This page provides an overview of the steps Maryland is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

On April 20, 2007, Governor Martin O'Malley established the Maryland Commission on Climate Change and directed the Commission to create a Climate Action Plan including measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change (Executive Order 01.01.2007.07). The 2007 executive order established the Adaptation and Response Working Group within the Commission to develop the adaptation portions of the state's Climate Action Plan. Maryland’s Climate Action Plan includes two climate change adaptation plans that are currently being used to guide state-level adaptation planning efforts.

The first plan, titled Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change, Phase I: Sea-level rise and coastal storms, was published on September 12, 2008.  The 2008 plan makes up Chapter 5 of Maryland’s Climate Action Plan, and addresses the effects of sea-level rise and coastal storms on existing and future built environment and infrastructure; the economy; human health, safety and welfare; and natural resources. It also makes recommendations to state lawmakers and policy-makers for strategies to mitigate impacts from sea-level rise and coastal storms.

The second plan, titled Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change, Phase II: building societal, economic, and ecological resilience, was published on January 24, 2011.  The 2011 plan addresses changes in precipitation patterns and increased temperature, and the likely resulting impacts on 6 sectors: human health, agriculture, forest and terrestrial ecosystems, bay and aquatic ecosystems, water resources, and population growth and infrastructure. It details the findings and recommendations of the Adaptation and Response Working Group and the Scientific and Technical Working Group on each of the 6 sectors. For each sector, the working groups assessed climate change vulnerabilities and recommended adaptation strategies for the state.

In 2012 Governor O’Malley directed all state agencies to consider the risk of sea-level rise, flooding and extreme weather in the construction or reconstruction of state buildings and facilities (Executive Order 01.01.2012.29, Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction). The 2012 executive order also calls for new and reconstructed state owned structures to be elevated two or more feet above the 100-year base flood elevation.

Governor O'Malley expanded the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s membership, mission, and responsibilities by executive order in 2014 (Executive Order 01.01.2014.14, Strengthening Climate Action in Maryland). The Maryland Legislature codified the Commission through legislation in 2015 (SB0258/HB514, An Act Concerning Maryland Commission on Climate Change). This legislation continues the work of the commission and requires each state agency to review its planning, regulatory, and fiscal programs to more fully integrate emissions reductions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change into agency operations.

(Research last updated May 1, 2014; Click here for a description of our methodology.)

 

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress of states in implementing their adaptation plans, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 

 

 

 
View State Adaptation Plan Status
View All Completed State Goals
 
 

Sector Adaptation Goals in Progress or Completed

Get a quick view of the progress Maryland is making to prepare for climate change in different areas below. The first number includes goals in progress or completed in both of Maryland's state adaptation plans.  The second number reflects the total number of goals in each area. For a more detailed look at progress click here or click on one of the sector buttons below. 

Completed Goals from the Agriculture Plan

Completed Goals from the Biodiversity Plan

Completed Goals from the Coasts/Oceans Plan

Completed Goals from the Emergency Preparedness Plan

Completed Goals from the Forestry Plan

Completed Goals from the Infrastructure Plan

Completed Goals from the Public Health Plan

Completed Goals from the Water Plan

 

 

State Law and Policy

Resource Name Resource Type Date
HB0514/SB0258 Maryland Commission on Climate Change Law and Governance June 1, 2015
MD Executive Order 01.01.2014.14: Strengthening Climate Action in Maryland Law and Governance November 19, 2014
Maryland HB 118: Bay Acidification Bill Law and Governance May 5, 2014
Maryland HB 615: Coast Smart Council Law Law and Governance May 5, 2014
Maryland Forest Preservation Act of 2013 Law and Governance October 1, 2013
Climate Change and "Coast Smart" Construction (Maryland Executive Order 01.01.2012.29) Law and Governance December 28, 2012
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Policy: “Building Resilience to Climate Change” Law and Governance October 15, 2010
Maryland's Living Shoreline Protection Act of 2008 (HB 973) Law and Governance April 22, 2008
Maryland Executive Order 01.01.2007.07 Law and Governance April 20, 2007

State Agency Plans

Resource Name Sector(s) Covered Date
Maryland Coastal Resiliency Assessment Coastal, Frontline Communities March 2016
Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan - Chapter 8: Adaptation Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Forestry, Land use and built environment, Public health, Water resources October 8, 2013
PlanMaryland (MD 2011 Executive Order 01.01.2011.22) Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment December 19, 2011
Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change - Phase II: Building societal, economic, and ecological resilience Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Forestry, Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment, Public health, Water resources January 2011
Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change - Phase I: Sea-level rise and coastal storms Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Forestry, Insurance, Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment, Public health, Tourism and recreation, Transportation July 2008

Local and Regional Plans

Resource Name Date
Baltimore's Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3) October 15, 2013
Transportation Elements of the City of Baltimore Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3) October 2013
Baltimore Climate Action Plan (Maryland) January 15, 2013
Annapolis, Maryland Comprehensive Plan October 5, 2009
Sea Level Rise: Technical Guidance for Dorchester County, Maryland October 2008
Somerset County, Maryland: Rising Sea Level Guidance September 24, 2008

More Featured Resources

Resource Name Resource Category Date
Adapting to Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: A Maryland Statewide Survey, Fall 2014 Education and Outreach September 15, 2014
Updating Maryland's Sea-Level Rise Projections Assessments June 26, 2013
Maryland Climate Change and "Coast Smart" Construction (Executive Order 01.01.2012.29) – Application to Transportation Infrastructure and Facilities Law and Governance December 28, 2012
Maryland Update to the Governor and General Assembly Monitoring and Reporting January 2010
Climate Action Plan: Interim Report to the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly Planning January 14, 2008
Maryland Coastal Atlas Data and tools
 

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