Watch CBS News

Newly completed living shoreline will help preserve shrinking shoreline at Franklin Point State Park

Living shoreline to help preserve coastline at Franklin Point State Park
Living shoreline to help preserve coastline at Franklin Point State Park 02:00

BALTIMORE -- Residents in a historically Black community in Anne Arundel County can walk and play on their beach again after they had watched the shoreline disappear.

The Columbia Beach community at Franklin Point State Park was losing 4 to 8 feet of their shoreline each year because of erosion and flooding, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

"The shoreline went out maybe 100 or 75 yards so we had some beach, and in that 20-year period, it literally eroded to like 8 feet, almost to the tree line here. It was heartbreaking," said Columbia Beach resident Howard Kea.

Columbia Beach community members, the Arundel Rivers Federation and the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources celebrated the completion of a 1,060-foot living shoreline at Franklin Point State Park.

"To stop that erosion, restore the shoreline, restore the habitat, and protect the nearby Columbia Beach from sea level rise," said Matt Johnston, Executive Director of the Arundel Rivers Federation.

Funded by a $1.46 million grant through DNR's Coastal Resiliency Program, DNR partnered with Arundel Rivers Federation to design and construct the shoreline by building out the beach with sand, adding barriers to protect it from waves and planting thousands of native grasses.

"We put the breakwaters out and then we restore the native habitat, so these grasses that you see us planting are actually holding that sediment in place," said Josh Kurtz, Secretary of Maryland DNR.

The project took about two years to complete but will preserve the shoreline and protect the historic Columbia beach for decades.

"My 14-year-old is growing up here at the beach," Keas said. "He likes to fish, swim. For him and his generation, this is important."

Kurtz says building more living shorelines is crucial to protecting our communities and the Chesapeake Bay.

Community leaders looking to stop erosion can reach out to the Department of Natural Resources for help.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.