Climate Change Initiatives
Read about what some are doing to protect their homes in "Ready for Rising Waters?" the December 2010 issue of Chesapeake Quarterly, Maryland Sea Grant's magazine. Photograph courtesy of Bud Hankins.
In 2007, the Governor signed an Executive Order that established the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. In August 2008, the state issued the Maryland Climate Action Plan (updated in November 2009), which articulates the anticipated effects of global warming, recommended actions, and policies. In 2011, the state also released a report outlining a comprehensive strategy for reducing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change: Adaptation Phase II: Building Societal, Economic and Ecological Resilience.
In their reports, included as part of the Climate Action Plan, the Adaptation and Response Working Group (ARWG) stated that "communicating the potential risks of and responses to climate change will be an essential part of implementing the recommendations from all policy options." They recommend two activities:
- Development of coordinated and cohesive communication messages.
- Effective distribution of the messages to a wide variety of people and professionals across all levels of government, sectors, and organizations.
Maryland’s Chesapeake and Coastal Program has taken the lead in working with communities on the ground by providing technical and financial assistance -- for example, through their Coastal-Smart Communities Initiative and their Coastal Communities Initiative (CCI) grants.
Maryland Sea Grant is also building partnerships to identify community needs and enhance community capacity to address climate change. Vicky Carrasco, Maryland Sea Grant’s coastal community specialist, is joining with representatives of state and federal agencies on a range of outreach programs to prepare local communities to adapt to and confront the impacts of climate change:
- Maryland Communities Adapting to Climate Change: Understanding Needs.Funding from Sea Grant Office’s Coastal Community Climate Adaptation Initiative (CCCAI) and Oregon Sea Grant SARP-Sectoral Area Research Program project. Key partners included Maryland’s Coastal Training Program (CB NERRS for MD); Maryland’s Chesapeake and Coastal Program (MD DNR), and the Center for Watershed Protection. As the state struggles to inform and assist coastal communities, it is imperative to gain a better understanding of attitudes and behaviors related to climate change. This project aims to help us understand more clearly the current limits of information and capacity at the community level in order to greatly increase the effectiveness of current and future outreach efforts.
- Stormwater, Shoreline, and Sea Level Study in Three Talbot County Villages. September 2010-June 2011. Funded by Maryland’s Chesapeake & Coastal Program (Maryland Department of Natural Resources). Partners included the Talbot County Government, Maryland Eastern Shore Resource Conservation & Development Council and Maryland Sea Grant. The goal of this project is to empower rural communities in Talbot County to better manage their relationships with the coastal environment. Recommendations and strategies will be developed for these pilot communities, and if the process is successful, the remaining shoreline villages in the area could benefit from similar attention. [more...]
- Climate Literacy and NOAA in the Mid-Atlantic Workshop. September 8, 2010, EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office, Fish Shack, Annapolis, MD. Organized as part of the North Atlantic Regional Team Training (Tier 2), in an effort to promote a common understanding of climate change science and NOAA services in Maryland and facilitate a dialogue on current climate efforts and partnerships in Maryland.
- Climate Change Research Forum 1--Lost in Translation: Linking Climate Science to Local Communities. April 23, 2012. A workshop for prioritizing research and communication needs at the local scale in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. Download pdf of Meeting Notes and Next Steps.