top of page

DIPP Newsletter  July 2016, Volume 9


Dear Stakeholders and Interested Parties, 


Happy summer! Below you will find the latest news and updates on the Project, as well as some exciting news from Skipjack Heritage, Inc. on future museum developments! You will also find a new section in the newsletter called "Meet Our Stakeholders." This section will feature one of our Stakeholder Network members each month in hopes of giving everyone the chance to get to know one another a little better. A big thanks to Aaron Horner for sharing his background and thoughts on the DIPP and the importance of the Deal Island Peninsula area. 


To date, DIPP has accomplished a lot of great work through collaboration, and we're excited to keep these efforts going well into the future. As we move forward with the project, the DIPP Coordinators are always looking for additional funding to help support some of the project's ongoing and future activities. If you have information about upcoming RFPs or other funding opportunities that would be a good fit for DIPP, please get in touch with Jo Johnson and Michael Paolisso.


Best Wishes, 

The DIPP Team

Final Announcement: Conservation Landscaping Workshop this Saturday!

When: 7/23, 10am-12pm

What: Planting tips to prevent erosion 

Where: William Princiotta's House (9790 Crowell Rd, Deal Island)

RSVP: by 12pm on Friday, 7/22 to Rhonda Barnhart (

Skipjack Heritage Inc., Awarded Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grant

Congratulations to Skipjack Heritage, Inc. on their recent Maryland Heritage Area Authority grant award! The grant, worth up to $72,045, will be dedicated to developing the Skipjack Museum and Heritage Center in Chance. Read more about the museum and Skipjack Heritage, Inc.'s future plans in Delmarva Now. 

Meet a Project Stakeholder

My name is T. Aaron Horner and I am a local genealogist and historian. I have spent my entire life growing up in the Deal Island area. When I was younger, my brother and I worked with our father during the summer months harvesting crabs. My interest in history and geography started as early as middle school; in 1996, I received my bachelor degrees in both studies from Salisbury University. Since 2001, I have been working at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University as the research assistant.

My participation in DIPP is to ensure that the history and culture of the Deal Island area is well-documented and preserved. My father's family has resided in this area for many generations, dating back to the 1670's when the first permanent English settlers arrived. Even in my lifetime have I seen significant changes to the Deal Island area, such as continued decline in local population, particularly among African-Americans, shoreline erosion, disappearing islands, encroaching marshes and invasive plants, like phragmites.

ICRA Updates

Katherine (Jo) Johnson and Liz Van Dolah are continuing to meet with local stakeholders and community members to identity target areas for the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA) activities this fall. They are currently focused on the Deal Island and Oriole areas, and will begin looking at Dames Quarter in early August. If you have information you'd like to share on erosion and/or flooding concerns, or thoughts on places of significance for the community that need to be considered in the ICRA, please get in touch with Jo and Liz.

DIPP Members Meet with Skipjack Heritage, Inc.

Earlier this month Mike Paolisso, Jo Johnson, Liz Van Dolah, and Sarah Hartge, UMD, met with Skipjack Heritage, Inc. (SHI) to talk about ongoing DIPP heritage projects, and ideas for future collaborations between the DIPP and SHI. DIPP's current heritage projects include a project to map the Rock Creek Cemetery, being carried out by UMD graduate student, Sarah Hartge. The maps will be used to develop an online community tool for people interested in learning more about family ancestries. This fall, Liz Van Dolah,

UMD PhD student, will be starting her dissertation research on the different ways that heritage is used in the ICRA in hopes of providing insights into the value of heritage for developing community resilience to environmental change.  Discussions about collaborations are ongoing, and may result in future exhibits at the Skipjack Museum and Cultural Center. 

Newly Uploaded Project Reports on the Website

Jo Johnson's Doctoral Dissertation Research

Summary research findings on the range of perspectives on resilience and vulnerability to climate change and environmental changes in the Deal Island Peninsula area.

Executive Summary of NOAA-NERRS Project

A final report on the Integrated Socio-Ecological Research and Collaborative Learning to Promote Marsh and Community Resilience Study, completed by the Deal Island Marsh and Community Project from 2012-15.

In the News

"Living Shorelines” Will Get Fast Track to Combat Sea Level Rise 

(By Erika Bolstad, Scientific American 7/6/16)

"Wetlands, sand dunes and mangroves could protect shorelines more inexpensively than walls and bulkheads..."

Scientists Worry that the Chesapeake's Shorelines are Turning Into a Wall 

By Darryl Fears, Washington Post, 12/26/15)

The impacts of hardened shorelines on Chesapeake Bay health

Interested in receiving a hardcopy of the newsletter? Send your name and mailing address to

bottom of page