With the pressures of continuing coastal growth, demand for offshore energy development, and the escalating effects of climate change, there are increasing demands on Chesapeake, coastal and ocean resources – our Blue Infrastructure. Coastal and estuarine habitats shield us from storms; filter pollutants to maintain water quality; provide shelter, nesting and nursery grounds for fish and wildlife; and provide access to beaches. The resources within these regions are critical for commerce, recreation, energy, environment, and our quality of life. As new uses of these regions become a reality, there are increasing demands on the available space and resources.
The Chesapeake & Coastal Program works with regional, state, and private partners to ensure thriving coastal ecosystems and their continued capacity to serve vital ecological, economic and recreational needs. To meet this goal we work to assess the state’s Blue Infrastructure and use marine spatial planning tools to evaluate compatible coastal uses. We restore habitats, create public access opportunities and protect important coastal habitats through acquisition. And, in the face of climate change and sea level rise, we work to plan for habitat changes and identify coastal habitat adaptation options.
Through these activities the Chesapeake & Coastal Program is committed to helping maintain and improve the health of our ocean and coastal resources, and ensure that they continue to contribute to the high quality of life and economic vitality of Maryland’s communities well into the future.
Blue Infrastructure Near-shore Assessment
The Blue Infrastructure (BI) is a detailed spatial assessment of coastal habitat, critical natural resources, and associated human uses in the tidal waters and near-shore area of Maryland’s coastal zone.
Coastal & Estuarine Land Conservation (CELCP)
Learn more about how CCP is working with county and state partners to protect important coastal and estuarine areas through NOAA’s Coastal & Estuarine Land Conservation Program.
Ocean Planning and Renewable Offshore Energy
Learn more about the State’s ocean mapping and planning, offshore wind, project timelines, anticipated processes and opportunities for public comment.
Coastal Habitats and Climate Change
Learn more about how Maryland is developing new conservation criteria to identify coastal habitats that may help Maryland proactively adapt to sea level rise and increased storm events associated with climate change.
MATTAWOMAN REPORT SHEDS LIGHT ON IMPACTS FROM DEVELOPMENT
Recommendations Focus on Protecting an Undeveloped Watershed
During the past year, DNR in partnership with the Charles County Planning Department undertook 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. 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 to read more about the report and its recommendations in the January 2012 In the Zone newsletter. Click here to view the full report.
Chesapeake & Coastal Service
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Building E-2
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401