News Article

$5 Million Allocated to Mallows Bay for Climate Resilience Projects
June 8, 2023


By: David M. Higgins ll

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) have announced a $5 million grant for Mallows Bay as part of a $2.6 billion investment in climate resilience projects across the United States. The funding, provided through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a significant step towards supporting communities and individuals on the frontlines of climate change, particularly Tribes and vulnerable populations.

The $5 million grant was made possible by the lawmakers’ efforts to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, securing $3.3 billion for NOAA. The funds will be utilized to bolster coastal resiliency and conservation projects aimed at helping coastal communities adapt to the challenges posed by changing climate conditions. The comprehensive framework of the $2.6 billion investment includes financial support for technical assistance, capacity building, transformative projects, job creation, and improved delivery of climate services to communities and businesses.

Congressman Hoyer emphasized the importance of protecting Maryland’s waters and coastal communities, stating, “Our waters and coastal communities are a vital part of our state’s culture and economy, and we ought to do everything we can to protect them.” He expressed pride in working alongside Senators Cardin and Van Hollen to secure crucial funding for building climate-resilient infrastructure in Mallows Bay. The location holds immense historical significance, having been designated as both a National Marine Sanctuary and a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Register of Historic Places. Congressman Hoyer pledged to continue collaborating with Maryland’s Delegation, the Regional Leadership Council and the Biden-Harris Administration to advance similar projects across the state and the nation.

Senator Cardin echoed the urgency of investing in resilient infrastructure in Mallows Bay, particularly in light of the intensified impacts of climate change on Maryland’s estuaries, waterways, and surrounding communities. He stressed that the funding will play a critical role in ensuring that Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary remains climate resilient for future generations.

Senator Van Hollen emphasized the significance of Mallows Bay as a natural treasure in Maryland, showcasing marine biodiversity, ecology, and the state’s rich history and culture. He expressed the need to protect sanctuaries like Mallows Bay to preserve both the environment and the heritage. Senator Van Hollen highlighted the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act as a vital step towards enhancing climate resiliency in Maryland and nationwide. The investment will safeguard Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary, enabling future generations of Marylanders to experience its exceptional offerings.

Mallows Bay-Potomac River, located adjacent to Charles County, Maryland, spans 18 square miles along the tidal Potomac River. The area is home to nearly 200 vessels dating from the Revolutionary War to the present, including the remnants of the largest “Ghost Fleet” of World War I wooden steamships built for the U.S. Emergency Fleet. These historical assets are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mallows Bay is predominantly undeveloped and has been recognized as one of Maryland’s most ecologically valuable natural areas, providing crucial habitats for fish and wildlife, including rare, threatened, and endangered species. The nomination of Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a National Marine Sanctuary by former Governor Martin O’Malley in September 2014 received endorsement from a diverse coalition of local, state, regional, and national groups.

The $5 million allocation to Mallows Bay reflects a significant commitment to bolstering climate resilience and protecting vulnerable coastal communities. The investments made through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda signify the government’s determination to address climate change and support the communities most affected by its \consequences. The $2.6 billion investment will provide immediate support and contribute to the long-term sustainability and well-being of communities grappling with climate challenges.

The funding for Mallows Bay is particularly significant due to its historical and ecological value. As a National Marine Sanctuary and National Treasure, Mallows Bay holds a special place in Maryland’s heritage and natural landscape. The area boasts a remarkable collection of vessels, including the renowned “Ghost Fleet” of World War I steamships. These remnants of the past serve as a testament to the nation’s history and are recognized as important landmarks.

Moreover, Mallows Bay-Potomac River is a critical ecological hub supporting diverse fish, wildlife, and plant species. The area’s undeveloped nature has allowed it to thrive as one of Maryland’s most valuable natural areas. Protecting this habitat is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and ensuring the survival of rare and endangered species.

The $5 million grant will enable Mallows Bay to enhance its climate resilience and adapt to the increasingly severe impacts of climate change. By investing in resilient infrastructure and conservation efforts, the funding will contribute to the long-term protection of the area’s historical assets and ecological diversity. The projects undertaken with this grant will strengthen the area’s ability to withstand storms and flooding and create new job opportunities, promoting local economic growth and ensuring the prosperity of nearby communities.

The investment in Mallows Bay is part of a broader commitment by the Biden administration to address climate change and its adverse effects. By allocating $2.6 billion for climate resilience projects nationwide, the government aims to support communities on the frontlines of climate change and empower them to adapt and thrive in the face of these challenges. The funding will also facilitate the delivery of climate services to communities and businesses, ensuring they have the necessary information and resources to make informed decisions and take effective action.

The collaboration between Congressman Hoyer, Senators Cardin, and Van Hollen was crucial in securing this significant grant for Mallows Bay. Their dedication to protecting Maryland’s waters, coastal communities, and historical sites has resulted in tangible support for climate resilience efforts. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the subsequent funding for NOAA have paved the way for investments that will make a lasting impact on the region.

As the nation confronts the realities of climate change, investments in climate resilience projects like the one in Mallows Bay become increasingly critical. The $5 million grant will safeguard the area’s historical and ecological treasures and provide a model for other communities facing similar challenges. By prioritizing climate resilience and investing in protecting vulnerable areas, the government is taking a significant step toward securing a sustainable and resilient future for the nation as a whole.