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St. Michaels Journal: Quarterly Newsletter

TALK OF THE TOWN NEWSLETTER

A Newsletter of the Town of St. Michaels, Maryland – Fall 2023 Edition
A Newsletter of the Town of St. Michaels, Maryland – Summer 2023 Edition
A Newsletter of the Town of St. Michaels, Maryland – Winter/Spring 2023 Edition
A Newsletter of the Town of St. Michaels, Maryland – Fall 2022 Edition
A Newsletter of the Town of St. Michaels, Maryland – Summer 2022 Edition

St. Michaels Maps Ambitious Schedule to Confront Rising Sea Levels

St Michaels Maryland West Harbor Road Flooding photoThe Town of St. Michaels is moving forward with proactive measures to mitigate rising tides. The Commissioners of St. Michaels have recently approved a set of ambitious recommendations from the newly empaneled Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission. The CC/SLR Commission has identified priority projects based on long range predictions outlined in a report from GMB Engineers/Architects. The study predicts increasing tide levels over the next 30 years that will cause serious flooding along the Town’s waterfronts.

CC/SLR Chairman Roy Myers presented the aggressive project schedule to the Town Commissioners on August 25th. The Commissioners have approved the plan and will be working with the CC/SLR Commission to secure the necessary funding and grants to move the plan forward. Engineering studies will be underway over the next year and will be followed by the following specific projects:

2023 to 2025 Projected Timeframe

• Construction of E. Chew/W. Harbor Road Improvements
• Begin Phased construction of Honeymoon Bridge, Harbor walkways, Burns, Mill and
  Cherry Streets Master Plan.
• Grant and Engineering Design completed for Muskrat Park and Church Street area.
• In conjunction with adjacent properties, complete strategies/plans for Mulberry Street,
  Westside Harbor residents, Carpenter Street and San Domingo Town residents.

2025 to 2030 Projected Timeframe

• Complete Construction of Muskrat Park Improvements
• Complete Engineering Studies for Mulberry Street and Carpenter Street
• Complete construction of Master Plan – Construction for Honeymoon Bridge, Harbor
  walkways, Burns, Mill and Cherry Streets
• Complete Engineering Plans for San Domingo/Back Creek harbor side of St. Michaels.
• Assist Westside Harbor residents in their plans as appropriate.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A COPY OF THE GMB STUDY, CONTACT THE TOWN ADMINISTRATOR ROB STRAEBEL AT: rstraebel@stmichaelsmd.gov or more information HERE.

Advanced Assistance Grant Flood Mitigation Study from FEMA, administered by MDEM, Town of St. Michaels, MD – Cherry Street/Honeymoon Bridge-Harbor Walkway Presentation on January 26, 2024
The Town of St. Michaels and the Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission (CC/SLRC) have received an Advanced Assistance grant form the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), administered by the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM), to address the sea level rise and stormwater flooding projected in our Town’s future. The first phase of this study is to develop an overall concept plan for the Cherry St./Honeymoon Bridge-Harbor Walkway, Burns St., and Mill St. Area. The Town has hired Rauch Inc. to assist in completing this study. Their study will develop an overall concept plan for this area in the first half of this year. Then building on this concept plan, Rauch will complete the detailed design and construction drawings in the second half of the year.

On January 25th, 2024, Rauch Inc. and Annapolis Landscape Architects made an initial presentation to brief the residents of Cherry Street/Honeymoon Bridge-Harbor Walkway on the study, receive their input and allow them to participate from inception of this project. Please view the meeting presentation by clicking HERE

On January 31st, 2024, Rauch Inc. and Annapolis Landscape Architects met with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum to provide them with an initial presentation and obtain their input from inception of this project. Please view the meeting presentation by clicking HERE.

Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission BayLand Presentation at Community Input Session on March 16, 2023
Anna Johnson, Project Engineer with BayLand Consultants & Designers, Inc., held a community input session with a power point presentation on “San Domingo Creek and West Side Stormwater and Harbor Infrastructure Assessment and Flood Mitigation Study”. This informative presentation can be found HERE. BayLand is interested in your feedback regarding flooding concerns, areas of peak interest, and any mitigation solutions you would like to see implemented. Please visit this link, complete the attached form and return it to Anna Johnson, PE at ajohnson@baylandinc.com.

San Domingo Creek and Westside Stormwater and Flood Mitigation Study – Vulnerability Assessment Presentation on May 11, 2023
The Town received a briefing on the San Domingo Creek and Westside Stormwater and Flood Mitigation Study from BayLand consultant and Project Engineer, Anna Johnson. She reviewed with the CC/SLRC and public their vulnerability assessment for the at-risk flooding areas on the San Domingo Creek side of St. Michaels. Ms. Johnson will use this information and feedback to move forward with this project and plan to meet again with the Town and public on August 10, 2023 at the 5:00pm meeting. 

San Domingo Creek and Westside Stormwater and Flood Mitigation Study – Mitigation Strategies Discussion on August 10, 2023
Anna Johnson, BayLand consultant and Project Engineer, presented BayLand’s draft mitigation strategies for the San Domingo Creek side of St. Michaels at risk flooding areas to the CC/SLRC and the Town residents. The CC/SLRC will use this updated information to make decisions toward designating which of BayLand’s Conceptual Design will be carried out to 30% Construction Design Plans. We have attached Ms. Johnson’s Progress draft of this project. Please note that this is a DRAFT and will continue to be modified as the project progresses to completion. Click here for the Progress DRAFT of the St. Michaels San Domingo Creek and West Side Stormwater and Harbor Infrastructure Assessment and Flood Mitigation Study. For more detailed explanation of this Progress Draft, please view the meeting attached here.

San Domingo Creek and Westside Stormwater and Flood Mitigation Study – Draft Report and 30% Design Options Reviewed on November 9, 2023
BayLand’s Anna Johnson, presented their latest draft report and two option designs for the proposed Back Creek Park living shoreline on the San Domingo Creek side of St. Michaels to the CC/SLRC. They have chose option two to carry forward to 30% Construction Design Plans. Please note that this is a DRAFT and will continue to be modified as the project progresses to completion. Click here for the DRAFT REPORT and TWO DESIGN OPTIONS of the St. Michaels San Domingo Creek and West Side Stormwater and Harbor Infrastructure Assessment and Flood Mitigation Study. For more detailed explanation of this draft, please view the meeting attached here.

San Domingo Creek and Westside Stormwater and Flood Mitigation Study – Final Draft Report and 30% Design Option Presented to the Commissioners on December 13, 2023
BayLand’s coastal engineer and project manager, Anna Johnson, presented their final draft report and 30% design option proposed for Back Creek Park living shoreline on the San Domingo Creek side of St. Michaels to the Commissioners of St. Michaels, CC/SLRC, and our community. Click here for the FINAL DRAFT POWERPOINT PRESENTATION, FINAL REPORT, and 30% DESIGN OPTION. For a more detailed explanation of this presentation, please view the COSM meeting attached here.

GMB Community Input Session Open House for West Harbor Road/East Chew Avenue Sea Level Rise and Stormwater Flooding Conceptual Design on March 30, 2023
Brent Jett, P.E., CFM, CC-P, Sr. Project Manager/Coastal Resiliency Group Leader (and author of the initial Harbor and Stormwater Infrastructure Study) along with other Architects/Engineers with George, Miles & Buhr, LLC (GMB), held an open house on “Resiliency Through Restoration: West Harbor Road/East Chew Avenue Flood Mitigation Feasibility Assessment and Conceptual Design” to allow the community to ask questions and provide crucial community input, while taking time to better understand this study. An aerial view depicting the area of interest for this study may be viewed HERE. GMB is interested in your feedback regarding flooding concerns, areas of peak interest, and any mitigation solutions you would like to see implemented. Please visit this link, complete the attached survey and return it to Brent Jett, PE at bjett@gmbnet.com.

GMB Community Input/Feedback Session for West Harbor Road/East Chew Avenue Flood Mitigation Study was held on July 13, 2023
GMB developed two design concepts for the West Harbor Road/East Chew Avenue area which they shared with the community and received their feedback toward moving forward with this project. Below we have attached several documents related to this project for your review. Please join us at our next meeting on August 15th when GMB will share the findings of their stormwater evaluation and more discussions will be held regarding proposed options. 
Brent Jett’s Power Point Presentation
West Harbor Boat Slip Parking Memo by Mr. Glackin
West Harbor Parking Survey Results by Mr. Glackin
July 13, 2023 CC/SLRC Minutes Summary by Mr. Glackin

GMB Presentation for West Harbor Road/East Chew Avenue Flood Mitigation Study to the Commissioners of St. Michaels, CC/SLRC, and Community at the COSM Working and Legislative Session held on December 5, 2023
GMB presented their Resiliency Through Restoration: West Harbor Road/East Chew Avenue Flood Mitigation Feasibility Assessment and Conceptual Design to the Commissioners for their approval. Click here for the FINAL REPORT.  
Brent Jett’s Power Point Presentation


St. Michaels Preparing for Nuisance Flooding

Andrew Thaler, from the Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission and developer of the St. Michaels Floodwatch, and Kate Vogel, from Maryland DNR and MyCoast web application, have presented both the Floodwatch project and MyCoast app during Lunch and Learn sessions at both the Talbot County Library St. Michaels and Easton branches. More recently, they were interviewed by WBOC’s Lauren Miller to explain how their interactive technology is helping to prepare and educate our communities about nuisance flooding along the Eastern Shore. Please take a moment to watch this interview by clicking on the attached link HERE.

St. Michaels Awarded Flooding & Stormwater Mitigation Project Grant
The Town of St. Michaels has been awarded another large grant to tackle the threat of rising sea levels. Working with the Maryland Department of Emergency Management, the Town has secured a $210,000 federal grant. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved this grant money for the Town’s Harbor Flooding and Stormwater Mitigation Project.

This federal grant follows two state grants amounting to $115,000. These grants from the Department of Natural Resources are currently funding concept designs for two flood-prone areas.

The grants are the results of efforts by the Town’s Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission which was empaneled in the summer of 2021. Commission Chair Roy Myers says, “This latest grant builds upon our current efforts to complete the concept designs for flooding mitigation in our main harbor areas. We are grateful to MDEM and FEMA for their support and are looking forward to working with them on the implementation of this grant.”

St. Michaels Commissioners President David Breimhurst says, “This is terrific news for St. Michaels and for Talbot County. St. Michaels is home to the County’s second largest employer and is the primary source of the County’s multi-million-dollar tourism industry. Protecting our Town from the threat of sea level rise is our top priority. We congratulate and thank Mr. Myers and his commission for the many hours of hard work that have paid off with these significant grants.” The CC/SLR Commission’s work has become a vital element of the town’s long range plans and will help shape the Town’s 2025 Comprehensive Plan. The Commission has been reaching out to the public for guidance and is providing updated information. Recently, the state Department of Natural Resources partnered with the CC/SLRC, linking its online  MYCOAST  tool with the St Michaels Floodwatch website. The Floodwatch interactive tool was created by Commission member Andrew Thaler and can be found online at http://stmichaelsfloodwatch.com. There is also a link on the town website, stmichaelsmd.gov Residents can use the tool to understand how their Talbot County properties might be affected by sea level rise projections. Roy Myers says, “It is a graphic view of why the town needs to plan today for tomorrow’s sea level rise and stormwater flooding.”

July 25, 2023, Press Release:  Secretary Strickland Visits St. Michaels; Tours flood-prone areas (click to read more)

Town Office and Police Station Study Updates

May 9, 2023 Public Input Session for Proposed Town Hall/Police Department Building
April 26,2023 Presentation of Conceptual Plans for the New Town Hall/Police Department Building
February 23, 2022 Town Office and Police Station Study Report

CC/SLRC

The Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Commissioners of St. Michaels, with an ex-officio member from the Town Commissioners and the Planning Commission. Preference will be given to Town Residents on the Commission. Membership shall consist of representatives of the Waterways Management Advisory Board, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, waterfront business owners, and town residents, both waterfront and non-waterfront. The Panel meets as frequently as needed, but no less than once every three months.

The Commissioners have been studying Climate Change and Sea Level Rise and see the effects on St. Michaels. Chapter 14 of the St. Michaels Comprehensive Plan 2015, entitled Climate Resilience, recognizes the challenges associated with being a coastal community on the east coast with low sea-level, high water tables, and hurricane risks, and recognizes that it is crucial that the Town improve its resiliency measures, and as such have created this commission.

Climate Change/Sea Level Rise AGENDA, February 10, 2022

ZOOM MEETINGS
The Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Commission will hold Zoom meetings until further notice. If you have not used Zoom, please take a few minutes to download the free app to your computer or smart phone prior to joining the meeting, click HERE.

Join meeting by computer or smart phone by clicking link below:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3264261778
Meeting ID: 326 426 1778

Join by phone with audio only:
+1 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 326 426 1778

Harbor and Stormwater Infrastructure Study
To read the study click HERE.
The Town of St. Michaels, MD received a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grant through the State of Maryland Community Resilience Program to perform an analysis of the St. Michaels harbor and stormwater infrastructure, while considering projected sea level rise over the next thirty years. The study’s objective was to develop viable, cost efficient strategies to increase the town’s resiliency relative to both rainfall and tidal induced flooding. Eight areas of study were determined, and six flooding and sea-level rise projection maps were created as part of the study scope of work. The critical study areas were evaluated within these flooding and sea-level rise scenarios to evaluate risk and define future City mitigation and adaptation efforts. Importantly, this report outlines the Next Steps our Town might take to prepare for and put plans in place to begin these mitigation efforts. The report was prepared by George, Miles & Buhr, LLC.

April to November—Farmers Market

Market

Click here to watch a video about the St. Michaels Farmers Market

Follow the Farmers Market on Facebook

When: Saturdays starting in April, 2024, from 8:30am-11:30am

Where: 206 S. Talbot Street St. Michaels MD (between Knotty Living and Pemberton Pharmacy)

Saturday rain or shine, April through November. Public parking lot next to Pemberton’s. Local fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, flowers, booze, and more, all grown or made within a 60-mile radius. Our vendors are all eagerly awaiting the opening of the Market season and we might even have a few new vendors in our Pop-up Tent…..come check it out.

It takes a village and WE NEED YOU!
EMAIL: stmichaelsmarket@gmail.com

March 2, 2024–ChocolateFest


Date: Saturday, March 2, 2024
Website: HERE

The 6th Annual St. Michaels ChocolateFest will include restaurant chefs conjuring up amazing delectable special menu items to showcase chocolate inspired dishes and desserts.

The Chocolate Crawl will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. throughout the town of St. Michaels at participating businesses and restaurants. Chocolate lovers will enjoy shopping throughout town sampling amazing artisan chocolates, desserts, locally crafted wine, beer and spirits. Purchase tasting samples directly from participating Tasting Venues. No tickets required!

Visit the website link at the top of the page for more details regarding the events of the day!

June TBD, 2024—CBMM Antique & Classic Boat Festival and Coastal Arts Fair back to CBMM

CBMM 2023 Antique and Classic Boat Festival Coastal Arts Fair photo taken by George SassDates: Friday & Saturday, Father’s Day Weekend, June TBD, 2024
Fri. 10am – 5pm; Sat., 10 am-5 pm: Sunday, 10 am-3 pm. Entrance included with CBMM general admission – tickets valid for two consecutive days.
Location: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 213 N. Talbot St., St. Michaels, Md.
Ticket Prices and Advanced Tickets: cbmm.org/antiqueandclassic

VIEW EVENT PHOTOS HERE!

Wooden and fiberglass classics, vintage racers, and other antique boats return to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum from June TBD for the 35th Antique & Classic Boat Festival and Coastal Arts Fair.

Hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society, this Father’s Day weekend tradition is one of the largest classic boat shows in the Mid-Atlantic region and annually brings a sense of nostalgia to the Miles River and CBMM’s waterfront campus.

The festival runs from 10am-5pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sunday. For advance tickets and more information, visit cbmm.org/antiqueandclassic.

In addition to the wide range of vessels on display representing a multitude of makers and eras, the Antique & Classic Boat Festival is accompanied by a juried Coastal Arts Fair showcasing vendors whose products, services, and art represent boats, the water, and coastal life.

Driven by the Antique & Classic Boat Society – Chesapeake Bay Chapter’s mission of continuing the legacy of these venerable vessels through preservation, restoration and education, the festival will feature a lineup of 10 seminars on Friday and Saturday highlighting experts, historians, and authors. Other festival highlights include a Field of Dreams for those looking to buy, boat rides, a nautical flea market, and a children’s scavenger hunt, as well as a DJ spinning classic tunes.

This three-day celebration of the past, present, and future of antique and classic boating invites guests to take a step back in time.

Builders represented at the festival typically include Chris-Craft, Lyman, Gar Wood, Elco, Thompson, Trumpy, Owens, Egg Harbor, and other great classic marques. Owners of boats in all phases of restoration in the following classes are expected to participate, as part of a varied collection featuring historic (up to 1918), antique (1919-1942), classic (1943-1975), late classic (1976-1997), and contemporary (any wooden boat built within the last 25 years) examples.

This year’s festival highlights the theme of “Show Us Your First Love,” inviting boat owners to display their boats and share stories about what first launched them on their lifelong love of classic and antique boats.

Two-day admission to the Antique & Classic Boat Festival is $19 for adults; $16 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and retired military with ID; $7 for active military with ID, CBMM members, and children 6–17; and free for children 5 and younger.

In addition to advanced sales online for Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday, tickets will be available at CBMM throughout the festival. No single-day tickets will be sold to this rain or shine event.

Additional free event parking for Saturday’s festivities will be available at St. Michaels Middle/High School, with a complimentary shuttle service to and from CBMM.

REMINDER: For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, including the Antique & Classic Boat Festival and Coastal Arts Fair. Carry-on alcohol from dock or land is prohibited.

For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit CBMM.

July TBD, 2024 — Fireworks in the Harbor

cbmm252024 Fireworks in St. Michaels Harbor! Scheduled for Saturday night July TBD, 2024, shortly after dusk with a rain date on July TBD, 2024. Bring your lawn chairs and find a good spot in town! The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will be open to the public for viewing. Or, come by boat and anchor out in the Miles River! Photo by Graham Scott-Taylor

July 4, 2024, 10 a.m. – Old-Fashioned 4th at St. Michaels Museum

St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square will once again sponsor a traditional Independence Day Celebration, at their Museum located at 201 East Chestnut Street on St. Mary’s Square, featuring their 2024 exhibits “Frederick Douglass’s Years in St. Michaels & Talbot County”. 

The Children’s Parade will kick off the 2024 celebration on Tuesday, July 4, beginning at 10:00am. All children, residents or visitors, are welcome to participate. Patriotic dress is encouraged for children, bicycles, tricycles, wagons, and pets! Following the parade, children will enjoy Magician John Dodge and The Fish Mobile. The parade route will begin at St. Michaels Museum (201 East Chestnut Street) at 10:00am, they will head west to Talbot St., turn north until reaching Willow St. (just past Christ Church), at which time they will continue to Church St. then down Mulberry St. until reaching St. Mary’s Square and arriving back to St. Michaels Museum.

At 11:00am our Traditional Program will begin with Boy Scout Troup 741 raising the flag and leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

A formal program will follow on our Teetotum Porch with a Benediction and patriotic and folk songs by the Royal Oak Musicians.

Featured speaker for this event will be CBMM Curator and Talbot County Councilman Pete Lesher.

St. Michaels Museum will be open after the program, with free admission. Refreshments will be available from the St. Michaels Fire Department. 

Come join us to celebrate our Nation’s Birthday!

August TBD, 2024, 10-5 — CBMM Waterman’s Appreciation Day & Crab Feast

CBMM_WatermensDay_2.jpgDate: Sunday, August TBD, 2024
Location: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM)

GREAT EVENT PHOTOS HERE!

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will host Watermen’s Appreciation Day on Sunday, Aug. TBD, from 10am-5pm on its waterfront campus.

This annual celebration of the men and women who make their living on the Chesapeake Bay and their heritage features a boat docking contest, steamed crabs by the dozen, live music, family activities, and more. Tickets are on sale now at cbmm.org/watermensday.

At Watermen’s Appreciation Day, guests can meet locals who work the water, while enjoying the day’s catch of crabs as well as beer and other regional food and beverages. There will also be a silent auction in the Small Boat Shed, in support of the Talbot Watermen Association (TWA).

This is a fundraising event organized by CBMM in partnership with TWA, with proceeds benefiting both organizations.

“Watermen’s Appreciation Day is our way of giving thanks to all the hard-working watermen and women,” TWA President Jeff Harrison said. “It is an honor to provide Maryland’s Best seafood to all the seafood lovers in Maryland and beyond. Thank you to CBMM for partnering with us these last 12 years.”

The always-spirited watermen’s rodeo is a boat docking contest along the Miles River near CBMM’s 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Bleacher seating will be provided for spectators to enjoy all the action, which begins at noon.Photo of a man Steaming Crabs for the Watermans Appreciation Day photo by George Sass

Also starting at noon, steamed crabs, served by TWA members, will be available for purchase, in addition to hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and more. Crabs will be sold at $35 per dozen and come with two ears of corn.

The Tolchester Beach Bandstand will showcase the music of Bird Dog and the Road Kings. The Eastern Shore favorites start playing at 11am and will provide the soundtrack for the fun throughout the afternoon.

There will be a variety of children’s activities offered throughout the day, including a junior watermen crab race, baiting contest, jigger throw, lawn games, and more. The Phillips Wharf Environmental Center will also be on site with its Fishmobile traveling aquarium.

In addition to the special festivities, guests are encouraged to explore all the exhibitions and historic structures across CBMM’s 18-acre campus, including its working Shipyard that is currently home to several projects spotlighting the construction, care, and preservation of traditional Chesapeake Bay workboats.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the door. Admission is set at $19 for adults ages 18 to 64, $16 for seniors (65+), college students (with ID), and retired military members; $10 for active military members, and $8 for children 6 to 17, with all children 5 years of age and under admitted free.

CBMM members, along with licensed watermen and their immediate families, get discounted admission at $10 per adult and $6 per child ages 6 to 17. All food and beverages are an additional charge.

CBMM Watermens Appreciation Day 2023 photo by George Sass of the Crowds standing behind a Watermens boatFree event parking will be available at St. Michaels Middle/High School, with a complimentary shuttle service to and from CBMM running throughout the day.

For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, including Watermen’s Appreciation Day. Carry-on alcohol from dock or land is also prohibited. Spectator boats wishing to view the competition from the water must remain outside the buoyed channel.

For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.

Photos courtesy of the CBMM by George Sass.