The 38th Annual MPCA Conference is Switching to a Virtual Platform 

MPCA Corner

In response to concerns over the rising COVID-19 cases in Maryland due to the spread of the Delta Variant, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) has decided to conduct its 38th annual conference virtually. The MPCA Executive Committee did not make this decision lightly, and regrets that we will not be able to gather together in Solomons in late October. Most importantly, the MPCA wants to ensure the health and safety of all participants, and believes that the most prudent course of action is a virtual conference, similar to the one we conducted in 2020, which was very successful.  

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Two Western Shore Chesapeake Bay Towns Join Forces to Fight the Effects of Climate Change 

Local Spotlight 

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Due to the growing effects of climate change, many coastal areas around the country and world are facing problems exacerbated by sea level rise and intensified weather patterns. These include larger and more severe storms, and high tides which cause our cities, towns, as well as agricultural, forested, and natural areas to flood more frequently. 

Figure 1 – photo courtesy of Town of North Beach.

Some of the anticipated consequences affecting coastal areas include property damage, surface and groundwater resource contamination, and the negative impacts on recreational opportunities and wildlife habitats.  With roughly 3,190 miles of shoreline1, Maryland is no exception. “For coastal Maryland towns, the future means dealing aggressively with flood risks,” says Lauren Kabler, North Beach Town Council Member.

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Preparing your Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan?  We’re Here to Help!  

Planning in Progress 

by Deborah Herr Cornwell, Resource Conservation Planner  

Since January 2021 the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) have hosted fifteen virtual technical assistance sessions with local jurisdictions.   

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Maryland’s Economic Adjustment Strategy (EAS) Summary Report Now Available 

Resources and Tools 

by Daniel Rosen, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner, and Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Many might be surprised to learn, despite the state’s diminutive size, that wood and wood/forest products are big business in Maryland. 

In 2016, according to one measure, the forest products sector contributed 16,500 jobs and $3.86 billion to the Maryland economy (EAS Summary, page 2).  

Paradoxically, forestry—the harvesting of trees and manufacture of wood products—also promotes conservation by showing landowners that growing trees is an economically viable alternative to development. 

Unfortunately, forestry has been declining in Maryland in recent years. The closing of the 131-year-old Luke paper mill in Allegany County in 2019, with its loss of 675 jobs, shows the cost of this downward trend to rural Maryland communities.  

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DHCD Announces $25 million in Grants to Maryland Businesses: ‘Project Restore’ Accepting Applications in Early September

Resources and Tools 

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Starting September 8, 2021, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is accepting applications for two types of grants designed to assist Maryland businesses that plan to open or expand into previously vacant spaces. 

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