Md. to receive $3.9 million in NFWF and NOAA funding for coastal resilience projects

MARYLAND – Maryland will receive significant funding for three coastal resilience projects. The $136 million comes from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“History in its making”

Grants range from $100,000 to $10 million. In total, the funding will enable 88 natural infrastructure projects in 29 US states and territories. $94 million in matching contributions totaling $230 million. It is the largest amount ever spent by the National Coastal Resiliency Fund.

“It is truly history in the making and a tangible expression of the government’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis through solutions such as nature can provide,” said Dr. Rick Spinrad from NOAA administration. “While we must work diligently to limit our emissions and slow the pace of climate change, we must also protect ourselves from the climate impacts we cannot avoid. Restoring and protecting ecosystems is an essential part of building climate resilience and ensuring our nation is a climate-ready nation.”

Funding for Maryland

In Maryland, three projects are to benefit from the funding. $2,999,500 was awarded to encourage oyster restoration among shellfish farmers. Matching funds of $1,479,300 brought the total to $4,478,800. The project will stock 2.5 million adult diploid oysters that will be farmed by farmers. The goal is to improve water quality, rebuild marine habitat, advance coastal protection and bring economic benefits to coastal communities.

Meanwhile, $416,800 has been awarded to build capacity to restore tidal marshes and sand islands on the East Coast. With matching funds of $55,000, a total of $471,800 was raised. Restoration and resilience plans are being prepared for tidal marsh habitats in three Lower Eastern Shore counties. When the projects are complete, thousands of acres of tidal marsh and birds will be protected.

Finally, grant funding will help design a resilience action plan for Maryland’s coastal communities. The grant of $513,500 plus $106,400 in matching funds brought the total to $619,900. The action plan will cover eight Maryland coastal communities. It will identify and prioritize nature-based solutions to strengthen coastal resilience. The plan will also connect communities with partners who can expand capacity or support implementation.

Increasing needs

dr Holly Bamford, NFWF’s Chief Conservation Officer, says the grants will not only help communities prepare for climate change.

“These grants not only address coastal threats such as sea level rise, violent storms and flooding,” said Dr. Bamford. “But it’s also exploring how nature can be used to build that barrier, to protect infrastructure, create jobs, create habitat, wildlife and open spaces for people to enjoy the coastline outdoors.”

dr Bamford calls the impact of the climate crisis along American shores “significant”. Because of this, she says, NFWF and NOAA have submitted over 450 proposals totaling $770 million. “The need is there. This program and other programs are helping to address that need head-on,” said Dr. Bamford.

For underserved and marginalized communities, says Dr. Bamford, the need is even greater.

“There are many underserved communities that may not be able to pull off a large $10 million infrastructure project. This program allows for a pipeline approach. It allows the community to step in where it is,” said Dr. Bamford. “You may be in a planning phase and need help putting the plan together. It is very difficult to get a permit so they may need help to get the permit. After all, it’s about implementation. This program enables that growth.”

looking ahead

dr Bamford says ensuring community engagement remains strong throughout the process will ensure success, they say.

“If you do any project related to resilience within the community, the community has to be committed to it. As a result, not only will this project create that resilience, create that barrier, but it will also be sustained by the community that will benefit from it,” said Dr. Bamford. “You have to involve the community. This really piques her interest. Once they see the value in a project that protects the community but also creates a sense of economic viability, they will truly support it going forward.”

Against this background, says Dr. Spinrad said this is just the beginning of coastal protection and restoration in the United States.

“We are focused on a long-term plan to build climate-friendly coasts by protecting the future of our coastal communities and investing in natural infrastructure projects that strengthen coastal resilience, create jobs, store carbon, move marine debris and restore habitats,” said Dr. spin wheel. “We are entering a new era of conservation; Conservation that protects and also creates new opportunities for communities on the front lines of climate change.”


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