top of page

DIPP Newsletter  June 2016, Volume 8


Dear Project Stakeholders and Interested Participants, 


We hope you are enjoying the first days of summer! Below you will find updates on the latest project activities and news, including ICRA Focus Area visits, a link to photographs of Wenona and Deal Island Harbors, findings from the Monie Bay BioBlitz held in May, and information about a future dissertation research project to assist DIPP. If you're interested in participating in the upcoming Conservation Landscaping Informational Meeting, don't forget to RSVP through the link below. Finally, we have changed our URL address to reflect the project's name change. Please update your bookmarks to:


Thanks for you continued engagement. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions! 



The DIPP Team

When: Saturday, July 23rd, 10am-12pm


Where: Home of William Princiotta, 9790 Crowell Rd, Deal Island


What: Do you live on or near the water and experience periodic flooding from storms or high tides? If so, this workshop is for you! Participants will learn about plants that are suitable for “wet landscapes,” and how to do an assessment and planting plan for your property. 


RSVP:  Please contact Rhonda Barnhart

Ph: 410.228.8800; Email:  

Conservation Landscaping Informational Meeting Reminder

ICRA Updates

Michael Paolisso, Jo Johnson, and Liz Van Dolah have started initial site visits to the ICRA Focus Areas to document locations within each that are particularly prone to flood and erosion. They are also meeting with local stakeholders and community members to better understand the social and cultural importance of the focus areas. The research will help the DIPP team identify key places to target during the Collaborative Field Assessments, scheduled to take place this fall. These assessments will be used to collaboratively evaluate vulnerabilities in the focus areas, and develop strategies to reduce those vulnerabilities through adaptation planning. 

We have already met with several people to talk about the Wenona Harbor and Deal Island Harbor (Focus Area 2). If you have insights you want to share on the harbors or other focus areas, please let us know! 

Meet Julia Keane: student photographer assisting with ICRA

Julia Keane is a photographer and an environmental policy undergraduate student at the University of Maryland with a concentration in marine and coastal management. She will be working with the DIPP team to photograph the ICRA focus areas and DIPP summer activities. Click button below for a selection of her photography from the Wenona Harbor and Deal Island Harbor ICRA visits. To see more of Julia's work, visit her website at:

Highlights from the Monie Bay BioBlitz 

The Monie Bay BioBlitz was held on May 12-13, 2016, over a 24-hour period from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 12:00 p.m.The purpose of this project was to engage the lower Eastern Shore community in valuable citizen science monitoring, to offer a baseline for biodiversity on site, to identify key areas for restoration based on presence or absence of keystone species, and to help build professional relationships through collaboration with regional resource experts. The BioBlitz provided a baseline of the biodiversity present at CBNERR-MD’s Monie Bay component site. 


There were over 400 species identified (210 insects and 212 other species). Highlights of their findings include an Eastern Box Turtle hatchling (pictured below on left), crown tipped coral (pictured below on right), an 8 inch blue crab, barn owls, and a yellow breasted chat bird.

Liz Van Dolah on her Future Dissertation Research

This year, I will be starting my dissertation research through the DIPP to understand how cultural heritage is used to make decisions about how to adapt to erosion, sea-level change, and flooding.

 In anthropology, we think about cultural heritage as a tool that people use to draw out the useful parts of the past to guide how we respond to changes we face in the present and the future. We all have, for example, stories or lessons that are handed down to us from grandparents or past peoples that shape what we value, how we self-identify, and

define our relationships to our families, communities, and to home. When we face change in our everyday lives, we often turn to these stories and lessons -- parts of our heritage -- to guide our thinking about how to respond to change in ways that sustain the core parts of who we are. As such, heritage is an important cultural resource for enhancing the resilience of communities, giving us the tools we need to adapt to change in culturally and socially-grounded ways. How heritage gets used can also be problematic, as different people’s understandings about what’s important from the past come into conflict. Certain uses of heritage can also create vulnerabilities for others by disconnecting them from important parts of their heritage and cultural identity.


To date, cultural heritage has not been widely looked at in the context of climate change adaptation decision-making, but is an area that needs to be better understood, particularly in terms of developing strategies that effectively reduce community and environmental vulnerabilities to climate-induced changes. I'll be using the ICRA process to collect ethnographic data to better understand how heritage is used in climate-change adaptation planning on the Deal Island Peninsula. My hope is that this research will give DIPP and other coastal communities and decision-making groups important insights into how cultural heritage influences the way people think about and respond to environmental change. It will also illuminate the role of heritage in shaping whose voice is heard in adaptation decision-making processes, and what repercussions this potentially has for the wellbeing of certain social groups. Better understanding the uses of heritage will help DIPP and other coastal adaptation planning projects more effectively support community needs in resilient ways.


To get in touch with Liz about her future research, email her at

In the News

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

bottom of page