Maryland's Coastal Atlas header art

Maryland's Coastal Atlas has been upgraded to utilize the new map services available on MD iMap 2.0. To access the updated version of Maryland's Coastal Atlas, select the "Interactive Map v 2.0" tab above. Maryland's Coastal Atlas V 2.0 works best in the Mozilla Firefox Web Browser.

Click the links for Ocean, Shorelines, or Estuaries below to access Maryland's Coastal Atlas version 1.0. Version 1.0 will only be available through December 31, 2014.

The Coastal Atlas is an online mapping and planning tool that allows state and local decision-makers to explore and analyze data for coastal and ocean planning activities.

Our ocean and estuarine environments today face an era of unprecedented activity. Wind farms and other energy facilities, commercial fishing, diverse recreational uses, and shipping highways are all competing for use and space. To ensure the protection of Maryland’s critical ocean and estuarine resources – our Blue Infrastructure – and the coastal economies that depend on them, the Coastal Atlas has been developed to provide direct access to available data needed for coastal and ocean planning efforts. From finding the best location for renewable energy projects to locating sand resources needed for beach replenishment to helping local communities identify areas vulnerable to sea level rise and erosion, the Coastal Atlas will assist users in identifying potential conflicts so that they can then be avoided early in the planning process.

Better Decision-Making

The data available in the Coastal Atlas includes physical characteristics, human uses, and ecological resources provided by a number of partners that include: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Energy Administration, Towson University, the University of Maryland, The Nature Conservancy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the Atlas, users are able to visualize, query, map, and analyze coastal data to better manage our marine and estuarine resources. The data and tools currently available in the Coastal Atlas have been gathered and designed to support better decision-making. To help concerned citizens address specific coastal issues, the Coastal Atlas provides access to the best available data for the following coastal resources:


Ocean MapOcean – View ocean data and access tools to understand and balance multiple ocean uses, including shipping, offshore renewable energy, recreation and fishing. Potential ocean applications for  the Coastal Atlas include: accessing information needed for coastal and ocean planning efforts; finding the best location for renewable energy projects; identifying potential conflicts so that they can then be avoided early in the planning process; or locating sand resources needed for beach replenishment.



Shorelines MapShorelines – View coastal hazard data including coastal inundation from storms, areas at risk to sea level rise, and shoreline erosion data. Potential ocean applications for the Coastal Atlas includes: identifying coastal areas subject to coastal flooding from storm inundation and sea level rise for long-range planning, floodplain management, restoration targeting and emergency management; aiding shoreline management decisions by identifying areas of high erosion and to visualize potential shoreline positions in 50 years; accessing the Comprehensive Shoreline Inventory - an array of information such as riparian land use, bank condition, and shoreline features (erosion control and access structures) on a county by county basis to assist policy development at local and state levels of government; or determining areas where living shorelines are appropriate for a limited number of counties.

Estuaries MapEstuaries - View information and maps identifying critical tidal and near-shore aquatic resources and habitats and their surrounding landscapes to focus conservation, restoration and management activities. Included in this data category are the mapped results of the Blue Infrastructure Near-shore Assessment – a detailed spatial assessment of coastal habitat, critical natural resources and associated human uses in the tidal waters and near-shore area of Maryland’s coastal zone. By providing access to this data, the Atlas can help coastal managers and planners identify coastal habitats where conservation and restoration activities can maintain and improve coastal resources. The Atlas also allows users to identify areas for suitable conservation and/or restoration of future wetland adaptation in response to sea level rise.



The Chesapeake & Coastal Service will offer training opportunities to help users make the most of the data and tools found on the Coastal Atlas. We are interested in receiving your comments and feedback on the functionality of the current Atlas and its tools. If there are specific tools or datasets that could be developed in order to more effectively help users address specific coastal issues, please let us know.

Other Sources of Coastal Data

NOAA Digital Coast map
NOAA Digital Coast

Digital Coast is a partnership and community resource initiated by the NOAA Coastal Services Center for use by those organizations that manage the nation’s coastal resources. The website was developed to provide access to data relevant to the coast, as well as the tools and methods to turn these data into useful information, increasing user efficiency and effectiveness.

Marco Map
MARCO Portal

The MARCO Portal is an online toolkit and resource center that consolidates available data and serves as a platform to engage all stakeholders in ocean planning from the five-state Mid-Atlantic region - putting all of the essential data and state-of-the-art mapping and visualization technology into the hands of the agencies, industry, and community leaders engaged in ocean planning.


MarineCadastre map
Marine Cadastre is an integrated marine information system that provides ocean data, offshore planning tools, and technical support to the offshore renewable energy community. was developed in a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Services Center and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Maryland iMap
Maryland iMap

MD iMap is a diverse and flexible “system” that access to a centralized collection of the most commonly used map data, such as roads, streams, place names, and detailed imagery. MD iMap brings together decades of work on spatial database development into a shared architecture that promotes collaboration, coordination and communication amongst Municipal, County, Regional, State and Federal government activities.

ICAN logo

Maryland’s Coastal Atlas and the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN)

Maryland’s Coastal Atlas is one of over 60 states, countries and regions that have developed Atlases and are members of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) having agreed to ICAN's Statement of Support/Intent to Collaborate. ICAN is a community of practice of organizations who have been meeting over the past three years to scope and implement data interoperability approaches to coastal web atlases (CWAs). The mission/strategic aim of ICAN is to share experiences and to find common solutions to CWA development (e.g., user and developer guides, handbooks and articles on best practices, information on standards and web services, expertise and technical support directories, education, outreach, and funding opportunities, etc.), while ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the end users. To learn more about ICAN, visit

Contact Information

Chris Cortina

Chesapeake & Coastal Service

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tawes State Office Building E-2

580 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Phone 410-260-8774

Fax 410-260-8739