Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Service News - April 2012

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Volume 4, Issue 4 

April 2012


IN THE ZONE is a service from the 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources'

Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS)

that delivers timely information, tools, and resources to those who live, work, and play in Maryland's coastal zone.

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Informing Coastal Planning and Decision-Making


Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS) is improving the State's ability to access coastal data and tools that will help inform coastal management. This online mapping and planning tool, developed to allow users to visually analyze and explore data for coastal and ocean planning activities, has recently undergone a number of exciting updates and enhancements.  


Since its launch in 2008, the Coastal Atlas has been used to inform a variety of coastal management decisions: from identifying areas vulnerable to coastal hazards to determining the conservation potential of a parcel of land to helping the State conduct ocean planning through inventory and analysis of marine resources and uses to help identify suitable areas for offshore wind development. Developed using ArcGIS Server and Adobe Flex technology, the Coastal Atlas allows State and local officials to access map data they want to display for free. The data is made available in the form of web services that can be viewed and overlayed in the Coastal Atlas without needing access to desktop GIS software.


With funding from NOAA and the help of developers/programmers at Towson University's Center for GIS and the Maryland Environmental Service, CCS staff recently completed the following updates: a new interface with better organized tools and icons that will improve the Atlas' ease of use; creation of an Add Mapservice widget allowing users to import external data (or map services) including any layer from the other Atlas applications; creation of a new CBNERR Sites widget to display location and links to basic information on Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Sites; creation of a new CELCP widget to display location and basic information about sites acquired through the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (property name, year established, acreage, project type); development of an Offshore Wind widget which displays wind speed and wind power at various heights (30, 50, 80, 100 meters above the water's surface) for selected points in the form of a bar graphs; and the adaptation of an "Elevation Profiles" widget (developed by Mark Deaton) that was modified to show bathymetric profiles along user selected paths of either a straight line, polyline, or freehand line. 


In addition to the Atlas face-lift, CCS has created a comprehensive Coastal Atlas Training Manual that reflects the recent updates and enhancements and includes detailed instructions on how to use the mapping tools as well as some practice exercises and common applications. To supplement the training manual, a Coastal Atlas Training Video has also been produced for those who prefer click-by-click instruction from a narrated video. 


With these updates to the Coastal Atlas, CCS has attempted to make the sites more accessible and are encouraging users without a GIS background to access and explore the State's coastal data. For more information on Maryland's Coastal Atlas visit or contact Chris Cortina with Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Service.  Those interested in learning more about Maryland iMap and other mapping tools developed by the State should visit: 





Helping Teachers Bring Data into the Classroom and Practice


Paddling the Patuxent River to remove invasive plants, cruising the waters of Dorchester and Somerset counties on a research vessel, plotting plant communities at Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, testing the water quality of the Bush River, and putting all of it into the context of using data in the classroom: this is how teachers who are "In the Zone" train for the upcoming school year. Each summer, middle and high school teachers from all over Maryland participate in several multi-day professional development seminars, "Data & the Estuary," offered by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve-Maryland (CBNERR-MD).  


The workshops, a collaboration of efforts by Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS), CBNERR-MD components (Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, Patuxent River Park, and the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center), NOAA, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), strive to provide teachers with the resources, knowledge and experience necessary to facilitate the integration of estuaries and their related issues into the classroom. Carried out in the diverse environments of the Chesapeake Bay, the program uses hands-on field-based investigations to train teachers to gather authentic data on land use, water quality, biotic communities and other factors, analyze that data, and ultimately use this information to develop action projects that will have a positive impact on the natural systems of the Chesapeake Bay.


During the course of this program the teachers receive training in the NERRS Estuaries 101 curriculum, CBF's Chesapeake Exploration, National Geographic Chesapeake Bay Fieldscope online mapping resource, DNR's Eyes on the Bay continuous monitoring water quality data source, and other resources. Teachers can choose to spend 3 days or 5 days in workshops, and may opt for training in 3 regions: Northern Maryland, Central Maryland, and the Eastern Shore (held overnight at CBF's Karen Noonan Center). MSDE credits are awarded to teachers who complete lessons based on the training.


For more information about the 2012 Data & the Estuary courses, please contact Coreen Weilminster, CBNERR - MD Education Coordinator, at 410-260-8744, or

Upcoming Trainings Include a Second Offering of "Stormwater Retrofitting Demystified"


CTP logoAfter a very popular and successful intial offering of this training course earlier this month, the Maryland Coastal Training Program and the Chesapeake Stormwater Network are sponsoring a second training. The first training was completely full with 75 attendees and many more on a waiting list. Thiis additional offering is an attempt to meet the growing demand. 
For many communities, stormwater retrofits are a complex, mysterious and challenging topic. Local officials have a lot of questions and concerns about how they will impact their community and their limited budgets. At "Retrofitting Demystified!" we will present a practical, cost-effective approach to solve the local retrofit challenge. Find how to quickly calculate pollutant reduction credits for your MS4 permit and Bay TMDL, as well as learning new strategies for getting the greatest reductions at the lowest cost, while maximizing local benefits. (6 CM Credits)
Stormwater Retrofitting Demystified is a one-day training for local governments to cost effectively implement stormwater retrofits to meet MS-4 Permit and Bay TMDL Requirements. The training will be Wednesday, June 13, 2012, from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center.


The course is free, but registration by June 12, 2012 is required.  Click here to register.



DNR and UMCES Co-Sponsor a Discussion with Practitioners


Dr. Grit Martinez leads a discussion on Coastal Adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region.

On Wednesday, March 7th, twenty-one participants representing universities and local, state and federal governments from Maryland and Germany attended a workshop hosted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, MD.


Maryland and Germany have a common feature in that both have two coasts, one on the open sea and one on an enclosed sea, making the comparison and cooperation between the two states particularly promising.The purpose of the workshop was to serve as a venue to share ideas and lessons learned and to discuss best practices that might be applicable to - or replicable in - other coastal communities.


Throughout the day, the participants engaged each other on the research and planning being conducted around the State and in the German Regions of the Baltic and North Sea and how it could be utilized at the local level to better inform the decision making process. Read more about the event and some of the workshops procedings on the Ecologic Institute's website at Photographs from the workshop as well as the presentations can be found on the project webpage:


As always, for more information on technical assistance, planning, resources and services offered in Maryland, please visit the CoastSmart Communities Online Resource Center at



Programs on Horseshoe Crabs, Oysters, Watermen, and Streams


How healthy is the stream? TEAM volunteers and student looking for macroinvertebrates in the Streams program.

Spring is here and elementary and middle schools across the state are booking TEAM/DNR's free programs on the Watershed, Horseshoe Crabs, Oysters, and Watermen. Trained volunteers bring these programs into any school in Maryland and students and teachers alike enjoy the interactive and engaging elements in each of these carefully formulated modules from Tic-Tac-Toe games on Horseshoe Crabs to dressing up as Watermen. Streams is another program with two components-classroom introduction to macroinvertebrates and an in-the-stream collection of the critters and discussion of the stream's health.  


Here's what teachers are saying:

            • "Activities were well planned, interactive, and enjoyable."
            • "Reinforces everything I have discussed."
            • "This is a wonderful education tool that is an asset to the community."
            • "The variety of activities kept the students attention."


   Click here for more information on TEAM or to sign up.



CCS Welcomes Michelle Lennox


has hired a program manager and CCS is proud to welcome Michelle Lennox who will be stationed at DNR in the Tawes State Building. 


Serving as MARCO's first program manager, Michelle will help coordinate the activities of the five-state MARCO Management Board including: organizing and facilitating MARCO projects; representing MARCO at regional and national forums; developing and implementing outreach and communications strategies; and coordinating with MARCO's Federal partners. Michelle will be well-served in this capacity by her wealth of knowledge and experience in ocean and coastal funding, environmental consulting and restoration activities.


Michelle comes to us from The Nature Conservancy where she conducted research on federal-level funding mechanisms and revenue sources for ocean and coastal conservation, restoration, and planning. Prior to her work at TNC, Michelle worked as an Ecologist and GIS Analyst with an environmental consulting firm in Oregon; she has also conducted on-the-ground activities and researched financing opportunities for Chesapeake Bay restoration. Michelle earned a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Biology from Towson University, and a Graduate Certificate in GIS from Portland State University.



Funding Requested to Host a Symposium on the State of Scientific Understanding of Ocean Habitats in the Mid-Atlantic


Screen capture of MARCO's Mapping and Planning Portal displaying some available ocean biological data for the Mid-Atlantic region.

The State of Maryland worked with the four Mid-Atlantic States (NY, NJ, DE, and VA) through the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) to submit proposals for competitive grant funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) Funding Program. MARCO requested funding to hold a major symposium on ocean habitats in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as improve operations of the regional ocean partnership.


MARCO requested funding to host a symposium on the state of scientific understanding of the Mid-Atlantic ocean, continental shelf, and submarine canyons, with an emphasis on canyons, corals, and corridors (the three "C"s) to tell the story of ecosystem productivity and diversity, and the opportunities and challenges of regional ocean planning. The proposed project would raise public awareness, interest in, and visibility of MARCO and ocean planning, by showcasing the significance of these little known continental shelf habitats. The symposium would highlight the latest work and ongoing studies on submarine canyons, corals, and migration corridors. The project would present state-of-the-art scientific information, build partnerships, and generate broad stakeholder engagement through knowledge and data sharing.


MARCO also requested funding to improve regional ocean governance efforts in the Mid-Atlantic by enhancing the administrative and operational capacities of MARCO and advancing MARCO's priority issue areas. Funding will be used to: sustain and secure dedicated MARCO staff, increase collaboration and planning across MARCO, manage and implement regional activities to address MARCO's priorities, and develop and execute outreach and communication strategies.


MARCO looks to build and improve collaboration and planning across the region, while increasing staff capacity and technical expertise. Links to the proposals can be found here: 

For more information, please contact Michelle Lennox, MARCO Program Manager or visit

Next Meeting: Friday, April 27, 2012
Maryland's next CWRAC meeting will be Friday, April 27, 2012 (10 to 12:30 pm at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Tawes State Building, Conference Room C-1 in Annapolis, MD.
CWRAC, established in 1976, is an advisory committee comprised of representatives of local government, concerned local citizens, special interest groups, state and federal agencies and academic institutions. Located administratively under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, CWRAC acts as an independent advisory body to the Secretary of Natural Resources and to Maryland's Coastal Program on policy issues affecting the coastal areas of Maryland. Funding is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Coastal Zone Management grant.
If you are interested in attending the upcoming meeting or in need of more information on CWRAC, e-mail Chris Aadland with the Chesapeake & Coastal Sevrice or call 410.260.8736.
Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future
IN THE ZONE e-mails.
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A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA11NOS4190151. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies. 

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