Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - April 2011

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Volume 3, Issue 4 

April 2011

IN THIS ISSUE
CCP SPOTLIGHT: 442 ACRES IN WORCESTER CO. PRESERVED
MARYLAND UPDATES COASTAL POLICIES
WATERSHED ASSISTANCE COLLABORATIVE
CCP's 5-YEAR COASTAL ZONE ENHANCEMENT PLAN APPROVED
MARYLAND OFFSHORE WIND UPDATE
MARCO HIGHLIGHTS
FREE NOAA DIGITAL COAST WEBINARS
 

IN THE ZONE is a service from the 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources'

Chesapeake & Coastal Program (CCP)

that delivers timely information, tools and resources

to those who live, work and play in

Maryland's coastal zone.

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CCP SPOTLIGHT: INVESTING IN NATURE 

442 Acres Preserved in Worcester County  
  
CCP Spotlight features projects and programs that have been developed by the Chesapeake & Coastal Program and their partners to help advance coastal management in Maryland.

 

ayers creekOn March 23, 2011, 442 acres of the Holly Grove region of Worcester County, Maryland were preserved for public open space through a partnership between CCP, the County, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, DNR's Program Open Space, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) and the Trust for Public Land. The property is a large, forested wetland complex along a half-mile stretch of Ayers Creek. It has a unique mix of coastal forest and highly functional estuarine and palustrine forested wetland complexes. Passive recreation opportunities will be available for hiking and bird watching and the public will be able to kayak near the property. Adjacent to this property is the Golden Quarters Farm, another CELCP property protected through a conservation easement.

 

In 2009, this project ranked as the 3rd of 57 projects in the Nation in 2009 receiving $1,375,000 from the NOAA's CELCP. The property will preserve important natural landscape, help maintain the water quality of the Coastal Bays and provide public access in perpetuity. Through NOAA's CELCP, Maryland's Chesapeake and Coastal Program works to identify and protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses.  Learn more about this property and what the Chesapeake & Coastal Program does to protect coastal lands through CELCP.

 

For more information, please contact Catherine McCall with Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program at 410.260.8737.  Click here to visit CCP's CELCP webpage.

 

STRENGTHENING THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF THE PROGRAM

Maryland Updates its Coastal Policies  

 

owen kayakOn March 18, 2011, NOAA announced its approval of Maryland's enforceable coastal policies. Under the Coastal Zone Management Act, direct Federal actions, Federal license or permit activities and federal financial assistance activities that have reasonably foreseeable coastal effects must be consistent with the enforceable policies of state coastal management programs.

 

To assist Federal agencies in determining whether their activities are likely to affect coastal uses or resources, Maryland's coastal policies are now available online. Click here to view them on CCP's Coastal Policies webpage.

 

For information on Maryland's coastal enforceable policies, e-mail Joe Abe with Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8740.

MAXIMIZING AVAILABLE RESOURCES FOR BAY RESTORATION

Maryland's Watershed Assistance Collaborative

 

WAC raingardenOver the past three years, the Watershed Assistance Collaborative (Collaborative) has been assisting local communities to accelerate the implementation of Bay and coastal restoration projects.  As the name implies, the Collaborative is a partnership among the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Center for Smart Growth and Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland SeaGrant Extension, Maryland Department of the Environment, NOAA and EPA.  The Collaborative, with its dedicated staff of Regional Watershed Restoration Specialists, has leveraged more than $860,000 dollars in direct technical assistance and has assisted over 31 communities in the identification, design and engineering of shovel ready restoration projects; has identified more than 75 acres of forested buffer plantings on both the Eastern and Western shores and in southern Maryland; and has assisted several communities with the development of innovative financing strategies and new stormwater utilities.

 

With the levels of implementation required under the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, the Collaborative is experienced and well-positioned to help locals implement their restoration strategies. To learn more about the Watershed Assistance Collaborative and their successes over the past three years,

click here to visit CCP's Collaborative webpage or contact Brent McCloskey with Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8722.   

PLANNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND PROTECTION OF OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCES 

CCP's 5-Year Coastal Zone Enhancement Plan Approved by NOAA 

 309 cover

On April 6th, Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program received final NOAA approval for its 2011-2015 Coastal Zone Section 309 Assessment and Strategy, prepared as part of the NOAA Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants Program. The outlined strategies will improve the State's ability to plan for climate change, protect critical coastal resources and foster clean coastal industries.

  

CCP's 2011-2015 Section 309 Assessment & Strategy is now available online.  Click here to access the full document. For more information on the Section 309 Assessment and Strategy, e-mail Catherine McCall with Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8737. 

NATIONAL ACADEMIES CONDUCTING STUDY ON INCREASING NATIONAL RESILIENCE TO HAZARDS AND DISASTERS
Request for Survey Participation
road underwater

At the request of a number of sponsoring federal agencies, the National Academies are conducting a study on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters. The goal of the study is to provide actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters.

 

As part of the study, the National Academies committee is visiting a number of communities around the nation to assess how they have responded to disasters in the past and how they view and assess their resilience to future disasters. Because the committee is unable to visit all communities, they are asking for your help to find out more about your community through this short questionnaire: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/463575/How-resilient-is-your-community-to-disasters 

 

The committee welcomes input until July 1, 2011. Click here for more information on the study and the committee.

UPDATE ON OFFSHORE WIND AND THE MARYLAND RENEWABLE ENERGY TASK FORCE

wind farm

Kentish flats wind power farm. Photo by Vattenfall..

 

As Maryland pursues the development of new offshore wind energy facilities, DNR is helping to identify an area off our coast that will be suitable for wind energy generation and will result in the fewest environmental impacts and conflicts among uses.  DNR is working to reduce any potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on birds, coral communities, artificial reefs, fishery resources, marine mammals, bats, sand resources and shoals, and the viewshed.

 

Maryland has used the information gathered through its extensive outreach activities to help the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) identify a proposed wind energy planning area off Maryland's Atlantic Coast.  DNR is one of a number of state and federal agencies that is represented on a Maryland Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force convened by BOEMRE. The Task Force serves as a forum through which BOEMRE can share current information about its offshore leasing activities and elected officers of State, local, and tribal governments and other Federal officials may provide meaningful and timely input in the implementation of the BOEMRE renewable energy regulatory framework.  By having all parties at the same table, the Task Force aims to facilitate information sharing as early as possible and to give interested and affected parties the opportunity to actively provide input into the leasing process rather than simply react to BOEMRE actions.  

 

During the March 2011 meeting of the Maryland Renewable Energy Task Force, participants received information regarding the offshore wind energy development regulatory process and discussed: (1) the Smart from the State Initiative, (2) the ongoing regional Environmental Assessment, (2) the public responses to Maryland's Wind Energy Area, (4) the expressions of interest submitted by the eight offshore wind energy developers, (5) issues related to shipping and (6) next steps.  For additional information on the Task Force, visit the BOEMRE website: http://www.boemre.gov/offshore/renewableenergy/stateactivities.htm#Maryland.

 

Maryland's ocean planning efforts to date have resulted in the collection of site-specific ocean use and natural resource data; identification of knowledge gaps and research needs; a better understanding of the breadth of ocean uses and potential areas of conflict; and early discussions with stakeholder groups to establish a transparent ocean planning process.  Click here to visit CCP's Ocean Planning and Offshore Renewable Energy webpage to learn more about DNR's stakeholder outreach efforts.

MARCO HIGHLIGHTS DOCUMENT AND NEW REGIONAL MAPPING PORTAL NOW AVAILABLE 
 
MARCO portal screen captureThe Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) has released their document, Highlights: Moving in the Right Direction, that tracks the progress MARCO has made since 2008 in establishing and embarking on a regional agenda for shared state action in the Mid-Atlantic. Click here to view the MARCO Highlights document.

 

MARCO's new Mapping and Planning Portal is an online tool that allows state, federal, and local decision-makers and the public to visualize, query, map, and analyze ocean and coastal data in the Mid-Atlantic region. Click here to visit the MARCO Map Portal.

NOAA DIGITAL COAST OFFERS FREE WEBINAR SERIES

Learn How to Access and Use Its Tools, Data and Information digital coast

  

Tools like Maryland's Coastal Atlas and MERLIN Online are made possible largely due to the availability of good geospatial data and tools. One source of data that DNR and CCP have been able to tap is NOAA's Digital Coast. Datasets from LIDAR to marine jurisdictions have been downloaded from Digital Coast and incorporated into the Atlas and other State mapping applications. 

 

The same data, tools and information is also available to you.  To learn more about what Digital Coast has to offer and how their tools, data, and information are being used, NOAA is offering a free webinar series  which will feature monthly presentations. Please see below for the first few dates and titles.

 

All webinars are scheduled on the last Thursday of the month from 2:00-3:00 p.m.eastern time.  Click on the Digital Coast webinar title below to register.

More information on the series can be found under the "Featured Resources" link on the Digital Coast home page. Upcoming webinars are also listed on the Digital Coast Training page under "Upcoming Training Opportunities." Click here to see a full list of webinars as the series develops.

 

AND, if you have any stories regarding use of the Digital Coast tools, datasets, etc., please take the time to share them with us by e-mailing Chris Cortina with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program.

CCP logoPlease feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.
 
Sincerely,
Your Chesapeake & Coastal Program Team

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA10NOS4190204. 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 ccortina@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