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EPA Awards $350,000 to Maryland for Protecting Shorelines, Streams and Wetlands

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David Sternberg (

PHILADELPHIA (October 31, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has awarded $348,648 to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to improve and stabilize living shorelines, and stream and wetlands restoration projects in nontidal wetlands.

“Despite their environmental and economic importance, coastal wetlands in the eastern United States are being lost at twice the rate they are being restored,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio, “This work by the state of Maryland will serve as a model for the more focused protection strategies that we need to reverse this trend.”

“Maryland appreciates EPA’s support in protecting our natural heritage of wetlands and growing green seams of resilience throughout the state,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. 

The funds will be used to expedite the review, approval and construction of living shorelines to achieve multiple environmental benefits and reduce the loss of wetlands in Maryland. In addition to MDE, the Virginia Institute for Marine Science, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Shoreline Conservation Service are also partners in this effort.   

Living shorelines are a green infrastructure technique using native vegetation alone or with other natural elements to stabilize coasts, bays, or tributaries. Living shorelines provide a natural alternative to “hard” shoreline stabilization methods like stone sills or bulkheads, and provide numerous benefits including pollution remediation, essential fish habitat, and buffering of shoreline from waves and storms.

Healthy wetlands perform important ecological functions, such as feeding downstream waters, trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater supplies, removing pollution, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife.

Wetlands Program Development Grants assist state, tribal, local government agencies, state universities and interstate/intertribal entities in building programs that protect, manage, and restore wetlands and aquatic resources. States, tribes, and local governments are encouraged to develop wetlands program plans, which help create a roadmap for achieving long-term environmental goals.

The Clean Water Act recognizes that as water flows downstream it can carry pollutants from upstream sources along with it. Wetlands are instrumental in eliminating or treating pollution, and can have a huge impact on receiving waters located downstream.

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