The Environmental Sustainability chapter covers a wide range of issues impacting the City’s environment from tree canopy to waste reduction. At the core of all issue is an attention to resilience, that is, the ability of the City and all residents to sustain and adapt to the environmental and social impacts of climate change. The impacts are increasing in frequency and magnitude rapidly and Annapolis is particularly vulnerable to them, which adds particular urgency to the many of the goals of this chapter.
Develop a comprehensive and equitable approach to resilience that is relevant to all residents.
- Adoption of a Resilience Plan with annual updates on implementation.
- Participation by residents from all Wards in the development of the Resilience Plan.
- The CIP includes resilience-related projects in all Wards.
Action 1: For the purposes of ensuring equity in resilience investments, utilize the definition of Sensitive Area provided herein that includes not only natural resource areas of significant value but also areas deficient in ecological value. Based on this definition, a place with both high impervious coverage and lacking in tree canopy would be deemed a Sensitive Area.
Action 2: Complete the City’s draft Resilience Plan and ensure that it includes an Equitable Resilience Framework.
Action 3: Create a standard and strategy for “resilience hubs” based on the Maryland Energy Administration funding guidelines that can be implemented within the City’s most socially vulnerable communities.
Action 4: Utilize the creekshed small area plans recommended in the Land Use element as a means to identify specific opportunities for neighborhood-scale resilience investments.
Action 5: Work with Anne Arundel County to leverage the full capabilities of the newly created Resilience Authority to implement projects that not only protect the City from sea level rise and other climate change impacts but also improve ecological functions.
Expand the City’s tree canopy particularly in communities most impacted by climate change.
- Increase the City’s tree canopy to 50% of its total land area by 2036 and ensure a net gain of at least 1% each year to meet this goal.
Action 1: Work with NOAA or other partners to conduct a citywide surface heat mapping that will augment existing data on heat islands based on impervious coverage and tree canopy.
Action 2: Revise the City’s tree mitigation policy to require a 5-year maintenance agreement rather than a perpetual easement to expand those areas where new canopy may be created.
Action 3: Update the Street Tree Master Plan to include priority areas feasible for new tree planting in the public realm.
Action 4: Initiate a pilot planting program for Minority-owned businesses based in the communities where the planting is targeted.
Action 5: Develop soil amendment and watering guidelines for new street trees to enhance the survival rate of new street trees.
Action 6: Initiate a community tree planting initiative in partnership with the Watershed Stewards Academy modelled after Replant Anne Arundel program.
Action 7: Create an online dashboard for tracking the City’s tree canopy year by year to ensure the goal of 50% coverage is met by 2036.
Action 8: Utilize fees collected through Critical Area mitigation to offset the costs of new tree planting elsewhere in the City.
Action 9: Explore opportunities to plant trees on HACA properties and Anne Arundel County schools and libraries within the City limits for the purposes of meeting mitigation requirements and the general tree canopy goals. (Also listed under goal LU 6 in the Land Use element)
Reinforce vulnerable shoreline areas by addressing the root causes of soil erosion and natural landscape degradation.
- A comprehensive erosion control and stabilization plan is commenced at Truxtun Park by 2023 and completed by 2025
- At least two living shoreline, stream restoration, or oyster bed restoration projects are implemented by the City or local partners every year.
Action 1: Conduct a flood resilience study for the Eastport Peninsula to identify feasible strategies for flood mitigation.
Action 2: Complete the restoration of Hawkins Cove in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA), and other community stakeholders.
Action 3: Develop a comprehensive slope stabilization and erosion control plan for Truxtun Park’s waterfront areas including priority actions.
Action 4: Work with local partners such as Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Anne Arundel County, Severn River Association, Arundel Rivers Federation, Severn Riverkeeper Program, Spa Creek Conservancy, and the Watershed Stewards Academy, to augment the number of living shorelines, stream restorations, wetland restorations/creations, and oyster bed restorations/creations, both within the City and along riparian areas that impact City waterways.
Action 5: Conduct an assessment of existing wetlands within the City which includes opportunity areas for wetland restoration and expansion.
Action 6: Expanding on a pilot program developed by Anne Arundel County, explore the feasibility of a buyout program for flood-prone properties in Annapolis that could be converted into public waterfront open space.
Action 7: Utilize natural shoreline solutions over grey infrastructure to create shoreline resilience to climate change impacts; and educate the public regarding the resilience value of both creating natural shorelines and retaining vegetation, particularly trees, on waterfront properties.
Promote a coordinated approach to food access that ensures all residents have access to high quality foods, and particularly foods which are locally harvested.
- Elimination of food deserts by 2025
- At least four (4) pop-up events focused on local and/or healthy food organized annually within the City
Action 1: As part of the City’s Resilience Plan, create a map of food deserts and/or healthy food access gaps to help prioritize interventions.
Action 2: Work with public and private partners to create new opportunities for farmers markets and other healthy food pop-up events within food deserts and other socially vulnerable communities.
Action 3: Work with Parks and Recreation staff, Master Gardeners program, and/or other partners to create more opportunities for community gardening education, creation, and stewardship.
Action 4: Work with Parks and Recreation staff and other partners to expand opportunities for recreational fishing and crabbing.
Expand the City’s biodiversity particularly in areas that currently have limited ecological value.
- All new and improved parks and open spaces in the City include plantings or other natural features that will increase biodiversity.
Action 1: Utilize the Environmental Enhancement areas identified in the Land Use element of this plan as a means of prioritizing new planting and restoration that can increase biodiversity.
Action 2: Develop management guidelines for conservation easements, and particularly in regard to parcels identified as Environmental Enhancement areas.
Action 3: Prioritize potential conservation easements that are contiguous with existing conservation areas.
Action 4: Update the City’s Street Tree Master Plan to include new guidelines for tree preservation within private setback areas that contribute to streetscape canopy.
Action 5: Promote the City’s Pollinator Friendly Garden and Certified Wildlife Area programs to increase the population of pollinating insects and birds and wildlife habitat.
Action 6: Work with the Deputy City Manager of Resilience and Sustainability, Department of Recreation and Parks, Annapolis Environmental Commission, and other partners to create a comprehensive stewardship guide and training program for city residents aimed at preserving and expanding biodiverse areas.
Action 7: Explore amendments to the City’s site design standards that will increase biodiversity.
Adopt a comprehensive approach to minimizing the City’s carbon footprint.
- Achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and a 50% reduction by 2030.
- A city government greenhouse gas emissions inventory is completed by 2022, and a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory is completed by 2023.
Action 1: Implement the recommendations of the City’s compost study, including a curbside compost pilot project and the development of a City-managed composting facility.
Action 2: Continue to transition the City’s fleet to electric vehicles with the goal of being completely electric by 2030.
Action 3: Transition the City’s transit fleet to electric vehicles by 2030.
Action 4: Work with BGE and other partners to establish more public car-charging stations in Annapolis, particularly downtown, as well as incentives to establish charging stations at existing multifamily and commercial developments. (also listed in the Transportation element under goal T 3)
Action 5: Update the City’s green building requirements to include new standards for energy efficiency, water efficiency, and site design.
Action 6: Develop planting guidance for maximum carbon absorption in both public and private development projects.
Action 7: Complete inventories of greenhouse gas emissions from both city government and community level sources.
Action 8: Provide incentives to include solar power and green roofs in all new development projects and for community members.
Action 9: Require all new City facilities to include solar power.