2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 276-12
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM


MEYERS, Erik J., The Conservation Fund, 1655 N Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1300, Arlington, VA 22209, emeyers@conservationfund.org

Reducing emissions of carbon and equivalent greenhouse gases will mitigate the accelerating effects of global climate change in the long run. However, an equally great challenge of adapting to the rapidly change climate faces human society in the near term. Responding to the adaptation challenge, especially in urbanized areas, will require new efforts to improve and integrate the management of water. Climate change is affecting timing and amounts of precipitation, raising tides and relative sea levels, affecting groundwater resources, and casting doubt on flooding projections based upon anthropogenic records.

In central Maryland a unique assessment and planning project is seeking to re-examine the role of green infrastructure that managed and protected green infrastructure can play in reducing risk to infrastructure, human communities and associated ecosystems. The effort is seeking to integrate green infrastructure at scales ranging from the watershed and regional, to the local jurisdictional and site levels, using key hydrological data from inland streams and coastal shoreline and sea level rise projections along the tidal western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. A diverse project team including planners, conservation experts, engineers, hydrologists, biologists, and other physical scientists is working across federal, state, and local governments and engaging with civic sector organizations and research institutions to develop and pilot plan elements.

Supported by funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency competitive grants program, The Conservation Fund-led project team is also helping to establish a coalition of agencies, organizations and other interested institutions – the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition – as an advocate, monitor and implementer on the expanded green infrastructure network. The presentation will cover project scope, goals, interim results, and long term governance, communication and implementation strategies.