Nuisance Flood Plans – Moving Forward

Planning Assistance in Action 

by Deborah Herr Cornwell, PLA, ASLA, CC-P ®, Resource Conservation Planner 

The increasing frequency of tidally-driven nuisance flooding has been recognized as a concern by Maryland lawmakers (see Maryland HB1427 – 2019 and SB1006 and HB1350 – 2018), resulting in the requirement for local jurisdictions that experience nuisance flooding to develop a plan to address it. 

The legislation set October 1, 2020, as the deadline for plans to be developed. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional strains placed on resources, an extension of the submission deadline was granted. In compliance with the order of the governor dated March 9, 2021, the regulatory deadline extension will expire on June 30, 2021. 

Sixteen counties and 30 municipalities in Maryland experience nuisance flooding and most of those jurisdictions have already submitted nuisance flooding plans. Many of the jurisdictions utilized the state’s Nuisance Flood Plan Development Guidance to develop their plans, with several going beyond addressing just nuisance tidal flooding. 

Various existing tools for documenting nuisance flooding were included in the plans, including 311 and 911 logs. The MyCoast MD portal was recommended in many plans as an easy way for the community to participate in identifying local flooding events.  

Many jurisdictions recognized a benefit during the process of developing the plans — they often identified projects to reduce the impacts of nuisance flooding and were able to apply for grant funding to implement those projects as opportunities have become available.   

As jurisdictions continue to develop their plans, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Maryland Emergency Management Administration (MEMA), and Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) staff will continue to assist by providing resources and guidance. 

For information, please contact Sasha Land, DNR Chesapeake & Coastal Service, or Debbie Herr Cornwell, Planning. 

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