How may climate change affect Maryland’s environment?
Maryland has experienced changes in its climate over the last century and on the whole, the State is experiencing warmer winters and summers, wetter autumns and springs, and drier summers. Over the next century, scientists expect that these trends will continue but become exacerbated by a changing climate caused by an accelerating release of greenhouse gas emissions over and above the natural emissions from sources such as volcanoes and the sun.
The effects of climate change in Maryland will be felt across all regions and sectors of the state. Farmers should expect increased water stress; urban residents may experience hotter summers and more flooding; coastal communities will likely lose hundreds of miles of shoreline to sea level rise; species will shift; and Chesapeake Bay restoration will become more complicated as waters warm and rainfall patterns shift.
What is DNR doing?
DNR has the lead role among State agencies in advancing the scientific understanding of Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change, and in advocating for sound planning to avoid or minimize the anticipated impacts. DNR’s Policy: Building Resilience to Climate Change guides the Department’s investments in and management of land, resources and assets to better understand, mitigate and adapt to climate change. The policy establishes practices and procedures related to new land investments, facility siting and design, habitat restoration, government operations, research and monitoring, resource planning and advocacy. Click here to learn more about how DNR is implementing this policy.
At the State-level, DNR is currently coordinating development and implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change – a key component of Maryland’s Climate Action Plan. An update on the State’s current climate change adaptation planning efforts is included in Maryland’s 2011 Draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan.
What you can do?
Small lifestyle changes we each can take accumulate significantly to reducing air pollution that causes climate change and preparing for its impact. Simple things like conserving energy at home and work; carpooling, walking or bicycling to work; and planting a tree make a real difference in our neighborhoods for both people and wildlife. Individuals living in the coastal zone should utilize “living shoreline” practices that combine marsh plantings with sills, groin fields or breakwaters to remedy shore erosion problems. If you are building or rebuilding in the coastal floodplain, elevate your home or business 2 or more feet above the 100-year base flood elevation. Families should also develop a personal emergency response plan in preparation of hurricanes, heat waves and vector-borne illness. Click here for more helpful tips on what you can do to prevent climate change.
News & Events
- Governor O'Malley Signs Executive Order Helping State Prepare for Climate Change and Extreme Weather
- Climate Change and "Coast Smart" Construction Executive Order
- Coastal Services Feature Story: Maryland is Turning Plans into Action
- Chesapeake Journal: Sea Level along Chesapeake Rising than efforts to Mitigate it
- Coastal Climate Adaptation Blog
King Tides Photo Initiative
Calling for pictures of high tides!
June 22nd - 25th
July 21st - 24th
Grab your cameras and head out to the Western, Eastern, or Atlantic shore to photograph the highest seasonal tides. We need your help in documenting how these tides look along Maryland’s shores.