The federal government is putting forth $1.4 million in funds for coastal infrastructure improvements that will help protect Oxford, Maryland’s future. Add to that to the $1.4 million in matched funds from Talbot County, and Oxford’s shorelines may really see a difference.
“With rising sea levels threatening Marylanders’ homes and livelihoods, we must strengthen our shoreline infrastructure to reduce the risk of damage from natural disasters. These funds will help us address coastal flooding and erosion to protect our communities, buffer fish and wildlife habitats, ensure a thriving regional economy, and revitalize Oxford’s beautiful beaches,” says U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Funds were awarded to the Town of Oxford for projects that will protect existing infrastructure and create off-shore living islands to reduce the impact of flooding, weather events, and erosion.
“Barrier island projects across the Chesapeake Bay are an effective tool for reducing mainland erosion, the effects of storm surge, and coastal flooding,” points out U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)
Talbot County Council President Corey Pack says the issue of resiliency is “of great importance” and calls the Building Living Islands to Enhance Shoreline Protection project is a significant step forward. The grant was awarded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), together with NOAA.
In addition to protection against erosion and sea level rise, the federal and county investments will help restore fish and wildlife habitat, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin says, recalling that “the Tred Avon River that runs beside it has already played host to several innovative restoration measures that will enhance the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”
The new funds totalling $2.87 million are in addition to $1.1 million this group of bipartisan lawmakers announced in August for water infrastructure improvements, as well as the $3.9 million for environmental infrastructure restoration.
-Meg Walburn Viviano