Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change - Phase I: Sea-level rise and coastal storms

On April 20, 2007 Governor Martin O'Malley signed Executive Order 01.01.2007.07, establishing the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. The Commission created four Adaptation and Response Working Groups to develop the adaptation portions of the state's Climate Action Plan. With a focus on sea-level rise and coastal storms, the four groups were: Existing and Future Built Environment and Infrastructure; Financial and Economic; Human Health, Safety and Welfare; and Natural Resources.

This chapter of the overall climate plan provides an assessment of climate change impacts to the state's coastal areas from sea level rise and coastal storms. To assess impacts the Maryland Climate Change Commission's Scientific and Technical Work Group used Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC 4th) sea-level rise scenarios with regional variables for land subsidence to estimate a projected rise of 2.7 feet under a low emissions scenario and 3.4 feet under a higher emissions scenario.

The report calls for integrated response planning; leveraging existing sector- and issue-based planning, management, and regulatory programs, including building codes and infrastructure design planning, transportation planning, natural resources management, emergency and disaster preparedness planning, land use planning, and shoreline and buffer management. Federal, state and local roles are described within the context of recommendations for natural, built and human systems, including economic systems. Specific recommendations as well as current or planned actions for Maryland state agencies are included.

In January 2011, the Commission released the second part of Maryland's adaptation strategy - the Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change Phase II: Building Societal, economic, and ecological resilience


Publication Date: July 2008

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  • Adaptation plan

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