Maryland DNR Coast Smart Communities Initiative

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) CoastSmart Communities Initiative is a program dedicated to assisting Maryland’s coastal communities address short- and long-term coastal hazards, such as coastal flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise. CoastSmart connects local planners to essential information, tools, people, and trainings.

CoastSmart provides:

  • CoastSmart Communities Grant program
  • Training for local practitioners
  • Links to supportive information, tools, visualizations, and networks

The CoastSmart Communities Grant (CCG) provides financial assistance to local governments with preference given to projects that focus specifically on reducing community vulnerability to coastal hazards and/or sea level rise. The grant requires that the project result in a modification, adoption or implementation of an ordinance, code, plan, or program.

For example, a CCG project to be funded in 2014 to Baltimore City is a project to develop and implement an integrated All-Hazards Mitigation Plan (AHMP), floodplain mapping, and a Climate Adaption Plan (CAP), to be adopted by the Planning Commission as an official Appendix to the AHMP.

The 'CoastSmart Scorecard' offers a simple method for assessing the risk and vulnerability of a local community to coastal hazards by using a ground-up and community-based approach.

The Scorecard is designed to be completed by local officials in a group setting to prompt discussion on risk, planning, response strategies and opportunities. While the results will not be used to rank or compare communities, it will help direct officials to recommendations, tools and resources, and may be used to inform future project proposals to the CoastSmart Communities grant and other funding programs.

Launched by Governor O’Malley in April 2009, the CoastSmart Communities Initiative was created in response to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change Action Plan, which outlines a comprehensive strategy to protect Maryland’s people and property from rising sea levels and changing weather patterns. The Initiative got started with the help of a competitive grant program for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funds administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

To learn more, see a case study on the CoastSmart Communities Initiative by CAKE.


Publication Date: 2009

Related Organizations:

  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Related Resources:


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Resource Types:

  • Best practice

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