The National Association of Counties featured Calvert County, Maryland in its recent report, Severe Weather Adaptation, Coastal Resiliency County Case Studies. As described in the report,
Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, increased rainfall and superstorms are propelling communities to reevaluate and strengthen their current hazard mitigation plans. In 2011 alone, weather disaster damages cost the U.S. over $35 billion. When faced with the threat of weather impacts, the risk management choices are broadly the same: resistance, accommodation, avoidance, transfer and acceptance. The case studies in this publication explore three counties’ approaches to reducing vulnerability and exposure using planning, technology and collaboration tools.
The report profiles Calvert County’s floodplain management pilot program in Cove Point and Broomes Island, noting the cooperative effort between county government officials and the state and federal government throughout the program.
Calvert County has a flood mitigation plan in effect for the entire county, but two communities, Cove Point and Broomes Island, flood more regularly than other areas. Calvert County began a pilot project in 2014 to focus on floodplain management in these communities. An important part of this effort includes elevating several of the most vulnerable structures in Cove Point. Because flooding is an accepted part of the local culture, the county’s main goal is to communicate with local residents and planners about increasing hazard impacts and the availability of varied flood mitigation resources. This has been achieved through initiatives like trainings to help visualize the impacts of sea level rise and sharing Army Corps of Engineers’ graphics depicting 100 and 500 year flood events and hurricane impacts. “A large part of our success,” says Tay Harris, Environmental Planner of the Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building, “has been working closely with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and FEMA to build networking opportunities. The hands-on approach they’ve shared with us, and our collective synergy, has been key.”
For more information, read the whole report from the National Association of Counties.