Outreach & Extension: Coastal Communities & Economies
From waterfront homeowners to commercial watermen, from recreational anglers to aquaculturists, people in the Chesapeake region make up a mosaic of diverse communities united by their connection to the water. Bayside towns and villages have evolved around their water resources, as have large cities like Baltimore or -- on the Atlantic coast -- Ocean City. Most of these coastal communities are experiencing rapid and often unanticipated change as the result of development and growth, and as a consequence of shifting economic trends, both local and global.
Maryland Sea Grant Extension’s Coastal Communities & Economies focus team assists coastal communities with such issues as land use, tourism, and watershed health.Our goal is to help these communities protect their environmental resources, improve their quality of life, and strengthen their economies. This endeavor forms part of a broader effort by the Coastal Community and Economies program within NOAA’s national Sea Grant Extension Program.
Our role is twofold. First, from a neutral academic platform we help to facilitate coordination among experts from local, state, and federal agencies, from non-profit organizations, from the private sector, and from universities who focus on issues surrounding coastal development and stewardship.Sea Grant Extension in this way helps to foster partnerships and collaboration among specialists and communities as they prepare for, adapt to, or confront change. Second, Maryland Sea Grant works with Bay-related industries, such as seafood processing and recreational boating, to boost their economic vitality. Sea Grant conducts economic analyses, improves technologies, and provides information to processors and consumers about health and safety standards and other issues.
As a member of the Watershed Assistance Collaborative, we work in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Chesapeake and Coastal Program, with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and with the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center.Two Watershed Specialists work as Extension faculty to help coordinate efforts, create partnerships, and identify funding for community-based projects.
Through its Coastal Communities & Economies Extension Program, Maryland Sea Grant places emphasis on both environmental stewardship and economic viability.We help to promote innovative tools that encourage community-based environmental protection and sustainable development. For more about our programs, visit the following areas:
Fisheries & Seafood Business
Boating & Marine Recreation