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DIPP Newsletter  November 2016, Volume 13


Dear Stakeholders and Interested Participants, 


Happy Thanksgiving! We want to thank you for your continued interest and engagement in this project. DIPP couldn't exist without you. We are rolling forward with the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA), which will kick off in early December with four community gatherings targeting four key focus areas. If you live or work in any of these areas and/or have concerns about flooding, erosion, and other changes, please consider getting involved! See the invitation below for details. You'll also find below a link to the new Deal Island Peninsula flood vulnerability maps, which allow you to assess current and future flood risks to your property and the peninsula. Thanks to DNR and the ESGISC for developing this useful tool. Also, read about some of the research tied to DIPP that we hope will contribute to the ICRA and broader DIPP efforts. As always, feel free to get in touch with Jo or Liz if you any questions or concerns ( 



The DIPP Team

Invitation to Community Gatherings to Discuss ICRA Focus Areas

Please join us on December 3rd and 10th to start developing plans to address flood and erosion problems in the Deal Island area! 

Why should I get involved? 

We need participation and input from anyone who has knowledge about these areas and/or concerns about flooding, erosion, and other changes impacting these areas. Have your voice heard in developing plans to address these concerns!

What will we be doing at the gatherings? 

The December gatherings are the first of three gatherings of Focus Area workgroups, to include residents, planners & scientists. Each workgroup will identify and prioritize a set of strategies to address flooding, erosion, and other concerns in one of 4 focus areas.

What is happening in December? 

We’ve scheduled four 2-hour meetings to convene interested people to talk about each focus area. At these meetings we’ll: 1) form a workgroup to lead the focus area planning, 2) share baseline information collected on each focus area about flooding, erosion, and other concerns, and 3) target vulnerable areas for future activities & discussions.


What are the future activities?  Do I need to be a part of those too? 

We hope you will! In December, each workgroup will also organize a group field trip over the winter to further assess areas of concern in each focus area. These assessments will be used to guide group discussions this spring about the range of options that are available to address concerns, and to select options to implement in their focus area. An example of a strategy that we're already pursuing is funding to support a living shoreline project near Crowell Rd. to help reduce shoreline erosion and potential flooding impacts to inland areas of Deal Island. Email us to sign up to participate:


  1. Wenona Harbor, Deal Island Harbor and Scotts Cove Marina (including the Firehouse)

  2. The Deal Island shoreline between Crowell Rd. and Hunts Hill

  3. Dames Quarter

  4. Oriole


December 3rd: 

  • Dames Quarter (Focus Area #3) Morning, Time TBD

  • Oriole (Focus Area #4)             Afternoon, Time TBD

 Location: St. Paul's Church Hall


December 10th:

  • Harbors (Focus Area #1)             Morning - Time TBD

  • DI shoreline (Focus Area #2)  Afternoon - Time TBD

    Location: Deal Island-Chance                   Volunteer Fire Department

Deal Island Peninsula Flood Vulnerability Maps Now Available!


Learn about current and future flood vulnerabilities to your property, neighborhood, or the broader area through a set of new interactive maps, which let you explore flood scenarios under different storm conditions and projected sea-level changes between now and 2050. 

Meet A Project Stakeholder

Jenny Allen is responsible for directing and managing the research and monitoring program for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland. She serves as a liaison with the scientific community and Reserve partners to ensure research activities are addressing coastal management issues. Jenny has been a member of the DIPP stakeholder network since 2014, and represents the needs and

concerns of the Monie Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Jenny’s research interests include coastal marsh dynamics with a specific interest on how climate change is impacting tidal freshwater and brackish marshes. She has over ten years of research experience, working in many different wetland ecosystems including the Chesapeake Bay, Florida Everglades, and the Cape Cod National Seashore. She received her Master’s degree in Wetland Ecology from the University of Massachusetts and is currently finishing her PhD in Wetland Ecology at the University of Maryland

Summary of November 1st Community Conversation

DIPP stakeholders and interested community members met on November 1st at Rock Creek United Methodist Church to learn about the flood vulnerability maps and to discuss plans for carrying out the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA). Jo Johnson, Sasha Land, Liz Van Dolah, and Michael Paolisso gave an overview of the ICRA goals, and updates on activities to date. This included a summary of collected baseline information on the social and cultural importance of each focus area, and concerns about flooding, erosion, and other changes shared by community members who were interviewed this summer. Baseline information will be used to start the December focus area discussions. They also proposed a timeline for the ICRA, and collected feedback from attendees on how to move forward. 

Conducting Marsh Assessments in the Deal Island Peninsula Area

 Marsh assessments can help researchers study the changes occurring in tidal wetland habitats. The benefits of using standardized assessments is that changes can be observed over time so that scientists and local community members can better understand how marshes are changing, and how those changes could impact the local community and the environment. 


In November, researchers from UMD visited areas throughout the Deal Island Peninsula to identify areas where assessments could be performed, in particular two focus areas, the eroding shoreline near Crowell Rd. on Deal Island (ICRA Focus Area 2, photographed), and another located along the Manokin River near Oriole. In the future, researchers will return to these areas to perform assessments, likely using the Mid-Atlantic Tidal Rapid Assessment Method, a tool developed by researchers at the Maryland DNR and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Cultural Consensus Analysis: Using Anthropology to Build Resilience

DIPP includes several anthropologists interested in culture: specifically, how does culture affect people's understanding of the environment, and how do these culturally informed views affect people’s environmental decisions and practices? To answer these questions, researchers are using a tool called "cultural consensus." Cultural consensus is an analytical method for studying culture -- a way to process and understand the meanings behind what people say and do. It helps us find patterns in the rich and often messy information that people provide to us, and therefore helps us make sense of it all.


Why is this important for the Deal Island Peninsula Project? Well, no two people are

alike, even when we share similar backgrounds. Sometimes we agree and disagree on certain topics, like climate change. Cultural consensus lets us measure the variation of opinions that exist among a group of people. It also enables us to identify key social and cultural factors that explain why people agree or disagree on a topic. Those factors could include gender differences, or age differences, or other identifiers that shape who we are as individuals, and what we know, value, and believe. Cultural consensus will help us understand and explain the range of knowledge, understandings, and opinions that DIPP stakeholders have about climate change and the local environment, and how they shift (if at all) over the course of the ICRA. By studying these patterns, anthropologists involved in the project hope to better understand how collaboration works, and to use these understandings to further DIPP efforts in the future to build more resilient communities and environments in the face of change.

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