Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment


In response to prioritized concerns about tidal ditch flooding on roadways, Somerset County has secured funding through the Maryland Green Infrastructure Resilience Grant Program to conduct a drainage study of the Oriole and Dames Quarter area ditches. Oriole (include Champ and St. Stephens) and Dames Quarter are two focus areas where ditch flooding onto roadway is especially problematic. On some roadways, it hinders residents from accessing their homes, and prevents school busses, public utilities, and emergency services from reaching these area during flood conditions. The County has contracted with AMT Engineers, which are carrying out the assessment. Findings from their study will be used to identify prioritize projects and procure additional funding to support their implementation. More information on these activities can be found here.  

Ditch Drainage Study of Oriole and Dames Quarter Ditch Networks

Flooded tidal ditches in Dames Quarter during a Nor'easter storm event.

The ICRA prioritization process let to the development of the Deal Island Shoreline Project, a living shoreline project that is being implemented to fortify a highly erosive shoreline near Crowell Rd. on Deal Island, a site that was identified by ICRA participants as a priority concern. The shoreline, which is on the verge of permanently breaching, currently protects an important marsh complex that buffers a low-lying African American neighborhood, a historic church, and the Deal Island Rd. from flooding.

Deal Island Shoreline Project

Deal Island Shoreline, 2017

Should it permanently breach, these areas will be prone to inundation and washout, and have the potential to impact access to those who live and work in Wenona and other points further down the Peninsula. 

The project is being funded as one of six demonstration sites selected from across the state of Maryland as part of the Maryland Coastal Resiliency Grant Program, a new resiliency grant program established Governor Hogan in 2017. The project will fund the construction of underwater structures to reduce wave action on the shoreline and promote sediment deposition. Wetland and dune grasses will be planted on the shoreline to retain sediments and promote dune reconstruction. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2019 once permits are approved. Monitoring of pre- and post-conditions is being carried out by DNR staff from the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve-Maryland and by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with George Mason University. More information on these activities can be found here.  

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