Recent News

Back to all News

May 29, 2024

DNR and Arundel Rivers Celebrate Completion of Restoration at Franklin Point State Park

Annapolis, MD– Arundel Rivers Federation was joined by Maryland’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Josh Kurtz, and staff from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a 1,060-foot living shoreline and marsh restoration project at Franklin Point State Park in Shady Side, Maryland.

The Secretary and staff joined in the restoration effort by adding dozens of native marsh grasses to supplement more than 35,000 natives planted as part of the large-scale marsh restoration project.

Forested and marsh-covered peninsulas like Franklin Point serve as natural buffers that protect nearby communities from rising tides and offer critical habitat for wildlife dealing with the same changing conditions. Prior to the project, Franklin Point was eroding away quickly with 7.5 feet of erosion occurring in just one year. This erosion placed the point’s marshes, forests, and even the land itself at severe risk of falling under the waves, leaving the nearby community of Columbia Beach without the longtime natural buffer.

In 2022, Arundel Rivers Federation partnered with DNR to protect Franklin Point and Columbia Beach through the construction of a 1,060-foot living shoreline with breakwater and marsh features to reduce the impact of waves and restore critical habitat along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

“The science is clear that we need to build more resilient projects like the Franklin Point living shoreline all across Maryland if we are going to protect our communities and our Chesapeake Bay,” said Secretary Kurtz. “Living shorelines are a resilient, natural solution to the challenges we face and we are thrilled to be partnering with organizations like Arundel Rivers to take these resilient projects from concept to reality.”

“We see shoreline protections happening everywhere we look these days. It is no longer a question of if we will protect our shorelines from rising seas, but of how we will protect them,” said Arundel Rivers Executive Director, Matt Johnston. “Bulkheads and riprap offer no habitat and are all too often undermined by coastal storms. The marshes and dunes of living shorelines can move and adapt to the same storms and offer critical habitat to our Chesapeake Bay species.”

The living shoreline is being monitored by scientists at MD DNR to assess how the erosion protection measures and marsh habitat change over time so lessons can be applied to future projects. You can learn more about these monitoring efforts here.

The living shoreline project at Franklin Point State Park was made possible through a $1.46 M capital project grant provided to Arundel Rivers by DNR’s Coastal Resiliency Program. The project was designed by Coastline Design and Construction and constructed by Resource Restoration Group.