$2.8 Million Public-Private Partnership to Fund Coastal Resilience Work on the Shore

    Maryland is ticketed to receive more than $2.8 million in federal funding and associated grant money to prevent coastal flooding in the town of Oxford on the Eastern Shore.

    The grant, announced Tuesday, is part of a program overseen by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is providing more than $37 million in new grants from the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF) to support coastal resilience projects in 25 states and U.S. territories. The 46 grants announced Tuesday will generate $55 million in matching contributions from corporations, foundations and other government agencies for a total conservation investment of $92 million.

    The NCRF grants are designed to contribute to the restoration or enhancement of natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, mangroves, forests, coastal rivers and barrier islands. These natural buffers can help reduce the impacts of storms, rising sea levels and other extreme events on nearby communities and habitats.

    Congress authorized funding under the National Oceans and Coastal Security Act, allowing grants to be awarded through the NCRF, a partnership among NOAA, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Shell Oil Co., TransRe, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and AT&T, with additional funding coming from the U.S. Department of Defense.

    In Maryland, $2,874,660 will be set aside for beach nourishment, dune restoration, cobble headland breakwaters, and the creation of five offshore living islands to mitigate impacts at several high-priority sites identified through Oxford’s Stormwater
    Management and Shoreline Protection Master Plans. The project, according to NOAA’s announcement, “will employ an innovative and holistic design approach to address flooding and erosion impacting the Town of Oxford.”

    “NOAA is proud to work with NFWF to support critical projects in coastal communities, helping them address challenges and further strengthen America’s Blue Economy,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, assistant secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. “This year, as NOAA celebrates its 50th anniversary as the nation’s premier science agency, we look ahead to another 50 years and beyond of improving the resilience of our nation’s coastline.”

    Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF, said the program has a multiplier effect ― the goal is to give communities that receive the funding the capacity to do the planning necessary to launch similar resiliency projects in the future.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.