Selsey Road in the Cape Isle of Wight community will receive upgrades to improve resiliency to flooding and erosion from a grant through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

(Feb. 14, 2020) The state and county project to protect  about 1,000 feet of shoreline along Selsey Road in the Cape Isle of Wight community from erosion and other storm-related damage could advance at a quicker pace now that the Worcester County Commissioners have contracted with a title search company.

 Responding to concerns from the Department of Natural Resources about who owns the properties that would be affected by the shoreline restoration project, the commissioners last Tuesday agreed to sign a contract with Wright, Constable & Skeen, which has provided similar services to the DNR in other cases.

The project involves restoring the marsh along a stretch that also protects about 20 homes from flooding during abnormally high tides, but neither the state nor the county can begin the physical aspect of the work until permits can be obtained.

It will be the job of Wright, Constable & Skeen to identify who needs to sign for a permit to be issued.

The project will be done with a $50,000 Community Resilience Grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources awarded in June 2018. Bob Mitchell, director of environmental programs, said that the project was delayed because the department of natural resources wanted to use a different title company than the county. 

“We have decided to just go ahead after talking with DNR staff to go with their recommended title firm to complete this work as to not delay the permitting any longer,” Mitchell said. 

The county is a phase I recipient in the program, meaning that it will receive additional funding for construction after design and permitting are completed. 

Mitchell said that county staff have conducted pre-bids and previously awarded the design contract to Coastline Design for $43,603 in March 2019. 

“This is the future and the future is here,” Mitchell said. “These kinds of projects are going to become more common as we move forward in providing coastal resiliency in Worcester County.”

County Commissioner Bud Church applauded Mitchell for moving the project along. 

“It’s taken quite a while to get to this point,” Church said. “Selsey Road is an area that I represent. It’s under water probably a third of the year.”  

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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