CoastSmart Communities Reduce Vulnerabilities

The elevation of many Chesapeake Bay communities is barely seven feet above sea level, and a heavy rainstorm is enough to inundate the roads. Residents have seen severe weather events become more frequent, but they lack the resources to make their communities more resilient.

Recognizing this need, the Maryland Coastal Management Program launched its CoastSmart Communities program in 2009.The program couples direct technical assistance with a competitive grant program to help communities implement projects to reduce their vulnerability to coastal hazards. Regular trainings and workshops deliver essential coastal mapping data and a template for risk assessments, and over $1.5 million in CoastSmart Communities grants were awarded to 23 of Maryland’s coastal counties. Funds have been used to develop local flood mitigation plans, which helped leverage additional funding from FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program, update floodplain ordinances, and create for the City of Baltimore a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan. (2016)

Partners: Chesapeake and Coastal Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency