Cape St. Claire planned to restore its eroding shoreline. Too late, county says, sea-level rise washed it away

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Courtesy for ONE TIME USE for building of Cape Beach Pier (JB) Cape St. Claire residents are expressing concern about the construction of a pier on the Magothy River. (Jim Lodico)

Posted April 14, 2020

Cape St. Claire* has spent years planning a shoreline project to restore its eroding beach, only to face a surprise roadblock.

Their community beach isn’t just eroding, part of it is gone — along with waterside building rights known as riparian rights.

The association owns lots once connected by a strip of shoreline. But Anne Arundel County says that strip is gone now, and instead of restoration plans they issued permits for two piers requested by the new waterfront property owners.

Councilwoman Amanda Fiedler, R-Severna Park, said the case will likely set a precedent in a county with 533 miles of shoreline. Many waterfront communities have similar agreements with property owners, she said.

“I think that we could see more of these situations as community beaches erode and get closer to property lines of residents,” she said.

Kate Fritz, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay executive director, said the situation puts an exclamation point on warnings about climate change and sea-level rise. The effects are being felt today and make similar projects to keep land from literally disappearing are now more urgent than ever, she said.

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* Cape St. Claire, a suburb of Annapolis, is a covenanted, unincorporated community as well as a census-designated place in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States.

Source: coastalnewstoday