Grant Sought For Shoreline Restoration Project

Grant Sought For Shoreline Restoration Project
The area south of the Route 90 bridge is pictured in 2018 with details added by the green line to show the shoreline 50 years ago. Submitted Image

BERLIN – A grant could help with the restoration of the Jenkins Point shoreline.

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) has applied to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for funding to aid in the Jenkins Point shoreline restoration. Jenkins Point Peninsula, located just south of the Route 90 bridge, has fragmented and eroded dramatically in the last 50 years.

“What we’ve proposed to do is really re-establish the Jenkins Point Peninsula with its shoreline, its marsh—basically restore the habitat that used to exist there,” said Kevin Smith, executive director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.

The MCBP approached Ocean Pines Association officials earlier this year regarding plans to pursue grant funding to help improve the Jenkins Point shoreline. At this month’s meeting of the association’s board, officials said no residents had commented on the proposal and the board president was expected to sign an affidavit in support of the project.

According to Smith, MCBP is targeting Jenkins Point for restoration work because it’s eroded significantly in recent years and is now particularly vulnerable. Old aerial photos and historical maps show what was a clear peninsula in the 1960s has now fragmented and shrunk.

“Over the years it’s eroded quite a bit,” Smith said.

Enhancing the shoreline would serve multiple purposes.

“That peninsula protects what’s landward,” Smith said. “In terms of providing green infrastructure, it’s a way to provide some protection and resiliency for storms and high tides for Ocean Pines.”

At the same time, it would benefit colonial birds such as the royal tern and black skimmer.

“Not only would it provide protection to the Ocean Pines area but it would also provide habitat for some of the bird species we’re losing,” Smith said.

MCBP has applied for a grant to help with the roughly $70,000 design of shoreline improvements. If that grant is awarded, Smith said the project would then be eligible for construction funding.

“We’ve officially applied but we probably won’t hear for a few months,” Smith said.

If the grant is received, Smith said MCBP would work closely with the community moving forward to ensure they understand the project and its impact on the area.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.