Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - May 2012

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Volume 4, Issue 5 

May 2012


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 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.


dnr rain garden
Photo credit: Zora Lathan

This past April, in honor of Earth Day, DNR's Tawes State Office Complex 'K' Lot rain gardens received a long overdue facelift. The gardens, which were originally constructed in 1997, had recently become overgrown by invasive species, weeds and trash. DNR's Chesapeake and Coastal Service partnered with the Chesapeake Ecology Center and Low Impact Design, Inc. to create a showcase garden that will help manage 55% of the stormwater flow coming off the adjacent parking lot.


Construction of the rain gardens is part of the State's ongoing efforts to reduce non-point source pollution from State owned lands as part of the greater Bay-wide TMDL.

dnr rain garden 2
Photo credit: Zora Lathan


Since 2009, the State has restored over 1,800 acres of buffers, wetlands and reforestation on DNR land. As a continuation of this effort, DNR has developed the Stormwater and Nutrient Abatement Program (SNAP) to identify opportunities to reduce stormwater runoff from facilities such as parking lots, out-buildings and roadways in the State Parks system.


The gardens can be enjoyed as part of a larger rain garden tour in the College Creek watershed. To view the gardens visit

Four New Communities Selected to Receive Financial and Technical Assistance 


storm sign
Photo credit: Chris Cortina
CoastSmart Communities
was created in 2009 to provide financial and technical assistance to local governments to reduce their vulnerability to the effects of coastal hazards, such as storm surge, coastal flooding and shoreline erosion, and sea level rise. The competitive grant program is made possible by NOAA Coastal Zone Management (CZM) funding administered by DNR's Chesapeake & Coastal Service.


The following coastal communities have been recommended for funding through the most recent round of the CoastSmart Communities Initiative grant program:


  • Baltimore City - Creating a Ready and Resilient Baltimore City. The City will develop and adopt a Climate Adaptation Plan as part of their All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, identify vulnerable areas and infrastructure, and engage the public to build an understanding of how climate change could impact the City and create support for the actions the City will take to reduce their exposure.
  • Queen Anne's County - Protecting Queen Anne's County's Coastal Resources Through Floodplain Management. The County will create an entirely new Floodplain Ordinance, adapted to meet new FEMA regulations/mapping and incorporate heightened coastal hazards and enhanced environmental protections; identify repetitive loss properties; help create strategies for mitigation to reduce the exposure of coastal infrastructure; and establish a community dialogue via public meetings to create a better understanding of floodplain regulations and the impact of coastal hazards in the county.
  • Talbot County - Creating Flood Resilience in Talbot County: Floodplain Ordinance and Mapping.The County will create a public awareness campaign to educate citizens about flood risks and emphasize flood hazards in management decisions, update the county's floodplain management ordinance using MDE's Model Floodplain Ordinance, approve new FEMA riverine flood plain maps, and apply to FEMA's Community Rating System.
  • Calvert County - Enhancing Coastal Area Protection in Calvert County. The County will develop a Special Area Flood Management Plan that will reduce losses of property and life associated with floods in the Cove Point community, adopt a Shoreline Development and Protection Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments to provide enhanced protection of natural resources in light of expected development, and complete and submit an application to join FEMA's Community Rating System program.

To learn more about CoastSmart Communities and steps your community can take to prepare for sea level rise and coastal hazards, contact Chris Cortina with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8774 or at

Nine Proposals Selected in Latest Round of Funding

Maryland's Watershed Assistance Grant Program, coordinated through the Chesapeake Bay Trust, recently approved 9 grants in the amount of $213,400 for planning and design assistance in preparation for on-the-ground restoration. 20 applications were received from local governments and NGOs for requests of over $670,000. The Watershed Assistance Grant Program is an integral component to Maryland's Watershed Assistance Collaborative. The nine proposals awarded include:

  • Ducks Unlimited will receive $17,425 for the development of 100% designs for six wetland restoration projects on the middle Chester River;
  • Parks and People Foundation will receive $13,975 for three 100% engineered designs will be created for various infiltration facilities within Watershed 263 in West Baltimore;
  • Friends of Patapsco Valley Heritage & Greenway will receive $30,000 for the watershed assessment of the Tiber-Hudson subwatershed of the Lower Patapsco River as well as an implementation action plan;
  • Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability will receive $30,000 for a Small Watershed Action Plan for the Middle Gwynns Falls, which has been identified by the applicant as an environmental justice watershed;
  • South River Federation will receive $27,000 for the development of 100% designs for a streambank restoration project in Church Creek;
  • Belair Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. will receive $20,000 for the creation of 100% designs for a bioretention cell on the 3100 block of Erdman Avenue in Northeast Baltimore;
  • Wicomico Environmental Trust will receive $35,000 for a Watershed Management Plan for the Wicomico River, which will include an assessment of existing regulations and policies, the identification of conservation and restoration opportunities, and community engagement into the creation and implementation of the plan;
  • The City of Hagerstown will receive $22,000 for a Stream Restoration Needs Analysis and Stormwater Management Retrofit Study for the Antietam Creek watershed within Hagerstown, MD; and
  • The Town of Cecilton will receive $18,000 for the creation of a subwatershed plan for the town, particularly focused on the Bohemia River watershed within town limits.

dnr raingardenThe Watershed Assistance Grant Program, to date, has awarded over $1.1 million in planning and design grants to local communities for on-the-ground non-point source Bay restoration projects. This Grant Program is part of the larger Watershed Assistance Collaborative, a consortium of State and Federal agencies, NGOs and private foundations. The Collaborative helps to ensure that local partners have the tools and resources they need to succeed.


To learn about the next available opportunity for funding through the Watershed Assistance Grant Program, please visit The next funding cycle will begin in early summer 2012.  For more information on the Watershed Assistance Collaborative, contact Brent McCloskey with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8722 or

Teacher Professional Development Workshops Help Teachers Bring Data into the Classroom and Practice
data and the estuary pic
Photo credit: Coreen Weilminster.

Middle and high school teachers from all over Maryland are encouraged to SIGN UP NOW to secure their spot participate in the upcoming "Data & the Estuary" professional development seminars offered by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve-Maryland (CBNERR-MD).


The workshops, a collaboration of efforts by Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS), CBNERR-MD components (Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, Patuxent River Park, and the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center), NOAA, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), strive to provide teachers with the resources, knowledge and experience necessary to facilitate the integration of estuaries and their related issues into the classroom. Carried out in the diverse environments of the Chesapeake Bay, the program uses hands-on field-based investigations to train teachers to gather authentic data on land use, water quality, biotic communities and other factors, analyze that data, and ultimately use this information to develop action projects that will have a positive impact on the natural systems of the Chesapeake Bay.


During the course of this program the teachers receive training in the NERRS Estuaries 101 curriculum, CBF's Chesapeake Exploration, National Geographic Chesapeake Bay Fieldscope online mapping resource, DNR's Eyes on the Bay continuous monitoring water quality data source, and other resources. Teachers can choose to spend 3 days or 5 days in workshops, and may opt for training in 3 regions: Northern Maryland, Central Maryland, and the Eastern Shore (held overnight at CBF's Karen Noonan Center). MSDE credits are awarded to teachers who complete lessons based on the training.


For more information about the 2012 Data & the Estuary courses, click here or contact Coreen Weilminster, CBNERR - MD Education Coordinator, at 410-260-8744 or


Partnering to Accelerate the Rate of Bay Restoration


MCC piece
Photo credit: Claudia Donegan.
Maryland's Conservation Corps (MCC) and the Chesapeake & Coastal Service have formed a new partnership in bay restoration.



The Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) is an award-winning AmeriCorps program that engages young adults in extensive natural resource management and park conservation projects. Managed by the Maryland Park Service since 1984, MCC provides members with opportunities for skill development and personal growth through a supportive, team-based environment, emphasizing the satisfaction of completing projects that benefit Maryland's natural resources. Under the supervision of experienced Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff, MCC members work in crews of 5-7 members. From State parks and forests to the Chesapeake Bay, they are engaged in projects in Maryland's most beautiful places. 


This past month, the MCC from Patapsco and Tuckahoe State Parks have cleaned out and prepared DNR's newly retrofitted rain gardens in at Tawes State Building and worked on two living shoreline sites - one in the Corsica watershed and one along the Coastal Bays in Williamsville, MD. Also, the Tuckahoe, Pocomoke and Merkle crewmembers planted over a 2,500 trees at a recently completed wetland project in Vienna, Maryland.


CCS is very happy to be working more with the MCC and look forward to a very productive 2012/2013 restoration season. The combined DNR and MD Parks Service MCC Team is already lined up to do four more reforestation and wetland projects this coming summer and fall and these efforts will surely move Maryland closer to its Chesapeake Bay Restoration goals. 




HOFDangling on an office or storefront door in the summertime, one often sees an iconic sign stating, "Gone Fishing".  At the Chesapeake & Coastal Service, we take those signs seriously in the form of a program called "Hooked on Fishing (HOF)".  CCS's Aquatic Resource Education program offers HOF programs at State and county parks throughout Maryland with the goal of introducing young people to the sport of fishing, and, at the same time, encouraging them to learn more about aquatic habitats and the role people play in keeping these habitats healthy.


"Hooked on Fishing" consists of two components for children ages 8 to15 - the day program and the loaner program.  The day program is very popular with scout troops, summer camps, community organizations, and school groups which make up the majority of the participants. During the brief instruction portion of the program, students are: introduced to some of the fishing regulations; taught how to be an "ethical angler"; and learn about the parts of the rods and tackle, knot tying and several casting techniques, as well as basic safety. The students then have a chance to practice what they've learned and go fishing! The total length of the program depends on the weather and fishing success, but usually runs from 2 to 2 hours. The site is up to the group requesting the program and there is no cost. DNR provides all the equipment, but the group is asked to provide bait.


The second component is the loaner program. Groups can borrow rods, reels and tackle, casting kits, and fish printing kits. There is no charge to borrow equipment or kits, but the group borrowing them is responsible for picking them up and returning them to the DNR Tawes building in Annapolis. Also, a children's fishing booklet called "Sidekicks Go Fishing" is available to groups at no charge.


Fishing is an excellent family activity or just a wonderful excuse to be outside. For more information, click here to visit our website or contact Martha Shaum at 410-260-8721 or


Chesapeake Bay National Research Reserve Gears Up for the Paddles's Third Summer


teen paddle 2
Photo credit: Coreen Weilminster

"Explore the Patuxent: Teen Leadership Paddle" is a week-long program held by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve-MD, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, and Patuxent River Park in the Jug Bay region of the Patuxent River.


Throughout this 5-day canoeing expedition (with 3 nights camping), teens have a chance to sharpen their leadership skills, learn teamwork, and gain confidence as they navigate the river. They will measure water quality, camp by the riverside, and prepare meals together. Paddlers will enjoy a unique, on-the-water experience that features local environmental leaders: river keepers, archeologists, astronomers, park naturalists, community gardeners, and scientists who will introduce them to ways that they can become part of the solution to the problems affecting the Chesapeake Bay.  


This will be the Teen Leadership Paddle's third summer and we are pleased to announce that we will again offer 2 sessions: July 16-20 and August 6-10. The paddle is open to all high school students (rising freshman to seniors) after submitting an application and letter of recommendation.


12 participants per session will be selected. The fee is $200. For registration information please visit: or contact Trystan Sill at or 410-260-8827.

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

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Maryland Department of Natural Resources | Chesapeake & Coastal Program | Tawes State Building | 580 Tayor Avenue, E-2 | Annapolis | MD | 21401