Sea Level Rise Strategic Plan Anne Arundel County, Maryland

This report provides an assessment of the vulnerability of Anne Arundel County to sea level rise and makes recommendations for improving the community’s coastal climate resilience. It presents both an analysis into projected impacts and a discussion regarding adaptation goals for seven key sectors and assets throughout the county. Anne Arundel County is located on the coast of Maryland, and is “almost completely surrounded by tidal and non-tidal waterways.” The county is home to the state capital, Annapolis, and a number of smaller communities.

Section 3 presents an analysis of the impacts that sea level rise will have on the County in two scenarios - 0-2 ft and 0 - 5 ft of sea level rise. For instance, the assessment found that 371 county archeological sites are vulnerable to 0-2 ft of inundation and 422 sites are to 0-5 ft of inundation. Such sites are important cultural resources for the County and, as the plan notes, “[o]nce they are destroyed [...] the information these sites can tell us of our past is also lost forever.”

The report details seven key issues posed by sea level rise, including:

  • Loss of ecologically significant land
  • Impacts on private properties and property values
  • Impaired road access
  • Impaired public utility infrastructure
  • Private well and septic systems
  • Damage or loss of archeological and cultural resources
  • Impacts on the maritime industry
  • Shoreline erosion

Section 5 contains a short discussion of how the county’s current building regulations impact the resilience of the area. The final section of the plan is dedicated to the seven primary adaptation goals that were developed for the County. Specific recommendations are described also, which were identified for each of the following goals:

  1. Incorporate sea level rise planning into all related County functions
  2. Protect coastal ecosystems to reduce the impacts of sea level rise, coastal flooding and shoreline erosion
  3. Reduce sea level rise impacts to existing and future development
  4. Reduce potential impacts to public infrastructure serving existing communities and future development
  5. Ensure safe and adequate water supply and wastewater management for communities vulnerable to sea level rise impacts
  6. Protect significant cultural resources from loss or damage due to sea level rise impacts
  7. Ensure that citizens in the County are educated and informed about sea level rise and have access to current information and resources

Anne Arundel County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources collaborated to produce this study on potential sea level rise impacts and adaptation strategies.


Publication Date: November 2011

Related Organizations:

  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Anne Arundel County, Maryland


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:


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