Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program News - Nov/Dec 2010

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Volume 3, Issue 2 

November / December 2010

IN THIS ISSUE
MARYLAND'S DRAFT ENFORCEABLE COASTAL POLICIES SUBMITTED TO NOAA
OCEAN PLANNING AND OFFSHORE RENEWABLE ENERGY IN MARYLAND
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR DRAFT 2011-2015 ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY
 
IN THE ZONE is a service from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Chesapeake & Coastal Program (CCP) that delivers timely information, tools and resources to those who live, work and play in Maryland's coastal zone.
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CCP SPOTLIGHT: MARYLAND'S DRAFT ENFORCEABLE COASTAL POLICIES SUBMITTED TO NOAA

Official Review Period Begins Today, November 19, 2010 
 
CCP Spotlight is a feature of the In the Zone e-mail service that highlights programs that have been developed by the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or through partnership and support from federal, state and local partners helping to advance coastal management in Maryland.
   

coastal policy 2Today, Maryland officially submitted a Routine Program Change (RPC) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for approval. The Routine Program Change will update, clarify, and improve access to the Maryland Coastal Management Program's enforceable policies. This RPC - the culmination of a challenging, multi-year project - reflects the contribution of staff from DNR, the Environmental Law Institute and our partner state agencies as well as ongoing communication with NOAA.  The enforceable policies contained in this RPC are derived from the NOAA-approved Maryland Coastal Management Program and EIS document and are based on current state law.

 

In response to a Necessary Action from NOAA's 2007 Section 312 Program Evaluation, these clarified and updated enforceable policies provide the guidelines for determining whether a federal action, such as a federal project, a federal license or permit, or federal assistance to state or local government, is consistent with the Maryland's Coastal Management Program. Called "federal consistency," this potentially powerful management tool ensures State priorities and policies are considered when federal actions have foreseeable effects on Maryland's coastal resources.

 

The official review period begins today, November 19, 2010, with publication of a public notice in the Maryland RegisterReviewers will have three weeks to provide comments to NOAA (due by December 10, 2010). Once approved by NOAA, the enforceable policies in the Routine Program Change will be available on the CCP website in a concise user friendly format. By updating and making Maryland's enforceable polices more accessible, CCP hopes to streamline the federal consistency process, engage in more meaningful early consultation with stakeholders when a federal action has foreseeable effect on Maryland's coastal zone, and use federal consistency to improve the quality of Maryland's coastal resources. 

 

For information on Maryland's coastal enforceable policies, e-mail Joe Abe with Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8740.

 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ISSUES A REQUEST FOR INTEREST IN COMMERCIAL WIND POWER LEASING IN MARYLAND

wind farm
Kentish flats wind power farm off the coast of England. Photo by Vattenfall.

 

On November 8, 2010, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced a significant step forward in its efforts to bring offshore wind power generation to Maryland's coast. The federal government, which controls the Outer Continental Shelf, accepted the planning recommendations of the Maryland Offshore Wind Task Force. As a result, it issued a Request for Interest (RFI) in commercial wind power leasing in federal waters adjacent to Maryland's Atlantic Coast in the Federal Register. Through this notice, BOEMRE is now accepting comments about the RFI wind leasing area through January 10, 2011; a map of the RFI area is now available.

 

For the past year, Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program worked to compile data and information about habitats, human uses, and resources in Maryland's Atlantic Ocean. WIth that data, CCP developed Maryland's Coastal Atlas to serve as an ocean planning tool to help identify areas most suitable for various types of activities in order to reduce conflict among uses, facilitate compatible uses, and reduce environmental impacts to preserve crucial ecosystem services. To learn more about CCP's efforts to plan for offshore wind and to help the State to balance multiple uses in the ocean, visit our Ocean Planning and Renewable Offshore Energy webpage.

 

Using the results of this approach, Maryland made recommendations to the Task Force about the RFI map area for offshore wind. As a result, Maryland was able to work to avoid many natural resource and human use conflicts early on in the siting process.

  

We hope you will continue to inform the offshore wind energy process. Please take some time to visit these webpages below to learn more about the Federal Register notice, the status of wind energy in Maryland and DNR's stakeholder outreach efforts:

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR DRAFT 309 ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY

Deadline for Comments is December 3, 2010

 

309 coverThe Maryland Chesapeake & Coastal Program (CCP) recently issued the Draft 2011-2015 Coastal Zone Section 309 Assessment and Strategy, prepared as part of the NOAA Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants Program. The outlined strategies will improve the State's ability to plan for climate change, protect critical coastal resources and foster clean coastal industries. 
  

The Draft 309 Assessment & Strategy document was developed through consultation with CCP partners in response to the needs and gaps identified in the nine assessments areas. The public comment period is from November 3 through December 3, 2010.

An overview of the document can be found here.   

 

For more information on the draft Section 309 Assessment and Strategy, e-mail Catherine McCall or call 410.260.8737.

 

Visit CCP's 309 Assessment & Strategy webpage to learn more about Maryland's Chesapeake & Coastal Program, the NOAA Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants Program and to access previous Section 309 Assessment and Strategy documents.
MARYLAND COASTAL AND WATERSHED ADVISORY COMMITTEE 
Next Meeting: Friday, December 10 
 

cwracThe Coastal and Watershed Resources Advisory Committee (CWRAC) is scheduled to meet on Friday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis, MarylandThe main topics are (1) the Sustainable Maryland Certification Program, (2) DNR's Climate Change Policy: Building Resilience to Climate Change, and (3) Planning CWRAC's 2011 Agenda.  The Committee will also get updates on the following: the Coastal Policy Update Project, the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and the Draft Section 309 Assessment and Strategy.

 

CWRAC, established in 1976, is comprised of representatives of local government, concerned local citizens, special interest groups, state and federal agencies and academic institutions. CWRAC acts as an independent advisory body to the Secretary of Natural Resources and to Maryland's Chesapeake & 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 Joe Abe with the Chesapeake & Coastal Program or call 410.260.8740.  
CCP logoPlease feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas for future IN THE ZONE e-mails.
 
Sincerely,
Your Chesapeake & Coastal Program Team

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A publication of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA10NOS4190204. 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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Maryland Department of Natural Resources | Chesapeake & Coastal Program | Tawes State Building | 580 Tayor Avenue, E-2 | Annapolis | MD | 21401