County Eyes Grant To Fund Soft Shoreline Projects

SNOW HILL – Five soft
shoreline projects in northern Worcester County would be part of implementing
the coastal bays management plan, according to county staff, and would protect
land from wave erosion.

The county hopes to get
a $5,000 mini-grant from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program to pay for part of
the work. An in-kind match of county workers and supplies is worth $11,195,
with a $585 cash match.

Three of the small
shoreline projects should reduce erosion in road rights of way in the Cape Isle
of Wight subdivision, at the end of Tudor Rd., and the north and south ends of
Norwich Rd., in the Isle of Wight Bay watershed.

The fourth soft
shoreline project, in the Newport Bay watershed, is on the north side of
Marshall Creek Rd.

The shoreline projects
will serve to educate the public on soft shorelines as well as to protect land
from wave erosion and provide a place to live for fiddler crabs and other

Soft shorelines enhance
water quality and provide habitat for fish and other wildlife, as well as
enhancing the look of waterfront property, according to grant request

The lack of natural
shoreline can negatively affect the marine environment, making it difficult for
marine life to survive, including young crabs and fish that depend on marshes
to grow to adulthood.

The Isle of Wight sites
will use a combination approach to reduce the harsh effects of boat wave action
on the shoreline.

The county will install
coconut fiber biologs to create a natural shoreline at the Marshall Creek site.

The community will be
invited to assist in planting native vegetation and to learn about the benefits
of living shorelines instead of rip-rap or other hardened, manmade shoreline
options. They will be educated in the harmful effects of hard shorelines, the
benefits of soft shorelines and the practical knowledge of how to install a
more natural shoreline.

The county is also
seeking a $2,630 grant to hold three evening Land Stewardship Education sessions,
which will continue a series of education sessions on sustainable agriculture,

water quality, habitat management, and conservation options.  The sessions will be open to the public.

Previous sessions over
the last three years attracted over 80 attendees.