News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O’Malley Announces Launch Of New Coast Smart Website

Maryland Grants Thousands of Dollars to Local Governments to Prepare

Annapolis, MD (June 17, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley launched the Coast Smart Website today at the start of what is predicted to be an “active to extremely active” 2010 hurricane season, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. The website, located at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/CoastSmart/, will serve as a single source for available products and services to help local communities address the current risks associated with coastal hazards and the potential increased impacts of those hazards in the future due to climate change.

“More and more, we have to prepare for the impacts of climate change in our own backyards, including widespread coastal flooding, shoreline erosion, sea level rise and salt water intrusion into our drinking water,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By providing critical planning assistance and resources that our businesses and our communities need, the State will help tackle head-on the challenges of adapting to climate change and the many challenges it presents for our environment, security, and economy.”

This site brings information, planning tools and financial resources together into a single location making them more accessible to local partners and other users. The development of training, planning and technical tools is shaped by input from local communities and other stakeholders. Highlights of the new site include web-based planning tools, storm surge inundation and sea level rise maps, training programs, staff resources and local grant applications.

In addition to the Coast Smart website, and in partnership with NOAA, the State will provide over $150,000 in local grants to the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel, Queenstown, and Talbot Counties to implement coast-smart strategies.

“Individuals and local decision-makers across widely diverse sectors turn to the Department of Natural Resources for information about climate change and coastal hazard,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “Working closely with federal, state and local partners, the Department will be able to build on our history of transforming science into useable services for our businesses, communities and government.”

Due to its geography and geology, the Chesapeake Bay region is ranked the third most vulnerable to sea level rise, behind Louisiana and Southern Florida. Maryland’s low-lying coastal communities, public infrastructure and vital habitats are particularly at risk to the impacts to climate change, especially with respect to accelerated sea level rise, shoreline erosion and increased storm frequency and intensity. With the adoption of the Climate Action Plan in 2008, the State committed to provide sea level rise planning guidance to advise adaptation and response planning at the local level.

If you would like to learn more about how your community can become Coast Smart, you can contact Gwen Shaughnessy at 410.260.8743 or by e-mail at gshaughnessy@dnr.state.md.us.


   June 17, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov