Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Resource Assessment of Atlantic Coast Areas

contact: Stephen Van Ryswick (   
    Mineral resources:
  • Sand and gravel
  • Shell deposits
  • Clay deposits
    Water resources:
  • Ground water
  • Streams
  • Coastal bays
  • Atlantic Ocean
    Land Resources:
  • Farmlands
  • Forests
  • Wetlands
  • Beaches
  • Parks

Maryland's Atlantic CoastMaryland's Atlantic coast is rich in natural resources. We prize these natural assets for their intrinsic ecological, industrial and recreational value. Mineral resources from this region are used as construction materials, and in agriculture and aquiculture. Water resources include habitats for wildlife, shellfish and fin fish, and sources of potable and irrigation water. Land resources are managed as wildlife habitats and for agriculture. We also enjoy the recreational benefits of these priceless resources. It would be impossible to hike, fish, play, hunt, boat, surf or swim without them.

Natural resources are derived from the earth, the source of materials that form them, and from the sun, which supplies the energy to shape them. When we use natural resources, we often remove materials from the environment, such as water, minerals, or wood. We also add materials to the environment, like pollutants, and alter natural energy pathways. Our activities have a profound influence on the processes that produce the resources we value.

Natural resources must be used and maintained wisely. Intelligent management starts with an understanding of the origins, characteristics, and functions within and between the natural systems that generate and sustain our resources. This knowledge helps us determine how we change these systems when we interact with them. Maryland Geological Survey conducts many studies that explore the evolution, current state, and behavior of geologic environments that comprise our natural resources.

Sand is an important resource that is found on Maryland's Atlantic coast. Sand is used in the construction industry, and for restoring and protecting eroding beaches. The Coastal and Estuarine Geology Program at MGS is currently assessing potential offshore sand resources.

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