Van Hollen, Cardin and Hoyer Announce $1.9 Million for Piney Point Lighthouse and Museum Shoreline Restoration in St. Mary’s County
June 07, 2022
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (all D-Md.) announced federal funding of $1,937,953 to improve shoreline restoration and coastal resilience in Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park. This funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund (ECRF) will be directed to the St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation to address ongoing shoreline erosion and issues. flooding and habitat deficiencies associated with the park to better protect this coastal community treasure.
“While climate change contributes to the acceleration of the erosion of our shorelines and prejudice of our ecosystems, we must invest in the preservation of our local resources”, said Senator Van Hollen. “The Piney Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on the Chesapeake and its surrounding wetlands are equally important for environmental and cultural conservation. These funds will help preserve the historic lighthouse and park to ensure their viability for years to come. We will continue to work to protect and invest in the bay as a key driver of regional recreation and economic growth and a key priority for the environment.
“I led the successful effort to reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in part because the organization is a key partner in helping Maryland build resilience in the face of intensifying climate change, and this investment is a an excellent example of its value”, said Senator Cardin. “This grant will help stem the erosion that is increasingly threatening one of Southern Maryland’s most recognizable sites and important cultural centers, ensuring that future generations of local residents and visitors will have the opportunity to experience the unique lighthouse and museum at Piney Point.”
“The funds announced today represent a victory for coastal communities in St. Mary’s County as we strive to make our state and nation more resilient to climate change,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Maryland has been impacted by a growing trend of extreme weather, causing severe storms, flooding and putting our local ecosystem at risk. With this funding, we can make our communities more resilient to the impacts of global warming, recover faster from damage caused by climate change, and protect our precious wildlife. I was pleased to work with my colleagues to provide this funding through the Supplementary Disaster Appropriations program for fiscal year 2021 and will continue to work alongside them to address the existential threat that climate change is taking a toll on our communities and our economy in Maryland’s Fifth District.
The Piney Point Lighthouse and Museum is a six-acre passive marine park located on a peninsula adjacent to the main stem of the Lower Potomac River where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Potomac River. In addition to its appeal as a cultural monument, it attracts considerable resident and tourist traffic during the summer months. The shoreline and riparian area of the Piney Point Museum has eroded significantly resulting in the loss of 20 feet of beach. Although the park is flooded during major storms, the lagoon side and historic lighthouse side are experiencing active erosion that threatens the nature of the park and the structures that preside over it. With these federal funds, along with a local matching of $132,730, St. Mary’s County will provide a resilient, functioning shoreline to the community and build approximately 1,100 feet of living shoreline and improve 0.63 acres of wetland. swamp to combat ongoing coastal erosion and habitat issues. shortcomings associated with the park.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund was created to increase the resilience of coastal communities located in federally declared disaster areas affected by hurricanes and wildfires. The fund supports conservation projects that strengthen natural systems at a scale that will protect coastal communities from future impacts of storms, wildfires and associated natural hazards, while improving fish and wildlife habitats.