On July 1, 2021, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the award of $415,000 to seven climate resilience projects to help communities prepare for, and recover from, climate-related impacts. These competitive grants are designed to help communities plan and design solutions to withstand flooding and other weather-related events.
The projects selected will identify and prioritize vulnerable communities, incorporate climate change data and information into existing plans and policies, and develop nature-based or natural solutions to control flooding.
Funding is provided by Governor Hogan’s Resiliency Through Restoration Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Maryland’s local communities are seeking projects that will put them in better positions to address flooding and other climate impacts,” Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said.
“We are pleased to lend our expertise and the resources needed for the planning and nature-based design work to build resilient and thriving communities within dynamic coastal environments,” she added.
Grant funding was awarded this year to the following local governments and community partners:
- Anne Arundel County — Prepare a 10-year update to the County’s Sea Level Rise Strategic Plan;
- Blue Water Baltimore — Design green infrastructure practices to control stormwater at the St. Agnes Healthcare campus in West Baltimore;
- Charles County –– Identify potential solutions to reduce or eliminate flooding in three areas of the Zekiah watershed that experience frequent urban flooding;
- Maryland Coastal Bays Program — Design a nature-based island restoration project to enhance an eroding three-acre Coastal Bays island offshore of Ocean City;
- NeighborSpace of Baltimore County — Design green infrastructure features to address stormwater flooding and increase climate resilience at Powhatan Park;
- Prince George’s County — Prepare Phase 2 of the County’s Nuisance Flood Plan; and
- Town of Snow Hill –– Study flooding issues in Byrd Park and identify possible solutions.
To streamline the grant application and management process, the department has created the Grants Gateway to provide a single entry point for grantees, and assures access to funding for innovative, local projects. In addition to ease of use for applicants, the gateway provides the department an integrated grant-management system to monitor sources, manage data, and ensure grants are consistent with the department’s strategic priorities.
Through the improved connections across similar grant programs, the department seeks to support more comprehensive and integrated projects that achieve at least one of the following outcomes: fostering healthy ecosystems, building resiliency, or providing outdoor learning experiences. By adding increased efficiency to the process, the department hopes to encourage more entities to develop comprehensive and integrated projects across Maryland.
Photo of Ocean City, Maryland (one of the grant winners) is by Drngogo via Wikipedia.