News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor Martin O’Malley Celebrates World Oceans Day With The Launch Of New Coastal Atlas Online Mapping Tool

Annapolis, Md. (June 8, 2010) – In recognition of World Ocean Day, Governor Martin O’Malley today released Maryland’s Coastal Atlas, an online mapping and planning tool that allows users to visually analyze and explore data for coastal and ocean planning activities, including renewable offshore energy exploration.

“The Gulf Oil spill is a stark reminder that we need the tools and information to protect our ocean resources and the jobs that depend on them, from even the most severe disaster,” said Governor O’Malley. “By having a real understanding of where resources are located and what they provide to us, the Coastal Atlas will help us balance the many commercial and recreational demands they face.”

The Coastal Atlas provides direct access to available information needed for coastal and ocean planning efforts. Whether finding the best location for renewable energy projects, locating sand resources needed for beach replenishment or helping local communities identify areas vulnerable to sea level rise and erosion – the Coastal Atlas will identify potential conflicts so that they can then be avoided early in the planning process.

To help concerned citizens address specific coastal issues, the Coastal Atlas offers several mapping applications that examine Maryland’s ocean, shorelines, bays and streams. The State will offer training opportunities to help citizens make the most of the data and tools found on the Coastal Atlas.

“The Coastal Atlas represents a major step forward in evaluating opportunities for responsible development of clean, renewable power off of Maryland’s coast,” said Maryland Energy Administration Director Malcolm Woolf.

In addition, Governor Martin O’Malley today joined with other Atlantic Coast Governors and the U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar in signing a Memorandum of Understanding that formally establishes the Atlantic Wind Energy Consortium to promote offshore renewable energy.

The Coastal Atlas is the result of a collaborative effort among the 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.

“Maryland has long been a leader in developing visionary land use planning tools that will help us sustain our green infrastructure,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “In a similar manner, the Coastal Atlas will now help us improve the way we care for and use our marine resources -- our blue infrastructure.”

The State is interested in receiving comments on the Coastal Atlas as well as feedback on the data and tools needed to help users address specific coastal issues. For questions, additional information or to view Maryland’s Coastal Atlas, visit:

   June 8, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at