Chesapeake Bay Refuges Receive Federal Funding - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chesapeake Bay Refuges Receive Federal Funding

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. – The National Wildlife Refuges in the Chesapeake Bay will see millions in federal funding to defend against future storms.

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the federal funding one week before the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge says the Martin National Wildlife Refuge in Somerset County, Md. will receive $9 million to build nearly 21,000 feet of shoreline protection on the refuge. The project will stabilize the eroding western shore of the refuge.

The Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Kent County, Md. will get $1.5 million to construct roughly 4,000 feet of shoreline protection on the southern end of the refuge on the shores of the Chester River.

These are just two projects among 45 announced by the Interior Department. In Delaware, Prime Hook National Refuge is receiving $20 million.

Both Maryland refuge projects will use a "living shoreline" design to dissipate wave energy and slow shoreline erosion.

"We are very excited about the protection these projects will provide the refuges," says Matt Whitbeck, wildlife biologist for the refuges. "These marshes are relatively high in elevation, meaning they should resist sea level rise for a considerable time. Shoreline erosion is the biggest and most immediate threat. By stabilizing the shoreline and improving resiliency to coastal storms, these wetlands will continue to provide benefits into the foreseeable future."

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