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Annapolitans Win Grants to Build Living Shorelines

Two Annapolis projects to rebuild shorelines and stop erosion along the bay were among the 16 recipients of grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust on Thursday.

Politicians, nonprofits and homeowners from around Maryland gathered in Eastport on Thursday for the announcement of 16 recipients of the Chesapeake Bay Trust's 2012 grants to build living shorelines.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, living shorelines are a stabilization technique that uses natural habitat elements like rocks—instead of bulkhead or riprap—to protect shorelines from erosion while also providing critical habitat for fish, crabs and other wildlife.

The trust partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of the Environment to give away more than $800,000—the largest amount awarded to date.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said he brags about the Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts to his colleagues in Congress all the time. 

"This is really big news what's being done here. We know how important the Chesapeake Bay is to our state, and how important it is our country. It's a national treasure," Cardin said. "It was Maryland that started [the restoration effort], and then we brought in the other states and the local governments and the private sector and the federal government. And that partnership now is a national model."

The hope is that these 16 new shoreline projects will serve as learning tools for and examples of effective restoration.

"You are truly on the front lines," Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said. "You are educating the public on the importance of protecting the environment and our shorelines, but also you are putting into practice those techniques."

The 2012 recipient ceremony took place in Eastport where three neighbors got together after learning about living shorelines in part through demonstration projects funded through this collaborative. The Annapolitans worked together to remove bulkheads and build a contiguous living shoreline on their properties, which now serves as an example for current and future grant recipients. 

The South River Federation received a $12,880 grant to cover some of the costs for its restoration of 240 feet of shoreline along Church Creek in Annapolis, which was completed earlier this month.

Erik Michelsen, the federation's executive director, said the homeowner on Church Creek decided to move forward with the creation of the living shoreline before the grant had been secured. 

"The contractor who was building this project was also building another shoreline in the same vicinity so cost wise it made sense," Michelsen said. "Rather than mobilizing the crew twice, both projects were completed at the same time."

The other living shoreline was privately funded.

The Annapolis Cove Property Owners Association received $40,000 to create a 150-foot living shoreline in its community along Lake Ogleton.

State Sen. John Astle (D-Annapolis) is a Chespeake Bay Trust board member, and he votes on how much money should be allocated to living shoreline projects. He said being able to give out a number of grants to Annapolis and Anne Arundel County meant a lot to him.

"Representing an area that probably has more shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay than just about any other district in the state, I am acutely aware of the issues that we face that impact the bay," Astle said. 

He pointed to a shoreline restoration project done behind as an example of how erosion can be stopped and a habitat can be recreated.

"The fact that we can do this in an urban setting—I think is really neat," Astle said. 

Since the trust's living shoreline program started seven years ago, there have been 68 projects in local communities that have created 28,000 feet of living shoreline and 18 acres of wetland habitat. 

The program has awarded more than $4 million and leveraged $7 million in matching funds from landowners throughout Maryland and Virginia. 

Living Shoreline grant recipients include:

MARYLAND

  • Annapolis Cove Property Owners Association, Anne Arundel County, $40,000
  • Magothy Beach Improvement Association, Anne Arundel County, $100,000
  • Severn Riverkeeper Program, Anne Arundel County, $18,784
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Anne Arundel County, $41,931
  • South River Federation, Anne Arundel County, $12,880
  • West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Anne Arundel County, $39,850
  • Baltimore County Department of Recreation & Parks, Baltimore County, $13,336
  • North East Isles, Cecil County, $100,000
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s County, $16,500
  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Talbot County, $60,000
  • The Gunston School, Queen Anne’s County, $100,000
  • Chester River Association, Queen Anne’s County, $99,000

VIRGINIA

  • City of Norfolk, VA, $134,082
  • Friends of Norfolk’s Environment, Norfolk, VA, $5,894
  • Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Prince William County, VA, $16,500
  • The Landings at Bolling Square Community Association, Norfolk, VA, $11,212
Mike September 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Further, Eric, with all due respect, your statement that "mitigation funds" are "not taxes" is accounting nonsense. If I understand what you yourself are claiming, mitigation funds are largely paid by developers for some notion of impact on the environment when they develop property they own. Property which will then be sold or rented, with the "mitigation funds" taken by government being passed on to the buyer or renter. This is, quite simply, a development tax imposed on people who build on land that they own. Saying it is not a tax is nonsense. One can argue about the merits of the tax, but it most certainly is a tax. And once again, your attempts to paint the picture of this trust as being "private donations", "grants", and "mitigation funds" rather than taxes are misleading at best, and inherently undermine the credibility of other statements about whether the money is well spent. Had I just slinked quietly off after your first comment or said "oh, I guess I was wrong about the tax dollars as it's all just private donation," does anyone think you'd have come rushing to promote the reality, or just happily let it end with the written perception being that the tax dollars are negligible or nonexistent? I leave that answer to the readers... Please consider that people mighgt be less suspicious if they weren't constantly misled about how much money is confiscated by government.
Mike September 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Oops, I failed to hit Reply when I wanted to. My 12:35 PM and 12:47 PM comments belong in chronological order. That's my goof, failing to nest both below Eric's 11:45 AM comment.
Mike September 02, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Oops, I failed to hit Reply when I wanted to. My 12:35 PM and 12:47 PM comments belong in chronological order. That's my goof, failing to nest both below Eric's 11:45 AM comment.
Mike September 02, 2012 at 05:04 PM
One other note, if I read the "audit" correctly, at least some if not all of the folks associated with the trust appear to get some employee benefits from the State of Maryland. More tax dollars. And the muddier and more confusing the accounting gets, the more the use of tax dollars piles up unbeknownst to the taxpayer.
Mike Queener September 03, 2012 at 11:10 PM
There are many new grants for environment posted on Grantwatch.com http://www.grantwatch.com/ Nonprofits may be interested in applying for this grant: Grants to Maryland Non-Profits, Faith-Based, and Others for Environmental Education and Restoration Deadline: 01/11/2013 Grants of up to $5,000 to schools, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and government entities that help promote awareness of and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams through promoting environmental education programs. LINK: http://www.grantwatch.com/grant/129858/grants+to+maryland+non+profits++faith+based++and+++others+for+environmental+education+and+restoration.html Best of Luck in finding grants, Mike Queener

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