The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Trust entered into a new funding partnership this year to create “living shorelines” in tidal areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This program was established by the Chesapeake Bay Trust several years ago with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation partners. The program encourages and helps fund efforts by community associations, local governments, institutions and other groups to implement shoreline stabilization techniques that prevent erosion and create vital habitat for fish and wildlife.
The Living Shorelines Grant Program will fund the planning, design and construction, as well as plantings, signage and community activities related to living shoreline projects. In 2009, MDE’s Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund will provide $300,000 the Bay Trust will provide $700,000. The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment and the NOAA Restoration Center have already contributed $75,000 and $175,000, respectively, to this year’s project solicitation. The Tidal Wetland Compensation Fund includes fees paid by permit applicants whose projects impact tidal wetlands, after demonstrating that the impact cannot be avoided or minimized and that wetland restoration or creation elsewhere is not feasible.
The Bay Trust received twenty-four applications for funding totaling nearly $1.7 million. Awards, anticipated in the near future, will result in the implementation over 1,000 linear feet of living shoreline and 4.5 acres of wetlands, hundreds of volunteers donating 3,000 hours of their time, and a leveraged match of $1.8 million. The projects supported by MDE are:
Londontown Property Owners Association – Anne Arundel County
Loch Haven Civic Association – Anne Arundel County
Franklin Manor Homeowners Association – Anne Arundel County
Town of Chestertown – Kent County
Coastal Bays Program – Worcester County
Eastern Shore RC&D – Kent County
West River Center – Anne Arundel County
Chesapeake Bay Foundation – Anne Arundel County
Environmental Concern – Talbot County
MDE funds will be administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, through a memorandum of understanding with MDE. Projects administered by the Trust will be in compliance with MDE permitting and mitigation requirements. MDE will help evaluate specific projects as part of the grant review committee established by the Trust that consists of experts in the area of tidal wetlands protection and creation and shoreline stabilization.
The mission of the Trust, created by the General Assembly in 1985, is to promote public awareness of and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Chesapeake Bay Trust receives financial contributions from purchases of the Treasure the Chesapeake Bay license plates and donations through a tax check-off on State income tax forms. Donations from corporations and other private entities supplement these donations. The Board of Directors consists of 19 members, including: members of the Senate and the House in the General Assembly; fourteen members appointed by the Governor representing education, business, and conservation interests; ex officio members from the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment; local government and the general public. Click here to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay Trust.