educate students about Maryland stream habitats and the macroinvertebrate community living within them. In the classroom, TEAM staff and volunteers lead students in several hands-on activities, helping them to identify stream macroinvertebrates down to taxonomic order by looking at specific body features. They also learn about the habitat requirements of each species and scientists use them as indicators of stream health.


Streamside, students conduct a field investigation of a local stream. They collect and identify these 10 particular benthic macroinvertebrates that they have seen in the classroom in a field setting. Our 10 macroinvertebrates, such as mayfly larvae, riffle beetle larvae, or black fly larvae, are either sensitive, moderately sensitive or tolerant of pollution. A find of mostly mayflys, caddisflys, and water pennys could predict that their stream is relatively clean, as these are pollution sensitive insects. When they have identified and recorded their finds in the stream, they formulate conclusions about the condition of the stream and make recommendations for future action. For many streams near schools, the pollutant factors are abundant and the students name things like nearby railroad tracks, traffic, animal waste, or trash as culprits in preventing a pristine stream. Because Maryland's streams serve as the capillaries and arteries carrying water, life, and pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay, the students then think of possible solutions, like stream cleanup, buffer planting, or making their parents aware of the importance of stream health.


TEAM DNR is part of the Aquatic Resources Education (ARE) Program in DNR's Chesapeake and Coastal Service. The goal of the ARE Program is to instill the respect for the aquatic resources and rights of others by cultivating ethical behavior of Maryland's aquatic resources. To learn more about volunteering with TEAM or requesting TEAM programs check out the website,



Photo by Jack Diamond.

Maryland and its partner states on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean - Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Virginia - received $445,000 to address shared ocean priorities and to improve regional ocean planning efforts in the Mid-Atlantic.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded the funds to Monmouth University to enhance MARCO's Mapping and Planning Portal and to the Coastal States Stewardship Foundation to enhance the communication and coordination capacities of MARCO. The Monmouth University award was on behalf of a project team involving Monmouth's Urban Coast Institute, Rutgers University, The Nature Conservancy, Ecotrust, University of Massachusetts-Boston and SeaPlan and will support the MARCO Ocean Data Portal operations, maintenance, and integration of new data; expand direct engagement of ocean recreational users; and develop and implement a recreational boater survey. The 2013 Mid-Atlantic Recreational Boater Survey will document saltwater recreational boating activity from boaters in MD, VA, DE and NJ and define boaters' significant contributions to Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic state economies.


For information about MARCO, please visit our website at:



This Novemner, CCS said farewell and good luck to one of the team's core members, Brenton McCloskey.  Brent, who had been with DNR since 2007, was most recently the Assistant Director of Restoration Finance & Policy within the Unit.  Over the past several years, Brent has guided Maryland policy related to the Chesapeake Bay watershed both at the State level through the Inter-agency Bay Workgroup and Bay Cabinet, and at the larger watershed scale via the Chesapeake Bay Program.  Under his direction, the Watershed Assistance Collaborative was developed -  a partnership that provides capacity support at the local level to accelerate restoration initiatives. 


Now a member of the University of Maryland's Environmental Finance Center, Brent will not only continue his work within the Bay watershed, but will also expand his reach to the entire Mid-Atlantic region and while working internationally on numerous environmental issues. 


We wish Brent the best of luck in his new endeavor and look forward to working with him as a part of the EFC.

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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