EPA awards $143,000 to Maryland to enhance its wetlands program
The U.S. EPA announced a $142,758 grant to the Maryland Department of Environment to enhance its wetlands program by emphasizing a living shoreline approach.
A living shoreline will manage coastal areas to protect, restore, or enhance the habitat, according to the EPA press release.
“Wetlands are a primary component of Maryland’s environment, which contribute greatly to the state’s ability to protect water quality and natural resources,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This award is a great example of the effective partnership between federal and state agencies to protect and restore Maryland’s wetlands.”
The funding supports the project “Development of New Living Shoreline Guidance” and will support Maryland’s 2015-2020 approved Wetland Program Plan. This plan will evaluate the effectiveness of restoration guidance and improve outreach and education, according to the EPA.
The proposal includes an interagency agreement with Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to provide expertise to expand the shoreline inventory and data analyses to encourage using the living shoreline approach rather than a structural approach to stabilize shorelines.
The funds were provided through EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grant program, which enables state, local and tribal governments to conduct a range of projects that promote research and pollution reduction efforts related to wetlands.
WPDGs assist state, tribal, local government agencies and interstate/inter tribal entities in building programs to protect, manage and restore wetlands, according to the EPA. States, tribes, local governments, interstate associations, and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply for the Regional WPDG Request for Proposals. Nonprofits, interstate associations and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply for the National WPDG RFPs as well.