Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - January/February 2012

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jan2012rev

Volume 4, Issue 2 

January/February 2012

IN THIS ISSUE
CCS SPOTLIGHT
TRUST FUND SFY13 BUDGET
WATERSHED ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM
COASTSMART COMMUNITIES RFP
MATTAWOMAN REPORT
COASTAL TRAINING PROGRAM WORSHOP
 

IN THE ZONE is a service from the 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources'

Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS)

that delivers timely information, tools and resources to those who live, work and play in Maryland's coastal zone.

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CCS SPOTLIGHT: LIVING SHORELINE INSTALLED AT GREYS CREEK NATURE PARK

Worcester Co. Property Acquired in '06 with CELCP Funds is Further Restored and Improved   
CCS Spotlight is a feature of the In the Zone e-mail service that highlights programs that have been developed by the Chesapeake & Coastal Service or through partnership and support from federal, state and local partners helping to advance coastal management in Maryland.

 

This past year, Maryland's Coastal Program worked with DNR's Habitat Restoration and Conservation and Engineering and Construction divisions to complete a living shoreline restoration project at Greys Creek Nature Park in Worcester County, the former Weidman Property.

 

greys creek 1
Photo credit: Bhaskar Subramanian.

The 572-acre waterfront property was acquired in 2006 by the State and Worcester County with the assistance of NOAA's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) funds. The entire property sits at the top of the Maryland Coastal Bays in one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Delmarva region. Its natural habitat includes upland coastal forests, extensive sensitive non-tidal and tidal saltwater wetlands and several small islands just off shore. 
 

Originally, the  project site had a timber-bulkheaded canal which was constructed for the purpose of providing boat access to the Creek from the former residence. The bulkhead was deteriorating and failing in some areas, but rather than replacing it, the shoreline was retrofitted with an environmentally-sensitive technique called a "living shoreline". This living shoreline demonstration  project serves as an example of how shorelines could be protected against erosion, while restoring habitat and enhancing the shorelines aesthetically. NOAA CZM funds, through the Coastal Resources Improvement Program, were used to remove approximately 750 linear feet of existing bulkhead and to replace it with a living shoreline. 

 

greys creek sign

An educational/interpretive panel was created and placed at the site to educate visitors on the process of living shoreline conversion and the benefits to water quality, wildlife and erosion control.  Photo credit: Bhaskar Subramanian.

Completion of the Greys Creek living shoreline project satisfies a component of the long term management plan for the area and provides direct shallow water public access for shore fishing, kayaking and canoe launching. In addition, it restores this area to tidal wetlands. Intertidal wetland areas are well-known for the significant habitat it provides for crabs, fish, terrapin, horseshoe crabs and many other fish and wildlife. Tidal wetlands are also important in the filtering of water and improving water quality. As this project has a minimal structural component, it is "living" in the true sense of the term. In addition to providing these ecological benefits, the marsh shoreline will serve as a significant example of habitat restoration to the many canoe and kayak users expected to utilize the County Park and will be a good demonstration of shoreline restoration and protection techniques.

 

The approach exemplified by the Greys Creek living shoreline project, whereby lands purchased through CELCP and other programs are then further restored or enhanced for the purposes of creating or improving coastal habitat, public access and educational opportunities, is one that CCS will continue to explore. 

MORE FUNDING PROPOSED TO PREVENT NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION FROM HARMING THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund SFY 2013 Budget Overview
kids on tube
Photo credit: Coreen Weilminster

Governor Martin O'Malley has proposed more than $52 million in fiscal year 2013 funding to help meet the State's Bay restoration commitment. The State Fiscal Year 2013 Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund (Trust Fund) operating allowance includes $25 million, along with over $27 million in General Obligation (GO) Bonds for local stormwater projects. Click here to view the press release.

 

Highlights for fiscal year 2013 include:

  • $2.20M for Agricultural Technical Assistance: Increased funding for agricultural technical assistance by an additional $1.6M over last year's levels. This increase will fund an additional 23 new Soil Conservation District positions (39 in total supported through the Trust Fund) to assist the farming community in the implementation of best management practices.
  • $12M for Cover Crop Implementation: Supports Maryland's FY12-13 milestone goal of implementing 355,000 acres of cover crops annually.
  • $8.97M for Natural Filters: Support the installation of natural filters such as riparian buffers and wetlands. Projects have been identified in multiple priority watersheds in the following counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George's, Somerset, Queen Anne's, Washington, and Worcester.
  • $27.8M for Local Stormwater Projects: In addition to supporting statewide initiatives to reduce nonpoint source pollution, 63 local projects have been identified for funding. These proposed funds triple the amount available in previous years, will be directed to counties, municipalities, and watershed organizations to implement stormwater BMPs, and natural filters restoration projects such as wetland restoration. These projects provide the continuous benefit of nutrient and sediment removal for up to 20 years.

13 jurisdictions have been identified for funding:

  • TF mapAnne Arundel County (12 Projects) - $6.34M
  • Baltimore City (2 Projects) - $3.03M
  • Baltimore County (10 Projects) - $4.85M
  • Cecil County (1 Project) - $0.40M
  • Dorchester County (1 Project) - $0.10M
  • Frederick County (1 Project) - $0.77M
  • Harford County (1 Project) - $0.09M
  • Howard County (6 Projects) - $2.52M
  • Kent County (2 Projects) - $0.80M
  • Montgomery County (11 Projects) - $3.92M
  • Prince George's County (6 Projects) - $3.42M
  • Queen Anne's County (9 Projects) - $1.47M
  • Talbot County (1 Project) - $0.07M

Click here to view the Snapshot of State Fiscal Year 2013, the latest Trust Fund fact sheet.  View the complete FY 2013 Workplan and supporting materials at: dnr.maryland.gov/ccp/funding/trust_fund.asp.

WATERSHED ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING PROPOSALS FOR PLANNING AND LOCAL PROJECT DESIGN

Deadline for Proposals is March 9, 2012

design

 

The Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources invite local governments and non-profit organizations to submit requests for assistance available through the Watershed Assistance Grant Program. The funding partners welcome requests for technical planning and design assistance associated with protection and restoration projects that lead to improved water quality in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Maryland Coastal Bays. The purpose of this assistance is to help grantees accomplish the earliest phases of restoration projects

 

The Watershed Assistance Grant Program is designed to support watershed planning and design of watershed restoration and protection projects in Maryland. Planning projects include watershed characterization, survey, assessment, action plans, or financing strategies. Design requests are accepted for the full suite of nonpoint source best management practices.

 

The deadline for proposals is Friday, March 9, 2012, at 5 pm. Click here to view the Request for Proposals.

FUNDING AVAILABLE TO HELP COASTAL COMMUNITIES PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

CoastSmart Communities Grant Program Deadline is March 15, 20122

  

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.

Photo credit: Jeff Allenby

 

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. Maryland is now soliciting project proposals for grants to help local communities prepare to respond and adapt to the anticipated impacts of coastal hazards and climate change.

 

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 or email Jeff Allenby with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service.

 

Click here to view the press release.

CHESAPEAKE BAY RESERVE SITE PROFILE COMPLETED

Compilation of Scientific Research Conducted by Reserves is Now Available  

 
CBNERR site profile
Click the thumbnail above to access the CBNERR Site Profile document.

With the New Year comes the completion of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve of Maryland (CBNERR-MD) Site Profile. The site profile is a technical document providing a summary of scientific information for academic and agency researchers, graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and coastal resource managers, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the Reserve and the monitoring and research activities it supports.

 

The Site Profile summarizes the state of knowledge of geological, physical, chemical, and biological components of the Reserve system. All three Reserve components - Otter Point Creek, Jug Bay, and Monie Bay - are characterized in separate sections creating one large Site Profile for the entire Chesapeake Bay Reserve system. As part of each of these sections, information is summarized regarding geological characterization, water and land use, weather and climate, water quality, habitat characterization, biological components, and a summary of current CBNERR-MD's research and monitoring efforts, needs, and priorities.

 

Because of the geographic extent covered by the multi-component Reserve and the high volume of information generated within the entire Chesapeake Bay, the Site Profile is not intended to provide a complete review of all information generated around the Reserve components. However, it is to present a local characterization that could serve as a starting point for the planning and execution of future research and monitoring efforts within CBNERR-MD.

 

Content and data were also incorporated through collaborations with our Coastal Zone Management colleagues.  Future marsh migration areas that incorporate sea-level rise effects of climate change were used to depict potential adaptation areas within and around the Monie Bay Reserve.  These areas were determined through the Sea Levels Affecting Marsh Migration Model (SLAMM) work courtesy of Chelsie Papiez, Coastal Resources Planner.  This data will provide essential information regarding long-term climate change adaptation planning that may include additional land protection for the Reserve and the State of Maryland. 

 

CBNERR-MD staff and partners are already referencing the Site Profile for future planning and data translation. Click here to view and download the Site Profile.  

 

LATEST INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY FUND RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

Combating Nutrients and Sediment from Stormwater Runoff

 

Photo credit: Sarah Lane

Beacon Research, Incorporated, a Howard County based company, has received funding from Maryland's Innovative Technology Fund to refine a commercial geosynthetic material to filter sediment from urban stormwater runoff. Dr. Allen Davis with UMD's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will conduct field testing to verify the performance of the geosynthetic insert. Beacon Research will use the results to move to a commercial product with minimal cleaning and maintenance requirements.

 

The Innovative Technology Fund also provided BlueWing Environmental Solutions and Technologies with additional funding to develop a floating wetland. This additional funding represents Phase II of BlueWing's research and development to run analytical tests of the nitrogen and phosphorus removal from the floating wetlands. Working with Dr. Josh McGrath from UMD's Environmental Science and Technology Department, BlueWing will also use Phase II funding to pursue the ability to increase phosphorus removal with phosphorus sorbing materials.

 

Maryland's Innovative Technology Fund was established with the goal of accelerating water quality restoration through the development of new innovative technologies to reduce nonpoint source pollution. A secondary goal is to support the development of successful businesses while creating green jobs in Maryland.  A number of projects have been supported under the Innovative Technology Fund spanning the various nonpoint source sectors of agriculture, urban stormwater and natural filters. DNR has been partnering with the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program for three years now to administer research and development projects under the Innovative Technology Fund. MIPS has played a critical role in administering DNR's Innovative Technology Fund by identifying potential projects, working with University researchers and providing business development reviews.

 

If you are a business or researcher interested in applying for assistance, want to learn more about a project, or if you have questions about the Innovative Technology Fund, please e-mail Sarah Lane with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service or call 410.260.8788.

MATTAWOMAN REPORT SHEDS LIGHT ON IMPACTS FROM DEVELOPMENT
Recommendations for an Undeveloped Watershed 
 
mattawoman2

Photo credit: Charles County Department of Planning And Growth Management

.

During the past year, DNR in partnership with the Charles County Planning Department undertook a review of the state of the Mattawoman and analysis of likely expected future impacts from development in the Watershed. Working with the Maryland Department of Planning, Department of Environment, State Highway Administration, US Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA a report was prepared and submitted to the County that provided a series of recommendations to guide preparation of the County Comprehensive Plan Update in the interest of protecting the resources of the Mattawoman.

 

This report assesses some of the likely significant cumulative degradation of the resources of the Mattawoman watershed in Charles County Maryland, unless specific steps are taken to bring regulation and land-use policies in line with the stated county vision of protecting the Mattawoman. Given that the impervious cover in the watershed is presently at the tipping point, the rate of forest loss, and the recently detected decline in health of the fish community in the estuary, the current update of the Comprehensive Plan may well represent the last opportunity the County will have to establish permanent protection of the Mattawoman's resources and ecological functions.

 

Much of the Mattawoman today remains undeveloped. Therefore, unlike watersheds in more urban or urbanizing locations, opportunities continue to remain available, to prevent, rather than retroactively mitigate impacts associated with growth in impervious surfaces as a result of over-development of the watershed. 

 Click here t
o see the full report. 

MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL COUNCIL ON THE OCEAN OBTAINS FUNDING FOR OCEAN PRIORITIES
Plus an Update on MARCO Ongoing Activities 

 

ocean photo
Photo credit: Laura Younger

Maryland and its partner states in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) - Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Virgina - have teamed with federal agencies, universities and others to advance MARCO's immediate priorities for the ocean.  Funding in the amount of $1.8 million was awarded to MARCO and its partners from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in December 2011.  


After successfully competing for a Regional Ocean Partnership grant from NOAA ($219,000) to enhance its communications and operations, MARCO was awarded a matching grant from the Foundation ($259,000). A third award went to Monmouth University on behalf of a project team involving Monmouth, Rutgers University, University of Delaware, The Nature Conservancy/Virginia and Ecotrust. This latter award from NOAA ($1.35 million) provides the funds needed to enhance the MARCO Portal and for stakeholder engagement for ocean planning in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  

With funds available to further enhance the regional mapping and planning portal, to ensure effective stakeholder engagement for ocean planning, and to support the regional council's operations, MARCO is well-equipped to advance its immediate priorities to: facilitate the development of a regional offshore renewable energy industry; to protect critical offshore habitats to maintain and strengthen support for ocean-based industries; and to prepare the region for the impacts of sea level rise and flooding on critical infrastructure, coastal habitat, and shoreline management.

 

Additional highlights of MARCO's on-going activities include:

  • Easy web access to important ocean use and resource data is available through MARCO's Mapping and Planning Portal that went online in December 2010. The portal includes 6 data categories and 30+ data layers relevant to ocean planning.
  • MARCO is working with key federal agencies to develop the criteria needed to identify and characterize critical habitats across the region.
  • The MARCO states are conducting a vulnerability assessment of the impacts of sea level rise and flooding on regional assets. An inventory of existing LiDAR coverage was completed and the data will be standardized and incorporated into the Mid-Atlantic Sea Level Rise Viewer.
  • Work is ongoing to collect information describing how the Mid-Atlantic States may coordinate their Coastal Zone Federal Consistency review authority for offshore wind activities to achieve regional objectives.

Visit http://midatlanticocean.org/ for more information on MARCO activities.

COASTAL TRAINING PROGRAM WORSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT:
Becoming Bay Smart: Living Within Maryland's Critical Area
 

CTP logo

The Coastal Training Program of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) is offering a free half-day workshop entitled, "Becoming Bay Smart: Living Within Maryland's Critical Area" on Saturday, February 25, 2012.

 

Presenters will provide an overview of Habitat Protection Areas and protection of the Critical Area Buffer will be specifically addressed. Attendees will receive information about shoreline activities such as erosion control measures, piers, and phragmites control and how the permit process is handled jointly by the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Corps of Engineers, and local governments. The session will wrap up with a discussion about the enforcement process and how property owners can work cooperatively with local governments to ensure that the Critical Area Program is implemented fairly, consistently, and effectively.

 

This half-day course is geared to citizens, new Critical Area property owners, realtors and other professionals that want to learn the "basics" of the Critical Area Program and how it applies to where they live, work, and play. The training will include a brief history of the Program and how it is implemented as a partnership between State and local governments. Development within the Critical Area and the various requirements in each land classification, RCA, LDA, and IDA, will be covered in some detail.   

 

Date:  Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time:  9:30 am -12:30 pm

Location:  Adkins Arboretum

Free Program/Registration Required: Click here to register!    

NOTIFICATION OF PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: DRAFT MARYLAND

PHASE II WATERSHED IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

Open for Public Review and Comment Through March 9, 2012

 

draft WIP cover

Draft documentation of Maryland's Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL will be available for public review and comment on the MDE web site. Click here to visit MDE's site.

 

The public comment period will be open through Friday, March 9, 2012. Comments should be sent by email to Tom Thornton at wipcoordinator@mde.state.md.us. Additional information on the public comment process is provided on the draft Phase II WIP documents web page.

  

A series of regional public informational meetings is scheduled to take place during the comment period. Formal comments will not be taken at the public meetings, which are intended to provide information and answer questions about the draft Phase II WIP. The schedule and additional information about the meetings are also provided on the web page. 

 

 

Please feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.

CCS text logo white

 

A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA11NOS4190151. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies. 

This email was sent to myeh@dnr.state.md.us by inthezone@dnr.state.md.us |  
Maryland Department of Natural Resources | Chesapeake & Coastal Program | Tawes State Building | 580 Tayor Avenue, E-2 | Annapolis | MD | 21401