Links to information shared at the February 9, 2021 Commissioners meeting regarding Sea Level Rise threats in Maryland and Living Shore Line Projects:
OXFORD STRAND BEACH AND SURROUNDING AREA IMPROVEMENTS
Due to sea level rise and increasing storm intensity, this area of Oxford has taken a beating over the last many years raising multiple concerns, from the continuation of one of Oxford’s most valued assets, its historic sandy beach, to protection of critical public infrastructure, including the road, water, sewer, electricity, telephone and cable, the ability to provide emergency services during tidal and storm events, and the ability to protect historic residential and commercial properties from the encroaching waters.
Over the last 10 years the frequency and intensity of flooding events has eroded the shoreline, increasing the threat to the necessary infrastructure along this road.
Oxford has spent the last 10 years seriously investigating its ongoing environmental, stormwater, floodplain and sea-level rise issues. The Strand Beach is just one of the areas the town has been seeking design and construction funding in order to build upon the town’s resilience. In 2018 the town applied to the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s COASTAL RESILIENCE PROGRAM and was awarded design funding for the northern area of the town, running the length of the Strand Road, including the Strand Beach, Strand Parking lot, Ferry Dock Parking Lot and the beaches at the end of West Strand. This program includes phased opportunities for funding to include construction funds following design and permitting.
In coordination with the town’s partners in this project, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Coastal Restoration Services, the National Wildlife Federation and the awarded engineering firm, Underwood and Associates, the town has developed designs that will incorporate natural marshy areas to act as breakwaters in protecting the Strand, along with dunes to prevent waters from overrunning the road and is currently submitting these designs for permitting review by state and federal agencies for future construction.
PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL TAKE TIME FOR THE PICTURES TO DOWNLOAD
These designs provide nature based improvements that will allow the sandy beach areas to not only maintain their position for public use, but will also allow for accretion of sand overtime, as opposed to our current loss of sand due to erosion.
With assistance from the National Wildlife Foundation and a commitment of matching funds from Maryland DNR, the town applied to the National Fish and Wildlife Coastal Resilience Fund for construction funds for the “Strand Beach” portion of this design.With the successful award of 1.4 million in matching funds from the NFWF, the town will soon be requesting proposals for the construction of the beach improvements along the Strand Beach. As the original design award provides ‘designs’ for multiple areas along the northern edge of Oxford, including the Strand Parking Lot, the Strand Road, the Ferry Dock Parking Lot, TAYC, and Strand West at Sandaway, the town will seek funding for additional shore line improvement construction projects whenever an opportunity to apply for additional grant funding is possible.