In Maryland, the Alliance is excited to announce that we are partnering with a local neighborhood on a resilient marsh and living shoreline project in the Cape St. Claire Community. This project will support the creation of a 970 linear foot living shoreline and 8,000 sq. ft. tidal wetland on the shores of the Magothy River, on community owned property in Annapolis, MD. Funding for this project has been provided through the County’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP), granted to the Alliance through the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT). We are very grateful to be working alongside our good friends from the Cape St. Claire Community Association to restore the community’s shoreline.

In 2016, the Cape St. Claire Community enlisted the help of Biohabitats to identify watershed improvement opportunities at the shorelines and community parks throughout the neighborhood. It was determined that a resilient marsh and living shoreline project at the community beach at the mouth of the Magothy River was the Community’s priority project.

Because of Cape St. Claire’s location; surrounded by water to the west, east, and north, the community-owned waterfront properties are highly valued by all. Since 1952, the Community has witnessed severe erosion along these shorelines — in some places having lost over three feet of shoreline per year. The location of the proposed project endures significant erosion impacts due to its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay commercial shipping lanes, a fetch of nearly 33 miles, and an orientation takes the brunt of winter storms.

Cape St. Claire is a shining example among communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay, having committed their own time and funding to improve their land for the sake of cleaner water. During the last four years, the community has completed multiple projects including; the creation of the Cape Conservation Corps, a Phragmites remediation project, many tree and vegetation plantings, as well as a design and permitting of a living shoreline project along their main beach. We continue to be very excited about this partnership! In 2018 we awarded the former President of CSCIA, Beau Breeden, with our 2018 Maryland Watershed Champion award!

Additional project benefits include:

  • An opportunity to create a significant amount of marshland upon completion of construction that will provide resilience against storms and wave energy. In addition, this site will allow for marsh expansion over time due to sediment accretion and the ability of the plant communities to migrate.
  • The potential for ecological uplift at this site is very high; the site requires two structural components and will include a diverse planting plan and the addition of woody debris that will provide optimum high-quality habitat, while also providing shoreline stabilization.
  • This project will initiate a series of changes that will support a greater abundance of aquatic invertebrates, fish, horseshoe crabs, waterfowl, wading birds, and more as the Spartina alterniflora, Spartina patens, and other low, mid, and high marsh plant associates become established.

The Alliance looks forward to beginning this project and would like to send our congratulations to the Cape St. Claire Community Association for their hard work on behalf of their community. We will be sure to post updates about the project along the way. Make sure to follow us on Facebook for updates!