The Fund examined green infrastructure opportunities at scales from the regional down to the neighborhood and even site level across the region. Dubbed the Greater Baltimore Wilderness, the area examined included the watersheds of the Patapsco, Gunpowder and upper and middle Patuxent Rivers and numerous smaller streams and rivers on the Bay’s western shoreline from Harford to Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties. The premise of the effort was that protected green infrastructure would offer a dynamic level of protection from flooding, storm surge and drought to improve that provided by more traditional “gray” or engineered approaches.

Through a new regional Coalition, the Fund and its partners have sought to encourage greater use of green infrastructure investments and techniques to provide cost-effective protection for valuable transportation, energy and water treatment infrastructure; shield homes and businesses from adverse impacts; and provide additional benefits, particularly neighborhoods with high percentages of underserved or vulnerable populations.

What is Climate Resiliency

For the project, “climate resiliency” refers to the ability to resist or mitigate the negative impacts of the changing climate. The scope of negative effects the project focused on were rising sea levels, increased precipitation and corresponding increased stream flows, levels and velocity, and coastal storm damage from wave erosion and storm surge. While some social and economic factors were included in our green infrastructure analysis, these aspects were not the primary focus of the project

We considered natural features such as forests and wetlands as well bioengineered approaches, such as bio-swales, raingardens, and green streets in determining the roles green infrastructure could perform in buffering or mitigating physical damage to communities roads and hospitals, and natural resources.

Click here to view the Resiliency Maps created for this project. 

Project Timeline:

January 2015 – September 2016

Project Team:

The Conservation Fund
American Planning Association
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Chesapeake Conservancy
Center for Chesapeake Communities

Project Funding:

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grants

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