November 20, 2020

Van Hollen, Cardin, Harris Applaud Over $1.4 Million for Coastal Infrastructure Improvements in Talbot County

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (all Md.) applauded $1,436,701 in federal funds to support coastal infrastructure projects in Talbot County. The County will provide $1,437,959 in matching funds, bringing the project total to $2,874,660. 

“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. I will continue fighting for more investments in climate and flood resilience for the Eastern Shore,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works and Appropriations Committees.

“The Town of Oxford in Talbot County is a special place, and 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. This federal investment will help restore additional fish and wildlife habitat and protect against erosion, storm surge and sea-level rise, all of which threaten Oxford’s future. I will continue working to secure additional investments like these in Maryland’s climate resilience,” said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.

“I applaud the awarding of these funds to Oxford.  Barrier island projects across the Chesapeake Bay are an effective tool for reducing mainland erosion, the effects of storm surge, and coastal flooding.  I will continue to support projects like these that protect our coastal communities from the effects of natural disasters,” said Congressman Harris.

“The issue of resiliency is of great importance to Talbot County and the Town of Oxford.  The Building Living Islands to Enhance Shoreline Protection project is a significant step forward in resiliency efforts and will help to promote implementation of natural and nature-based solutions to shoreline erosion and rising sea-level.  The County is pleased to support the Town of Oxford in their efforts and extends our gratitude to the federal government and local delegation for their support,” said Corey Pack, President, Talbot County Council.

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. These funds are in addition to the $1.1 million the lawmakers announced in August for water infrastructure improvements on the Eastern Shore and the $3.9 million secured for environmental infrastructure restoration.

This grant was awarded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Coastal Resilience Fund in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. In his role on the Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen has worked to secure funding for NFWF annually, including over $7 million last year. Appropriations for the Foundation was previously reauthorized through Senator Cardin’s bipartisan initiative with Senator Cassidy (R-La.), and was included in the final passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. NFWF invests in projects designed to strengthen infrastructure and improve the fish and wildlife habitats of coastal communities.