In Wicomico County, EFCCR's efforts are focused on the Bivalve, Nanticoke, and Tyaskin in the West Side area. Read below for a summary of the activities carried out here as part of this project.
Wicomico County Project Activities
Project Workshop 1 – June 23, 2018
Pastors and church members from several rural churches in the West Side area participated in the first workshop of the Engaging Faith Communities for Coastal Resilience (EFCCR) Project. This workshop convened church leaders, government staff, and university researchers who live and/or work in Dorchester, Wicomico, and Somerset Counties to learn about the goals of the project and participate in collaborative learning activities to explore the role of government, churches, and researchers in adaptation planning on the Eastern Shore. At this workshop, participants worked in county-level groups to review flood maps of targeted areas in each county, identify key environmental challenges, and select sites on which to focus county-level collaborative activities over the course of the project (see map below). Wicomico County participants chose to focus on flooding and erosion concerns at Tyaskin Park and the Nanticoke Harbor Marina.
West Side Workshop 1 – October 3, 2018
Members from the local churches and residents of the communities of Bivalve, Tyaskin, and Nanticoke met with County
Beach at Tyaskin Park
staff and members of the Wicomico Interfaith Partners for Creation Stewardship to share concerns about flooding and erosion and to discuss potential flood mitigation strategies forthe West Side area. Attendees first gathered at Tyaksin Park and Nanticoke Harbor Marina to describe local experiences with flooding and erosion at those sites. The group then convened at the West Side Fire Hall where a landscape architect presented flood maps and examples of landscape designs in order to help participants begin brainstorming strategies to reduce flood risks at Tyaskin Park and Nanticoke Harbor Marina. Participants also discussed what information and resources the community would like to learn more about to better address local concerns and environmental challenges. Participants expressed a need for more information about key county and state contacts who can provide assistance. Participants also indicated interest in further exploring the role that the churches can play in facilitating future discussions with the County.
West Side Workshop 2 – November 8, 2018
This workshop focused on sharing information, concerns, needs, and capacities of participating groups from the local community and County. County staff presented work being carried out by County government offices to prepare for ongoing and future environmental challenges. Weston Young, Assistant Director of Administration, shared the County’s climate change plans. Dallas Baker, Director of Public Works, shared details on County projects that aim to address roadway flooding and manage changing precipitation patterns. He also highlighted some of the challenges that the County faces in addressing these issues. Floodplain Manager Marilyn Williams provided information on grants that are available to assist property owners in protecting their homes from flood risks. Residents Allen Cunningham and Judith Stribling shared local concerns about flooding, marsh encroachment, ditch drainage, and shoreline erosion. Pastor Zac Wheeler of the Nanticoke West Side Parish also shared reflections on ways the churches might engage in these discussions to support community needs in the future.
Outcomes of Project’s Collaborative Discussions:
New connections made between West Side residents and Wicomico County staff
Enhanced understanding of local needs and concerns, and County activities and capacities to address these needs and concerns
Individuals to continue collaborative discussions in order to identify community priorities and develop projects to reduce flooding and erosion risks to residents.
Project participants identified areas prone to nuisance flooding (marked below by yellow dots) at the first workshop on June 23rd, which informed follow-up collaborative discussions between local community members, faith leaders, and County government during two collaborative meetings. The blue layer visible on the map below illustrates potential future flooding impacts to the focus area under a future sea level scenario of 2-5 feet.