Maryland's Chesapeake and Coastal Service (CCS), a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, works to ensure that the state and its communities are equipped to better balance the often competing and occasionally conflicting demands and needs of Chesapeake and coastal resource use, economic development and conservation. We do this through financial and technical assistance to state and local partners, rigorous use of science, strong public participation, education and effective intergovernmental coordination. CCS supports the department’s mission through partnerships with federal, state, and local government agencies; regional and international institutions; universities; formal and non-formal k-12 and community-based educators; nongovernmental organizations and the private sector. With programs that have a foundation in science and enable its on-the-ground application, we are providing essential services for our communities' resilience to a changing climate and economic well-being.
How Maryland’s Chesapeake & Coastal Service is Organized
Internally, CCS comprises three line offices (Office of Restoration and Resiliency, Office of Coastal and Ocean Management, and Office of Science and Stewardship) and one staff office (Office of Management and Budget):
- Office of Restoration and Resiliency: The Office of Restoration and Resiliency provides the services that state and local partners need to construct and finance the on-the-ground restoration projects needed to meet water quality and habitat restoration goals. The Office administers federal and state grant programs, implements non-structural (or green infrastructure) approaches that enhance natural resources and provide storm damage protection, seeks opportunities to integrate resilience into restoration projects and plays a critical role in resolving complex resource management problems that depend on effective regional cooperation.
- Office of Coastal and Ocean Management: The Office of Coastal and Ocean Management provides funding, planning support and critical interagency and regional coordination services for state and local partners to improve public access, plan for multiple uses of coastal resources and undertake the planning needed to prepare for and reduce impacts from a changing climate. In this role, the Office works to provide a comprehensive understanding of our ever-changing coasts. Office staff provide tools and training to make informed management decisions and provide means of implementing those decisions and building capacity within communities.
- Office of Science and Stewardship: The Office of Science and Stewardship delivers actionable information that helps state and local partners find solutions to the challenges of protecting built and natural infrastructure, water resources and habitats. In this role, the Office develops and applies management tools that address both natural and social sciences and provides both formal and informal education and technical assistance on coastal and ocean ecosystems, resources, and management issues to students, decision-makers and the general public.
- Office of Management and Budget: The day-to-day administrative operations of CCS happen within the Management and Budget Office. In this role, the Office also is responsible for budget development and execution and management including oversight of agency performance, human capital, procurement, financial management, and information technology.
Chesapeake & Coastal Service Goals
The work performed by CCS contributes to the pursuit of 3 main goals:
- Goal 1: Chesapeake and Coastal Ecosystems Protected and Restored for Use and Enjoyment for All
Marylanders want clean oceans and beaches, healthy forests and streams, and beautiful places for recreation and enjoyment. In addition to providing economic and cultural value, these areas provide services such as filtering polluted runoff, reducing the impacts of storms, offering recreational opportunities, and supporting essential habitat for fish, shellfish, and other wildlife. CCS provides the tools, technologies, and resources needed to protect and restore Chesapeake and coastal resources to sustain ecological functions, cultural heritage, and social and economic benefit.
- Goal 2: Resilient Chesapeake and Coastal Ecosystems, Communities and Economies
Maryland’s vulnerability to coastal hazards increases with growing populations, declining coastal ecosystems, and changing climate conditions. Decision makers require current science-based information, accurate tools and technology, and the skills to apply them to effectively reduce the vulnerabilities of their communities. CCS develops and provides coastal decision makers with updated decision-support tools, technical assistance, training, and resources related to adaptation, risk communication, and resource conservation. Spatially relevant and integrated data, including social and economic data, is delivered to support risk analyses, mapping, scenario analyses, adaptation planning, and implementation.
- Goal 3: Improve people’s ability to take actions that benefit communities and ecosystems
The health and economic value of Chesapeake and coastal ecosystems depend upon individual and collective decisions to minimize human impacts. Governments, communities, businesses, organizations, and individuals need to make informed choices about conservation, restoration, pollution reduction, land use planning, and waterfront development. The CCS supports efforts to be good environmental stewards by sharing best practices among decision-makers, delivering science and technical tools to managers, and raising students’ and teachers’ understanding of coastal and estuarine ecosystems. The CCS also provides opportunities for the public to participate in decision making and volunteer to conserve and restore Chesapeake and coastal ecosystems.
As stewards of Maryland's waters, CCS recognizes that diversity is necessary for healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. As such, diversity should be cultivated. CCS acknowledges that natural spaces should be safe and welcoming, and regardless of economic status, race, age, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation, everyone has the right to access, protect, and improve these shared areas. It is the commitment of CCS to promote a culture of understanding and inclusion within ourselves and to engage communities that have historically not been engaged (or included) in the efforts to conserve, protect, and connect with Maryland’s natural spaces. This applies to the work we do across all 3 of our main goals and in support of DNR's department-wide commitment to advance DEIJ internally, advance DEIJ through mission-related work, and advance DEIJ performance of partners. To learn more about these focus areas, please visit the DNR Environmental Justice website.