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Funding Available To Help Coastal Communities Prepare For Climate Change

Application Deadline March 15

Annapolis, Md. (January 17, 2012) — Maryland is offering grants to help local communities prepare to respond and adapt to the anticipated impacts of coastal hazards and climate change.

“By increasing the resilience of Maryland’s coastal communities, not only will we protect lives and property, but we will reduce the long-term costs associated with recovering from severe weather, maintaining infrastructure, and adapting to changing conditions,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

Launched by Governor O’Malley in April 2009, Maryland’s CoastSmart Communities Initiative has provided over a half-million dollars to help local communities brace for the effects of coastal flooding, shoreline erosion, increased storm intensity, accelerated sea level rise and their impacts on coastal ecosystems.

The program provides local governments with financial and technical assistance so that they can incorporate natural resource and/or coastal management practices into local planning and permitting activities. Through the planning process, program partners and communities will identify best management practices, education opportunities of both municipal officials and the public, potential code and ordinance changes, and any relevant restoration and protection opportunities.

"Support through the Coastal Communities Grant is allowing us to take a closer look at our environmental and land use regulations and work towards standards and regulations that better help protect our community, our environment and our infrastructure," said Nancy Scozzari, Queen Anne’s County, Senior Environmental Planner.

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 needed to adapt to climate related impacts in the short and long term. In addition to competitive grants, the State will offer on-the-ground expertise, planning guidance, training and tools to support local planning efforts.

Due to Maryland’s geography and geology, its low-lying coastal communities, public infrastructure and vital habitats are at risk to the impacts of storm surge, coastal flooding, shoreline erosion, increased storm intensity, and accelerated sea level rise. 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.

Recent CoastSmart Communities projects have included; updating Critical Area regulations in Queen Anne’s County, developing a strategic plan to target sea level rise and climate change in Anne Arundel County, a sea level rise adaptation and response plan including a vulnerability and impact assessment with policy response options for the City of Annapolis, an integrated community and watershed design project with a transportation element for the town of Queenstown and improvements to stormwater and coastal erosion management in several small Talbot County villages.

To learn more about this opportunity as well as the services offered by the State or to apply for a grant, please visit the CoastSmart Communities Online Resource Center at dnr.maryland.gov/CoastSmart/ or email Jeff Allenby at jallenby@dnr.state.md.us.


   January 17, 2012

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. 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