BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of the Environment on Tuesday received an EPA grant to enhance state wetlands with a “living shoreline” approach, placing plants, stones and other materials to restore coastal habitats.

The state was awarded $144,202 through the EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grant program.

“Wetlands are a primary component of Maryland’s environment, which contribute greatly to the state’s ability to protect water quality and natural resources,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Diana Esher. “This award focuses on improving shoreline stabilization to help protect Maryland’s 3,000 miles of coastlines that are vulnerable to climate change.”

On its website, the EPA says living shorelines can reduce erosion and, compared to physical structures such as bulkheads and sea walls, improve the ecosystem. Restoring wetlands can also reduce wave heights in coastal areas that are susceptible to climate change, the agency says.

CBS Baltimore Staff