The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy of Maryland/DC recently announced the completion of a Coastal Resiliency Assessment on existing natural features that protect coastal residential communities in the state. The study identified areas that reduce the risk of coastal hazards, and determined priority areas for coastal conservation and restoration activities.
Key findings include:
Coastal habitats can reduce flooding and erosion impacts, with forests and wetlands playing the greatest roles. These areas significantly protect 22 percent of Maryland’s shoreline.
Marshes play a particularly important role in risk-reduction along the Tangier Sound in Somerset County, and the Assawoman Bay and Isle of Wight Bay shorelines in Worcester County.
The majority of high risk exposure occurs along the Lower Eastern Shore (Dorchester, Somerset, and Worcester counties).
Shoreline hardening, transportation infrastructure, and development prevents habitat from playing a role in protection, most notably on the Western Shore. Hybrid approaches, such as living shorelines that incorporate structural components, may be more appropriate in these areas.
The department is integrating the results of the Coastal Resiliency Assessment into existing discussions, programs and strategies, and will incorporate the data into land acquisition, easement and restoration decision-making. State and local planners can apply the assessment using Maryland’s Coastal Atlas to identify areas of attention and focus.
The statewide assessment was conducted in partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC, in collaboration with the Natural Capital Project, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and additional federal, state and local partners.
To assist state and local partners on the use of the assessment, the department will be hosting two training sessions on June 15 at Anne Arundel Community College. For more information, please contact Nicole Carlozo at email@example.com.
source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources