Coastal Resilience through State Development

a Prius driving through high water.Under COMAR (A) all state development projects must now include a coastal resilience assessment in their application for Critical Area Commission review. The intent of these new provisions is to support planning and decision-making for development in vulnerable areas at risk to the effects of climate change such as sea level rise and storm surge. The provisions provide the opportunity for early coordination with Commission staff and overlap closely with requirements of the Coast Smart Construction Infrastructure Siting and Design Guidelines.

State agencies must submit documentation that factors such as coastal hazards, extreme weather events, sea level rise, existing protective ecological features and wetland mitgration areas have been considered while siting and designing state development projects. The design life of the project must be considered in light of sea level rise, and climate resilient practices must be identified to minimize damage associated with coastal hazards. When detrimental impacts to wetland migration areas are unavoidable, the agency can assess ecological features for enhancement in order to maintain existing wetland function and provide additional protection from future coastal threats. Here is the State Project Checklist.