A Working Waterfronts Summer
by Nicole Carlozo -- August 20th, 2015
Field season usually takes the blame for a busy summer, but not this time. From a Mallows Bay participatory mapping workshop to support a National Marine Sanctuary nomination, to a Working Waterfronts Exchange to discuss sustainable working waterfront programs, I have been all over the state of Maryland. Well, let me re-phrase that. I have been all over the coastal zone. Sorry Western Maryland!
Beyond travel, I started my summer interacting with coastal residents, business owners, and natural resource users. It’s always a special day when I step out from behind my desk and interact with the stakeholders who are on-the-ground, whether seasonally or daily. At the moment I am up to my ears in GIS models (more on that to come later), but it’s always nice to remind myself who benefits from the work we do.
My main project this summer was the organization of a Working Waterfronts Exchange, which served as the launch of the state’s Working Waterfronts Program. We invited watermen, water-dependent business owners, local/state/federal planners, aquaculturists, non-profit agencies, and other stakeholders to participate in a full day workshop about local, state and regional working waterfront programs. Over 100 people attended the workshop, including representatives from the states of Maine and Virginia. The event showcased a pilot project held in Cambridge, MD to build a sustainable working waterfronts program.
A working waterfront consists of the lands, waterfront infrastructure (i.e. ports, boat harbors, docks, etc.), and waterways that are used to support water-dependent activities. Activities range from fishing and seafood processing to recreational boating and boat building, and may have commercial, recreational, historic or cultural ties.
With an interest in fisheries and marine spatial planning, I weaseled my way into Maryland’s working waterfronts efforts late last year. The Program offers opportunities to interact with fishermen and aquaculturists, while also addressing coastal resiliency through sea level rise, restoration, and conservation planning. In short, this is a truly interdisciplinary effort within our CZM Program that will make a real impact on coastal communities – environmentally, culturally, and economically.