With a massive amount of our infrastructure situated waterside, Maryland’s communities bear significant responsibility to respond against the challenges of a changing climate and coastline. Fortunately, an array of resources exist to help. A variety of new web-based tools are emerging that provide quick and easy access to the best available data related to landscapes and environmental conditions. With increased awareness of these kind of applications, counties will be better equipped to meet their environmental program goals.
During the session, “The Tides, They Are A-Changing: Preparing For Sea Level Rise,” MACo Winter Conference participants learned about training, data, and tools available to help guide green infrastructure projects and grant resources to address short- and long-term coastal hazards, such as coastal flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise.
Somerset County Commissioner Charles Fisher discussed how changing water levels are severely impacting his county. Sasha Land from the Coast-Smart Communities Initiative, a grant program of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, discussed funding opportunities available to counties – and the recent release of their Request for Proposals from local governments to request funding. Elizabeth Habic, Climate Change Program Manager for the State Highway Administration (SHA) discussed data which SHA makes available to address concerns about vulnerable infrastructure.
Finally, Marshall Stevenson, GIS Program Support for SHA, discussed roll-out of Maryland’s Road Closure Reporter and how counties can benefit from it at no cost. Maryland’s Road Closure Reporter is a free web-based application built and provided by SHA in partnership with the Maryland Department of Information Technology for Maryland’s local jurisdictions. The purpose of the application is to provide a consistent state-wide tool for local jurisdictions to easily and authoritatively submit, manage, disseminate, track and archive road closure events for their jurisdiction as they deem necessary.
The Honorable Shane Robinson of the Maryland House of Delegates moderated the panel.