New! Maryland Coast Smart Map Layer Now Available: Climate Ready Action Boundary (CRAB)

Resources and Tools

by Chuck Boyd, AICP, Director Planning Coordination with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) recently updated its Maryland Growth & Conservation Map to include Maryland Coast Smart – Climate Ready Action Boundary (CS-CRAB) information. This GIS overlay to the Growth and Conservation interactive map shows local and state targeted growth and conservation areas for coordinated planning, management, and resource allocation. The purpose of displaying these areas is to identify where and how local and state government and the private sector can work together to achieve common goals.

Figure 1 – Screenshots showing home screen of Coast Smart CRAB GIS layer of the Maryland Growth and Conservation Map and inset showing a detailed view of a section of Maryland coastline.

One of the primary applications of the Growth and Conservation Map is to improve coordination at the state and local level, specifically in the planning and development of new state capital projects.

Now that the Maryland Coast Smart regulations are in effect as of July 1, 2020, all state and local capital projects that are at least 50 percent funded by the state, and which have a total project cost of $500,000 or more, are required to apply new corresponding horizontal flood risk limits at a higher level (see §3–1009 of the Natural Resources Article). This new level is equal to the 100-year FEMA Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus an additional three feet inundation elevation as indicated by CS-CRAB. This is expressed as CS-CRAB Elevation = BFE + 3 ft elevation as shown in the diagram below).

Figures 2-3 – Screenshot of diagrams illustrating FEMA Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and Horizontal CS-CRAB flood risk limits, CS- CRAB story map.

The new information/data revealed in the CS-CRAB GIS layer added to the Maryland Growth and Conservation Map will further assist the state and local governments in their capital budget planning processes.

For more information about Maryland Coast Smart-CRAB, please see the Coast Smart – Climate Ready Action Boundary (CRAB) story map or visit the Coast Smart-CRAB interactive map., You may also contact Kristen Fleming, Director, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake and Coast Service at

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