The U.S. Department of Interior has awarded more than $7 million to four projects in Maryland aimed at guarding Chesapeake Bay shoreline and habitat against future severe storms. The funding is part of $107 million in "coastal resilience" grants distributed among 11 states — from Massachusetts to Virginia and west to Ohio — to help protect them from the kind of damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
A plan to add 25 acres of new salt marsh and remove invasive plants in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge received $3.5 million. Nearly $2.5 million goes toward removing Bloede Dam in Patapsco Valley State Park, a project intended to improve migratory fish passage in the river.
The department also awarded $540,000 to improve a 105-acre salt marsh that protects the North Beach community in Calvert County. Another $640,000 went to help with identifying other shoreline enhancement opportunities. Matching funds were provided for all the projects.