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DIPP Newsletter  May 2016, Volume 7


Dear Project Stakeholders and Interested Participants:


Below you will find the latest news and updates on the Deal Island Peninsula Project, which include highlights on Jo's dissertation defense, details on the rescheduled conservation landscaping informational meeting, and upcoming activities related to the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA) and heritage work on the Rock Creek Cemetery. 


You may have noticed that we have started using a new project name: the Deal Island Peninsula Project (DIPP) (formerly the Deal Island Marsh and Community Project). We've made this change to accommodate how the Project's focus is evolving beyond just marsh concerns, and to create a more inclusive space for all the Deal Island Peninsula communities. It's still the same project, and the website address remains the same, but we think the new name will be more reflective of the overall collaborative process the Project continues to develop. We have also created a new Facebook page, which we'll regularly update to bring you the latest information on project activities in between these newsletter distributions. We hope you'll follow us there too! 


As always, thanks for your continued engagement. We're looking forward to interacting with you more this summer as the ICRA activities get underway. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to get in touch!



The DIPP Team

Conservation Landcaping Informational Meeting Rescheduled: July 23

Do you live on or near the water and experience periodic flooding from storms or high tides? If so, this informational meeting 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. Anyone interested in and outside of the Network is welcome.

ICRA Updates

The second phase of Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA) will be getting underway through a series of collaborative field assessments (CFAs) of the focus areas selected earlier this spring. CFA research activities will begin this summer.


The goal of the CFAs is to bring diverse members of the stakeholder network together to assess the range of vulnerabilities affecting the identified focus areas through workshops and fieldtrips to each site. The CFAs will also be used to target a suite of adaptation strategies for Deal Island Peninsula residents that will enhance resiliencies to social-environmental changes. We will be completing some preliminary

research this summer to develop baseline knowledge about each focus area. This information will be used to inform the first set of CFA stakeholder workshops, to be scheduled for late summer/early fall. To conduct the preliminary research, we will be reaching out to some of you to share your knowledge about each focus area. If you are interested in being involved, please get in touch with Jo ( or Liz ( Stay tuned for more details on how you can help! 


Introducing Dr. Jo!

Jo presented her research on vulnerability and resilience to climate change impacts in the Deal Island Peninsula area as part of the Deal Island Marsh and Community Project. Through a series of in-depth interviews and surveys, she analyzed a number of key social and ecological vulnerabilities identified by Project stakeholders.

She found that these vulnerabilities and resiliencies relate both to changes in the landscape and the communities, such as erosion,

sea level rise, economic decline and an aging community. One key finding from her research is that area residents understand resilience as linked to long-standing ways of life that mold experiences and knowledge about how to withstand flooding and storms, and emphasize the importance of strong social networks and sense of community. She concludes that to understand what vulnerability and resilience mean to communities affected by environmental change, it is more effective to approach these concepts as interrelated (rather than separate), and shaped by the dynamic and changing conditions that local community members must learn to cope with and adapt to. The research also demonstrates that stakeholders feel that the Project is helping to build resilience in the area by creating new relationships that can be used to think about climate change adaptation strategies in the future.


Not only will this dissertation research be useful for the Project going forward, but it also significantly contributes to research on vulnerability and resilience that can be utilized in other coastal planning projects to build resilience in rural and coastal areas.

Rock Creek Cemetery Project

This summer, UMD graduate student Sarah Hartge will be working with Shirley Massey and others to map the Rock Creek Cemetery.  She will build a website for the cemetery that will include an interactive map with basic information and a photograph for each site. She will also be reaching out to the community to collect stories, photographs, obituaries, and any other information families and friends want to share about the people who are buried at the cemetery. The cemetery website will go live in October. If you are interested in helping with data collection, mapping, or have any information to share, please contact her at

Volunteers Needed: May-July 2016

This will be the seventh year of a secretive marsh-bird survey conducted along Monie Creek on the eastern side of Monie Bay. 1-2 Volunteers will assist DNR biologist with sampling by listening for calling Marsh Birds.  Survey starts 1/2 hour before sunrise.  For more information, contact Chris Snow: 410-260-8731 or 



Free Online Course (MOOC) on Coastal Natural Risk


The Université de Bretagne Occidentale (France) and the Université du Québec à Rimouski (Canada) offer a first free and online international training on communities facing coastal risks. No prerequisites required.Register by May 23.

Free Listening Session:

Establishing Economic Opportunities for New and Existing Small Businesses in Local Communities: Women, Veterans, and Minorities


When: Tuesday May 24, 6pm

Where: Somerset County Agricultural and Civic Center, 11828 Crisfield Lane, Princess Anne, MD 21853

Registration: By phone at (410)658-6635 or online:



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