The planned overhaul at City Dock would include a resiliency barrier and deployable flood protection measures. Rendering courtesy of AMRP.

Annapolis City Dock Project Gets $300k Boost

With the Pride of Baltimore II and Watermark’s Harbor Queen in the background, federal and local officials announced an infusion of federal funds to help protect Annapolis’ City Dock from rising sea levels.

On Earth Day, April 22, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes and Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley gathered with state Sen. Sarah Elfreth, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and members of the Annapolis City Council to share the news of federal funding for flood protection, stormwater management and resiliency measures at City Dock and highlighted other investments to combat the effects of climate change and sea level rise.

Record coastal flooding at City Dock on Halloween weekend 2021. Image: Cheryl Costello

“As the result of climate change, homes and businesses of Annapolis residents flood repeatedly each year,” said Sarbanes. “The federal investments highlighted today will support the City of Annapolis’ extensive revitalization projects, strengthen the Annapolis City Dock against coastal flooding and help to secure the local economy and community for the future.”

Sarbanes said $300,000 in federal funds will help the city pay for planning, public outreach, design elements and other features to get the City Dock project moving. “We have the opportunity at the federal level to identify community projects we believe deserve funding with federal resources. We don’t make those decisions lightly, it’s based on very careful assessment of proposals brought before us.”

Joining the group of elected officials was local businessman Ryan Lamy, owner of Pip’s Dock Street Dogs who has witnessed the nuisance flooding in downtown. Lamy said flooding events caused his business to close-sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for days –until 2019 when the Annapolis Department of Public Works installed temporary pumps into the storm drains. Instead of 45 to 60 flood days per year, Lamy has only had a handful of closures for flooding since the pumps were installed.

Sarbanes said he has seen the impact himself. “I’ve seen the tidal flooding, the sunny day flooding. I was here when we had the storm surge that produced a significant impact at City Dock. A week doesn’t go by without us seeing and understanding the need and urgency for this project.”

The city plans a $40 million revitalization effort which includes raising the City Dock area about six feet, the installation of pumps, floodgates, and the creation of a green public space for events.

Together with the rebuild of Hillman Garage, these will be the largest infrastructure projects in municipal history.  The garage is set to close May 2 and will take about 14 months to rebuild, said Buckley. The City Dock project is slated to begin in 2023.

“As the result of climate change, homes and businesses of Annapolis residents flood repeatedly each year,” said Sarbanes. “The federal investments highlighted today will support the City of Annapolis’ extensive revitalization projects, strengthen the Annapolis City Dock against coastal flooding and help to secure the local economy and community for the future.”

“These changes and protections have been needed for more than a generation,” said Buckley. “We have worked to find the funding and to help our residents and businesses understand the importance of this work to preserve our historic city and secure our future.”

-Kathy Knotts