Seeing the lighthouse

Leonardtown’s Brian Robinson, left, and Alison Robinson stand in front of the Piney Point Lighthouse in St. Mary’s County during National Lighthouse Weekend in 2021.

Southern Maryland’s Congressional delegation recently announced $1.93 million for shoreline restoration and coastal resiliency at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park in St. Mary’s County.

In a June 8 release, Rep. Stony Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said the funds would come through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The banks and shoreline area of the Piney Point Museum have been eroding significantly, resulting in 20 feet of the beach lost, according to the release.

With the federal funds, along with a local match of $132,730, St. Mary’s County will construct approximately 1,100 feet of living shoreline and enhance nearly two-thirds of an acre of tidal wetlands to combat ongoing shoreline erosion issues and habitat deficiencies associated with the park.

While the park floods during large storms, both the lagoon side and the historic lighthouse side experience active erosion that threatens the nature of the park and the structures presiding on it, according to the release.

“I was glad to work with my colleagues to grant this funding through the fiscal year 2021 disaster supplemental appropriations package and will continue to work alongside them to address the existential threat posted by climate change to our communities and economy in Maryland’s Fifth District,” Hoyer said.

“I led the successful effort to reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in part because the organization is a key partner in helping Maryland build resiliency in the face of intensifying climate change, and this investment is a prime example of its value,” Cardin said.

“The Piney Point Lighthouse is a historic beacon on the Chesapeake, and its surrounding wetlands are equally important to environmental and cultural conservation,” Van Hollen said. “These funds will help preserve the Lighthouse and Historic Park to ensure their viability for years to come.”