Critical Area Commission For The Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays

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Coastal Resilience

Climate change is causing storm surges, higher sea levels, and more intense storms, in addition to increased air and water temperatures and droughts. These changes may make your property and its shoreline vulnerable to flooding and erosion.

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Critical Area Mapping

This Critical Area Mapping Update will allow local Critical Area maps to be incorporated into the “Maryland iMap System,” facilitate access to official Critical Area Maps via the internet, use current aerial imagery as a base map, and reflect current shoreline and wetland conditions.

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Habitat Protection

A keystone of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Program is the establishment, preservation, and maintenance of a 100-foot, naturally vegetated, forested buffer (the Buffer) landward from the Mean High Water Line of tidal waters or from the edge of tidal wetlands and tributary streams.


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The Chesapeake Bay is the largest and most productive estuary in the United States.

Created in 1984 by the Critical Area Act, the Commission is a 29-member autonomous body appointed by the Governor. The Commission is responsible for upholding the three goals of the Critical Area Law: to minimize adverse impacts on water quality from stormwater runoff; conserve fish, wildlife and plant habitat; and establish land use policies to accommodate growth, but recognize that human activities in the Critical Area can create adverse environmental impacts....(More)

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Critical Area Commission
1804 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

or call 410-260-3478.