RCE Salisbury - 2022

Adopting to a Changing Climate in Delmarva
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Adopting to a Changing Climate in Delmarva
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Salisbury
Contributing organization(s) : 
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Salisbury University Henson School of Science
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Brittany Foutz
Organizational Affiliation: 
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution; Salisbury University; Assateague State Park
Brian Polkinghorn
Organizational Affiliation: 
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution; Salisbury University
Format of project: 
In-person Facilitation
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, August 8, 2022
Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act, (TSCA) amongst others.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Salisbury University
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Target Audience:
Community, Higher
Department of Natural Resources; Local NGOs
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Eastern Shore began the twenty-first century with strong growth across multiple economic indicators. The region gained jobs at double the rate of the rest of the state from 2001 to 2007 while also outpacing the state in net business creation and keeping pace in wage growth. However, there are more people experiencing poverty now than there were 30 years ago. Maryland’s poverty rate is 19 percent higher than it was in 1990 – a year that the U.S. economy entered a recession – and there are nearly 200,000 more Marylanders trying to get by on incomes below the federal poverty line. Nearly every county in the state has a higher poverty rate than it had in 1990. While unemployment rates have continued to decline since the 2008 recession, wages often are not high enough to support a family. However, Maryland has a history of supporting effective programs that help lift people out of poverty. Working together, the state can do even better. Maryland is working strongly to support efforts to address the state’s many unmet needs and invest in the success of all Marylanders.

The State of Maryland has an estimated population of 6,052,177 people based on the most recent US census calculations. When broken down into regional populations, the Eastern Shore of Maryland region includes the following nine counties: Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset. The sparsely populated counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland have a combined population of 454,889 or 13% of the state population.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The core area in the region constitutes the “shore counties” or those that reside either within or on the Chesapeake Bay (watershed) and along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This includes all of the counties in Delaware, Maryland, and nineteen of the forty counties in Virginia. These physical locations are being subjected to the quickest increases in climate change activities and the poorest residents in these locales will experience severe detrimental impact on their quality of life.

SDG 4 - Quality Education

Secondly, the citizens of the Delmarva Peninsula, by and large, have lower levels of educational attainment and lower incomes. RCE Salisbury will focus in part on communities in these areas that experience the highest high school dropout rates where the social reproduction of poverty is endemic.

SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

The most vulnerable members of this region are in the crosshairs of climate change and educational disadvantage. Both will lead to increased social conflict and with limited resources and limited planning the consequences are dire. These dynamics will impact the foundational resources that people and the institutions built on these resources - depending on for survival, security, and prosperity.
July, 2022
Water is an important aspect in considering climate resilience as well as improving living conditions for all residents. Also, a cleaner Wicomico River would provide a boost to the city’s economy and would have many positive environmental impacts. Salisbury, which contains 13.87 square miles of land, is at risk of sea-level
rise, flooding, and erosion along waterways. Sea-level rise can result in many hazards for coastal regions, including increased flooding, back-flooding of stormwater infrastructure, and disruption to coastal industries as well as infrastructure development. Another problem sea-level rise can have is overwhelming drainage systems which can lead to a sewer overflow. While these issues can have devastating effects, there are ways to help mitigate these issues to better help the city.
● To identify and connect practitioners working on climate adaptation in the region, especially since there has been significant turnover in the past couple of years.

● To establish a shared understanding of what’s happening on climate adaptation in Delmarva, and to identify and strengthen connections between the various efforts.

● Provide for peer-to-peer learning through exchanging information about similar adaptation efforts and challenges

● To explore ways to share expertise and/or work collaboratively to advance climate adaptation in the region.

● To initiate a discussion about more effectively positioning practitioners to obtain infrastructure funding to address adaptation challenges in Delmarva.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
This informal gathering was an excellent opportunity for individuals actively working on climate resilience activities in Delmarva to gather in person, share the resilience efforts they are working on, and explore collaboration opportunities.
Size of academic audience: 
50 people
One outcome of the meeting was the coordination of several low-cost rural climate response projects here on the shore that will bring Salisbury University students boots on-the-ground climate action work.
Lessons learned: 
Participants narrowed down on the economic impact of having a cleaner Wicomico River running through the city. It will give the city a clean image while boosting the property and use values of the Wicomico River. The health of the Wicomico River and the Chesapeake Bay has a large impact on the economic health of the region. They also focused on environmental justice initiatives such as having Environmental Justice Community Ambassadors. Salisbury needs to ensure that in low-income and minority communities, water pollution is mitigated and drinking water quality standards are maintained. Critical vulnerabilities, frustration with the grant cycles, identification of vulnerable populations and best addressing these individuals for the grant cycles, and more were further lessons discussed at the conclusion of the facilitation.
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: