June 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 79 F

$20 Million Secured for Climate Resilience Projects

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and City of Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley have announced the Resilience Authority will invest nearly $20 million in local, state, and federal funding to protect Anne Arundel County’s shorelines, communities, and residents from climate threats like increased flooding, heat waves, seal level rise, and extreme weather events. 

“Climate change is a global problem with local consequences,” said County Executive Pittman. “By creating the Resilience Authority, our goal was not only to accelerate the pace and scale of climate action but to ensure that we are prepared to compete for substantial public and private funding, taking some of the burden off of local taxpayers while investing in the future of our county.”

Funding is slated for infrastructure projects that will address coastal flooding, beach restoration, shoreline erosion, developing green spaces, and supporting the conversion of the county fleet to electric vehicles. Projects are made possible through a combination of sources that include local grants as well as funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and federal appropriations. 

The anticipated impacts of climate change are well documented, and the implications for communities like Anne Arundel County and Annapolis are profound. Significant financial investments will be necessary to enable communities across the county and city to adapt and thrive in the face of these challenges. There is a strong economic case for investing in climate action: making infrastructure more climate-resilient can have a benefit-cost ratio of about 6 to 1.  For every dollar invested, six dollars can be saved, according to the United Nations Panel on Climate Change. 

“We are already seeing the consequences of climate change – both environmental and financial – in our region and we have an obligation to take action now to reduce future impacts,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “The Resilience Authority adds another tool to our toolbox to help us meet the infrastructure needs of the next Century and I am thrilled at how much they have accomplished in such a short time period of time.”

“The Resilience Authority brings together experts in finance, infrastructure, and climate adaptation to design, fund, and efficiently deliver projects for communities, reaching beyond local boundaries and budget constraints,” said Teresa Sutherland, Chairperson for the Board of Directors. “By providing an efficient and effective mechanism for financing projects, the Resilience Authority has the singular purpose of investing in the infrastructure that drives the economy, protects the environment, and ensures a quality of life for generations to come.

“With the expertise that exists within the City and the County and the leadership across Maryland’s state agencies, it is no surprise that we have had some early success in bringing in outside investments to fund the region’s critical infrastructure and community assets at risk from climate change,” said Matthew Fleming, Executive Director for the Resilience Authority of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. “By complimenting the City and County’s ongoing efforts, my hope is that the Resilience Authority will become an invaluable tool for protecting the region’s economy, culture, and natural resources from the impacts of climate change. 

The Resilience Authority of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County is the first multi-jurisdictional authority in the nation established to finance and support infrastructure that will ensure communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change. Governed by a diverse board of directors and led by an executive director, the Resilience Authority works in partnership with the City and the County to identify, secure, and allocate critical financing for climate-related infrastructure projects. 

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