Coastal Community Resiliency Study for Hoopersville
Hoopersville is a small island in southwest Dorchester County, also known as Middle Hoopers Island. It is one of three islands that make up the Hoopers Island complex. Residents of this community refer to it as simply “Hoopersville”. This small island has more than 13 miles of shoreline, with the western side bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the eastern side bordered by the Honga River. This community is a microcosm of what is happening throughout the County and in coastal Maryland. As the sea level rises, residents over the past five years have seen an accelerated diminishing of marshes, loss of trees to salt water intrusion, and more frequently flooded roads.
Given its vulnerability to nuisance flooding, storm surge, erosion, and sea level rise, the County in partnership with the community group Friends of Honga River has been awarded a State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grant for a Coastal Community Resiliency Study for Hoopersville, to develop strategies to mitigate the impact of nuisance flooding, storm surge, erosion and projected sea level rise.
The study will rely on the relationship within the close-knit community to incorporate community knowledge and provide an ecological assessment of the lands, marshes, and shoreline as well as evaluate the risk to the built environment. The analysis will provide the understanding, cost considerations and scientific basis to identify on-the-ground implementation projects such as marsh restoration, shoreline stabilization and enhancement, storm water drainage, habitat restorations, infrastructure planning and adaptations options for private properties to reduce flood impacts between now and 2050. The study will also serve as basis to engage residents about potential long term strategy options.
Dorchester County has adopted the 2017-2022 updated Hazard Mitigation Plan. The DNR Grant for advanced flood mitigation planning is intended to implement that plan, and develop strategies and concept designs for flood mitigation projects to achieve the following:
Integrate flood protection measures into the County’s built environment, in the area of Hoopersville, to minimize adverse impacts on the population and private property, while preserving water access and views.
Provide multiple barriers to incrementally increase protection against sea level rise and major storms over time (immediate flood protection measures that can be adapted to future demand, off-shore barriers etc.).
While the concepts and designs may be specific to the Hoopersville area, the long term objective is to define tools and strategies that could be applicable to other low lying areas of the County.