Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - July 2011

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june 2011

Volume 3, Issue 5 

July 2011

SPECIAL ISSUE: A FOCUS ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
IN THIS ISSUE
FUNDS FOR LOCAL WATERSHED RESTORATION
LOCAL PROJECT HIGHLIGHTED AT CHESAPEAKE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING
CoastSmart COMMUNITIES FUNDING ANNOUNCED
NEW STORMWATER FINANCING UNIT CREATED
WATERSHED ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING PROPOSALS

The Chesapeake & Coastal Program conducts research, provides technical services and distributes federal and state funds to enable on-the-ground projects that benefit Maryland's local communities. Whether it's helping communities prepare for climate change, restore local waterways, protect habitats, foster clean coastal industries or encouraging citizens to become caring stewards - the Chesapeake & Coastal Program constantly seeks ways to improve coastal management at the State and local levels.

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CCP SPOTLIGHT: CHESAPEAKE & ATLANTIC COASTAL BAYS TRUST FUND UPDATE

Announcing Funds for Local Watershed Restoration  

 

trust fund project picThe State Legislature approved $23.5M for the Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund (Trust Fund) for Fiscal Year 2012. This $3.5M increase over last year emphasizes the Governor's commitment to restoring the Bay despite the tough economic climate. The Trust Fund is a dedicated fund generated through motor fuel and rental car taxes designed to provide much needed resources to reduce non-point source pollution at the local level. 

 

Since 2008, the Trust Fund has supported state-wide initiatives such as providing technical assistance to farmers via Soil Conservation Districts ($2.28M), promoting the development of innovative technologies in Maryland that reduce pollution ($0.75M), and implementing cost-effective BMPs through the cover crops program ($14.25M) and through the installation of natural filters ($1.4M). $8.18M of FY 2012 funding will be directed towards local watershed restoration. These state funds leverage over $12M in local, federal, and nonprofit dollars. Watersheds receiving funding this year include:

  • $1.2M to Howard County and the Columbia Association for stormwater retrofits and forest buffer restoration in the Little Patuxent watershed. The Columbia Association will also receive funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) for a social marketing campaign regarding rain gardens.
  • $640K to Baltimore County and BlueWater Baltimore for stormwater retrofits and forest buffer restoration in the Back River. This watershed is also slated to receive funding from MDE's 319 Program for stormwater retrofits, and from CBT for community engagement with trash removal and rain barrel installation.
  • $500K to Harford County to construct 4 stormwater management projects in Wheel Creek.
  • $463K to Anne Arundel County to construct and monitor an innovative sand seepage stream restoration in a subwatershed of the Magothy River.
  • $290K to the Sassafras River Association to install wetlands and pilot poultry manure incorporation, as well as funding from CBT for social marketing work to increase community involvement.
  • $250K to the Town of Centreville to manage stormwater at the local wastewater treatment plant in the Corsica River watershed. Centreville is also in line to receive MDE Non-point 319 funds for additional stormwater management projects.

Maryland State agencies, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the EPA, and NOAA worked together to maximize and leverage available Bay restoration dollars.

  

Local communities interested in learning more about the Trust Fund as well as the resources available through Maryland's Watershed Assistance Collaborative are invited to visit CCP's Trust Fund webpage.

 

MARYLAND ON TRACK TO MEET FIRST SET OF SHORT TERM BAY RESTORATION GOALS 

Anne Arundel County's Watershed Stewards Academy highlighted, among others, at recent Chesapeake Executive Council Meeting 

 

EC2011

Governor O'Malley with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson listen on as Arlington Echo's Steve Barry explains the Watershed Stewards Academy.

Richmond, VA (July 11, 2011) - At the Chesapeake Executive Council Meeting, Governor Martin O'Malley announced that Maryland is 98 percent on the way to reaching its 2-year milestone commitments for reducing nitrogen and phosphorous into the Chesapeake Bay - a sign that the state is making significant progress toward reaching its short term Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction goal. 

 

 

The underlying theme of this year's meeting was focused on individual stewardship and local government assistance.  Maryland was able to highlight this effort by showcasing Anne Arundel County's Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA).  WSA was originally funded in part by the Chesapeake and Coastal Program, via NOAA's Coastal Zone Management Grant.  WSA supports community leaders to serve as Master Watershed Stewards in the protection, restoration and conservation of our watersheds, working to reduce the negative impacts of stormwater runoff in Anne Arundel County.  The Academy has become a model for engaging citizens region wide and most recently through the creation of the Watershed Stewards Academy for the National Capital Region.  For more information contact the Anne Arundel County Director, Suzanne Etgen at setgen@aacps.org.   

 

"While along with the other Bay states, we must await confirmation of our numbers from the EPA's computer model at year's end, our BayStat process allows us to accurately track our progress on a monthly basis," said Governor O'Malley. "With our farmers planting record numbers of cover crops, our citizens planting trees and growing oysters, our municipalities upgrading wastewater treatment plants, and our legislators enacting important new laws, these numbers once again prove that here in Maryland, we don't make excuses, we make progress."

 

Click here to read the full Executive Council Meeting press release.

 

 

COASTSMART CONTINUES TO TARGET COMMUNITIES READY TO REDUCE VULNERABILITY TO SEA LEVEL RISE AND COASTAL HAZARDS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

Three Communities Selected to Receive Financial and Technical Assistance   
 

crisfield flooding

Flooding in Crisfield. Photo by Sandi Olek.

Launched by Governor O'Malley in April 2009, the CoastSmart Communities Initiative was created in response to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change Action Plan to provide financial and technical assistance to local governments to promote the incorporation of natural resource and/or coastal management issues into local planning and permitting activities (referred to as a "program change"). Preference is given to projects that focus specifically on reducing community vulnerability to the effects of sea level rise through the modification of ordinances, codes, plans and programs. The competitive grant program is made possible by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) CZM funding administered by DNR's Chesapeakse & Coastal Program.

 

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

  • Queen Anne's County - Protection and Management of Coastal Resources in Queen Anne's County. Project goal: To further protect/manage coastal resources by comprehensively updating the County's Environmental Code to incorporate recent COMAR regulations, Maryland stormwater regulations, environmental design practices and update/create sensitive area mapping to include Critical Areas floodplain and coastal vulnerability data.
  • City of Cambridge - Code and Ordinance Modification to Address Nonpoint Source Pollution and Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise. Project goal: To comprehensively amend and modernize the City's zoning ordinance to implement the Comprehensive Plan goals.  Aligned with the CoastSmart Communities Initiative, Cambridge is eager to make huge strides in implementing their plan; contributing to improved regional water quality, and preparing their land use patterns and development practices for storm surge and sea level rise.
  • Calvert County - Calvert County Shoreline Development Guide and Plan. Project goal: To create a shoreline development guide to assist citizens in complying with all regulations while protecting life and property from coastal hazards.  The project will also develop a long range plan that balances natural resource protection with protection of shoreline development and human life.

Communities interested in learning more about CoastSmart Communities and steps they can take to address vulnerability to climate change impacts and resources available to help tackle climate change related risks at the local level should e-mail Chris Cortina with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program. 

MARYLAND CREATES STORMWATER FINANCING AND OUTREACH UNIT 

New Service to Help Local Governments Assess Financing Options to Promote Best Practices in Stormwater Management  

 

stormwaterA new service has been added to assist locals create strategies for financing stormwater management as part of the State's Watershed Assistance Collaborative - a partnership that provides services and technical assistance to communities to advance restoration activities and project implementation. Led by the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, the new Stormwater Financing and Outreach Unit will help municipalities assess various financing options to promote best practices in stormwater management while addressing multiple community priorities such as increased green space, decreased infrastructure costs, and improved water quality.  The Unit will work with two Maryland communities per year and will also hold a series of workshops for municipal stormwater managers throughout the state. 

 

The town of Berlin, on Maryland's eastern shore, has been selected as the first municipality who will benefit from the services of the Unit.  A feasibility study for the town will be completed in Summer/Fall 2011.  In addition to helping municipalities build a financing strategy, the Unit will also help to implement community outreach on the need for sustainable financing for stormwater management.   

 

For more information on the Stormwater Financing and Outreach Unit and to learn how your community can benefit from these services, please contact Joanne Throwe, Director of the UMD Environmental Finance Center, at 301-405-5036.  For more information regarding additional opportunities for local government assistance, including opportunities offered through the Watershed Assistance Collaborative, please e-mail Collaborative Program Manager Brenton McCloskey of the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410-260-8722.

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

Deadline for Proposals is September 16, 2011

 

designThe deadline for proposals is Friday, Sept 16th, at 5 pm.  Click here to view the Request for Proposals.

 

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.

CCP PARTNERS TO DELIVER COASTAL LAND CONSERVATION TRAINING

Trainings Available for Incorporating Blue Infrastructure and Climate Change into Local Project Decision-Making 

 

LLT training"The resources available to us are really incredible and help us make more informed and better decisions." - Ann Gutierrez Carlson, MET

 

In June, the Maryland Environmental Trust, Defenders of Wildlife, and CCP delivered a training for local land trusts to demonstrate the importance of incorporating tidal and nearshore ecological data - the Blue Infrastructure - and climate change adaptation benefits into parcel-level conservation evaluations and project decisions.  The goals of the training were to inform local land conservation planners about the availability of new data and its benefit in evaluating coastal zone properties; provide tools for incorporating climate change into conservation easements; and to facilitate a dialogue on the challenges local land trusts are facing. 

 

Coastal land trusts and managers have an important role in climate change adaption in Maryland. Program staff provided a demonstration on how to incorporate coastal zone conservation targeting datasets into parcel-level conservation assessments using the Coastal Atlas and a climate change evaluation form.  The combination of identifying Blue Infrastructure and climate change effects of sea level rise will help inform decision-makers about the properties' aquatic ecological value and climate resiliency and adaptability.  Attendees and training partners discussed the challenges of drafting conservation easements that consider the potential impacts of climate change while at the same time protecting conservation values and purposes of the property.

 

To learn more about these new datasets, visit Maryland's Coastal Atlas. The Shorelines mapper houses all of the climate change data, including new data on long-term projections of coastal wetland response to sea level rise. The Estuaries mapper contains the data used in the Blue Infrastructure nearshore assessment

 

For interest in any future workshops, please e-mail Chris Cortina with the Chesapeake and Coastal Program.

MARYLAND ENHANCES CAPACITY TO DELIVER CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Partnership with UM Center for Environmental Science brings new staff additions to CCP and Office for a Sustainable Future    
umces hires 2

Jeff Allenby of CCP (left) and Marcus Griswold of OSF (right)

 

CCP is pleased to welcome Jeff Allenby to our team as DNR's CoastSmart Communities Planner.  Duties of Jeff's position - made possible through a partnership between CCP and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) - will be leading CCP's efforts to provide technical assistance to local communities throughout the coastal zone to incorporate coastal hazards and sea level rise adaptation into local planning and management efforts.  Jeff may be working with many of you in the coming months to get efforts rolling.

 

Jeff recently graduated from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment with his Masters of Environmental Management and a Certificate of Geospatial Analysis.  During his time in Beaufort, NC, he completed a project determining the socio-economic and environmental impacts of sea-level rise on Bogue Banks, NC, and will be a great resource for many of our local government partners. 

 

Also made possible through a partnership with UMCES, DNR's Office for a Sustainable Future is pleased to welcome Marcus Griswold to its staff.  With support from the Town Creek Foundation and the National Science Foundation, Marcus will be working in partnership with UMCES and DNR, serving as the Program Coordinator for Climate Change Adaptation.  While at DNR, Marcus will be working with ZoŽ Johnson to develop new outreach programs and enact new laws and policies aimed at increasing state and local capacity to adapt to a changing climate.

 

Marcus comes to us from American Rivers; where, as a Lapham Fellow, his efforts were aimed at broadening the focus of the U.S. Forest Service to value water derived from public lands. He also sought new funding mechanisms to protect forested watersheds whose preservation is vital to the health of drinking water supplies.

 
 
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. 

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