Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries is one of 16 new locations where Living Shorelines will be created in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed under a grant program administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Living shorelines are a shoreline stabilization technique that uses natural habitat elements, instead of bulkhead or riprap, to protect shorelines from erosion while also providing critical habitat for fish, crabs, and other wildlife. Pecometh will partner with the Chester River Association (CRA), which received a $99,000 grant to create nearly 200’ of Living Shoreline that will replace the current rock revetment in front of Pecometh’s Fellowship Hall.
“A Living Shoreline will do more than protect one of our most cherished buildings,” said Pecometh Executive Director, Jack Shitama. “It will increase the amount of wildlife habitat and provide a living classroom where people of all ages can learn about protecting our natural resources. We’re grateful that the Chester River Association selected Pecometh as their partner in this effort.”
The CBT’s Living Shoreline grant program is in its seventh year. The program has awarded over $4 million in 68 projects that have created over 28,000 lineal feet of Living Shoreline and 18 acres of wetland habitat. This year’s announcement of $800,000 in grants was made at one of the existing project sites and was attended by state and local officials, grant recipients and site owners.
“In order to fully restore our great Chesapeake Bay, we are going to have to employ a multitude of techniques, including the creation of living shorelines,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a longtime supporter of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. “Living shorelines not only provide ecological gains for Bay wildlife and improve water quality, but they also benefit property owners by stabilizing shorelines to limit erosion.”
One of the grant selection priorities is the ability to increase public awareness about the use of Living Shorelines as an innovative technique that combines habitat restoration with erosion control protection for coastal properties. Pecometh was considered an ideal location because of the thousands of people who or on site for camp, retreat and outdoor education over the course of a year.
“We are working hard to ensure that Maryland meets its Chesapeake Bay restoration goals, and we are right on track,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “I am pleased to see so many great organizations taking the initiative to implement techniques like living shorelines. These programs allow us to educate our communities about restoration efforts, while at the same time providing tangible benefits to the environment.”