Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Coastal and Environmental Geology Program

The Coastal and Environmental Geology Program realizes that intelligent ecosystem and resource management is based on sound scientific principles and geologic knowledge. The mission of the Program is to investigate environmental and geological issues related to the State’s coastal zones, Piedmont, and western mountains to find solutions that serve Maryland’s residents and responsibly manage the State’s resources. The Program contributes to oyster restoration projects within the Chesapeake Bay, which will lead to a better understanding of bay bottom conditions and how they affect the growth and health of oyster populations. The Program also studies sediment movement in Maryland’s drainages and within the Bay and Atlantic coastal regions. The Coastal and Environmental Geology Program at MGS monitors potential offshore sand resources for use in replenishing our coastal beaches, and analyzes changes in shoreline position over time to quantify erosion and accretion rates along Maryland's shorelines. The Program maps geologic hazards such as earthquakes, sinkholes in the Frederick and Hagerstown valleys and landslides in Allegany and Garrett Counties, as well as mapping areas in western Maryland with potential for natural gas development. The Program maintains seismic stations that monitor earthquakes from both geologic and human sources.