Resource Conservation

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Maryland's Plan to Adapt to Saltwater Intrusion and Salinization

​Under Chapter 628 of the 2018 Laws of Maryland, the Maryland General Assembly tasked
Planning to “establish a plan to adapt to saltwater intrusion,” in consultation with the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Environment and Agriculture, by Dec. 15, 2019, and to update the plan at least once every five years.

Planning completed extensive research and conducted interviews with subject matter experts to better understand how saltwater intrusion and salinization currently affects Maryland, how saltwater intrusion and salinization are expected to worsen over time due to climate change, which resources are at risk, which adaptation measures are currently used or could be explored in the future, and what additional research is recommended to better understand the issue and to better inform needed adaptation measures.

To access the 2019 plan, click here.

ArticleGround Game, How the Water We Can’t See Can Harm the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Quarterly, June 2020
 

State Climate Plan

Maryland’s Climate Action Plan includes two land use adaptation strategies to guide state-level adaptation planning efforts. The first strategy, released in 2008, addresses the impacts associated with sea-level rise and coastal storms. The second strategy, released in 2011, addresses changes in precipitation patterns and increased temperature and the likely impacts to human health, land uses like agriculture and forest, water resources, population growth and infrastructure. Planning works with partner state agencies, including Natural Resources and Environment, to determine how to help local governments plan for the impacts of climate change on Maryland cities, infrastructure and natural resources to reduce the vulnerability of residents, the economy and natural resources.

One adaptation need is to respond to nuisance flooding. For state guidance in developing local nuisance flood plans, click here.

 

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

Greenhouse gas emissions are steadily increasing due to development and the burning of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity. In 2009, Maryland’s General Assembly passed and then updated the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act directing the state to develop a plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020 and by 40 percent by 2030. For more information, click here.

Planning is working with other state agencies on transportation and land use actions, such as developing high-density, low-impact communities.

Transit-Oriented Development

Successful transit-oriented development (TOD) creates walkable, dense, mixed-use neighborhoods and supports that development with an efficient transportation system. TOD provides an important strategy to reduce vehicle trips and associated greenhouse gases that contributes to climate change, encourage economic development and promotes sound growth patterns.

 

Sea-Level Rise

Recent estimates for sea-level rise in Maryland indicate the likely potential for sea level to rise as much as an additional 1.6 feet by 2050, and as much as an additional 4.2 feet by 2100. The Maryland Coast Smart Council has developed siting and design criteria to address impacts associated with sea level rise and coastal flooding on future capital projects. For more information, click here.

The law also requires any state capital project involving the construction or reconstruction of a structure to comply with the siting and design criteria established by the Coast Smart Council. MDP will be a part of the council.