Living Shorelines

New Tidal Wetland Regulations for Living Shorelines Effective February 4, 2013

New Tidal Wetland Regulations for Living Shorelines formalize the requirements of the Living Shorelines Protection Act passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2008 Legislative Session. 

Key Provisions of the Living Shoreline Regulations

1) Improvements to protect a person’s property against shoreline erosion must consist of marsh creation or other nonstructural shoreline stabilization measures, i.e. Living Shorelines, that preserve the natural environment unless a Waiver is obtained. Criteria to qualify for a waiver are detailed below.   A person wishing to build a structural shoreline stabilization project must submit an approved Waiver with any application for a Tidal Wetlands License.

2) An applicant for a Tidal Wetlands License to construct a shore erosion control measure must submit the following information:

     a) Joint Federal/State Application for the Alteration of any Tidal Wetland in Maryland

     b) A proposed Critical Area Buffer Management Plan

     c) A signed Critical Area Buffer Notification Form 

 

Criteria for Obtaining a Living Shoreline Waiver

A property owner meeting one of the following criteria may obtain a waiver to the requirement to build a nonstructural shore erosion control measure:

1) The project shoreline is mapped as an area appropriate for structural shoreline stabilization measures and displayed on the Maryland Department of the Environment’s website

2) The project site is not suitable for a Living Shoreline due to excessive erosion, severe high energy conditions, extreme water depths, or the fact that the waterway is too narrow for effective use of nonstructural shoreline stabilization measures.

A site meeting these conditions may be eligible for a Waiver.  A property owner may obtain a Living Shoreline Waiver, by contacting MDE at 410-537-3837, or by emailing a project manager.  It is also strongly recommended that in addition to completing the Living Shoreline Waiver Request that a pre-application site visit is made with an MDE Project Manager.​​