Background and Purpose
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified Special Flood Hazard Areas within the boundaries of Calvert County. Special Flood Hazard Areas are subject to periodic inundation which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare.
Floodplains are defined by the Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Where FIRM map boundaries and elevations disagree, elevations prevail. FIRM maps are available from the Department of Planning & Zoning.
Flood Mitigation Planning
The goal and purpose of the Calvert County Flood Mitigation Plan (FMP) is to improve Calvert County’s and its municipalities’ resistance to floods by identifying actions to reduce the impacts of floods to county residents and structures. The FMP examines historical flood events and identifies the causes of those events. In addition, a vulnerability analysis identifies which communities and individual structures are most vulnerable to flooding, and discusses the potential economic and public health and safety impacts to the county. A comprehensive summary of existing preventative measures being implemented is also contained within, including a warning and response procedure. Several recommendations are made in the FMP to strengthen the county’s resilience to flood events. The FMP is a requirement of the County’s participation in FEMA’s Community Rating System Program.
Flood Mitigation Plan Update
The Calvert County Flood Mitigation Plan (PDF) is currently being updated. A Steering Committee has been created and a Public Meeting was held on November 28, 2016. The PowerPoint presentations made at the meeting can be found at the following links:
- Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Assessment by Michael S. Scott PhD (PDF)
- 2016 All-Hazards Mitigation Plan and Flood Mitigation Plan Update Deepa Srinivasan (PDF)
The Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning will hold two public meetings to accept public input regarding the draft Floodplain Mitigation Plan in Calvert County. If you experience tidal flooding, frequent flooding after rain or are worried about property damage, we encourage you to attend. The Floodplain Mitigation plan can help to lower flood insurance rates and protect property facing rising sea levels.
- Dec. 12, 2023 - Public Meeting to identify flood hazards
- Jan. 18, 2024 - Public Meeting to review the draft Flood Mitigation Plan
In addition to the countywide Flood Mitigation Plan, the Department of Planning & Zoning is preparing a series of small area flood mitigation plans for the county’s most flood-prone communities. These communities include:
- Cove Point (PDF) (adopted)
- Broomes Island (PDF)(adopted)
- Plum Point – includes the communities of Breezy Point and Neeld Estate
- Town of Chesapeake Beach and Town of North Beach
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Calvert County participates in a federal insurance program that offers reduced flood insurance rates and disaster funding in return for Calvert proactively reducing flooding risks. Calvert County does this through zoning regulations (cite) and public education. FEMA periodically updates Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Calvert’s were last updated in 2013; digital FIRMs are available here and delineate Calvert County into different flood-risk zones, including the Special Flood Hazard Area.
Nuisance Flooding Plan for Calvert County
Pursuant to the Sea Level Rise Inundation and Coastal Flooding Act (Maryland House Bill 1427 (2019), §3-1018(b) and (c)), on or before October 1, 2020, a local jurisdiction that experiences nuisance flooding shall develop a plan to address nuisance flooding. In addition, a local jurisdiction shall update the plan every five years; publish the plan on the local jurisdiction’s website; and shall submit a copy of the plan to the Maryland Department of Planning. The definition of nuisance flooding in accordance with §3-1001 of the Natural Resource Article of the Maryland Annotated Code is "high tide flooding that causes a public inconvenience."
- Read the Nuisance Flooding Plan for Calvert County (PDF).
- To view interactive mapping of the FEMA flood hazard areas, visit the County’s mapping page.
- Zoning regulations for floodplain areas in Calvert County are located in the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance, Section 8-2.
Go to MyCoast Maryland and download the app or report flooding!
The next time a rainstorm causes flooding in your neck of the woods, submit a picture on the MyCoast Maryland app. Your reports will help us further develop our flood mitigation plan.
Development in the Floodplain
If you are building a structure or adding onto an existing structure and are located in or near the FEMA Flood Hazard Area, you may be required to submit several documents with your permit application package. The following forms can be found on the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) website:
- Agreement to Submit an Elevation Certificate
- V-Zone Design Certificate
- Floodplain Venting Affidavit
- Declaration of Land Restriction (Non-Conversion Agreement)
FEMA released the updated Elevation Certificate form on Friday, July 7, 2023. There is no grace period for the old form. Any form signed and dated as of July 7, 2023 must be on the latest FEMA EC Form. The following forms can be found on the FEMA website:
- NFIP Elevation Certificate Form and Instructions - FEMA Form FF-206-FY-22-152 (formerly 086-0-33)
- NFIP Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures - FEMA Form 086-0-34
Participation in the FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) Program
Calvert County participates in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) Program, which requires the County to engage in activities that protect the 100-year floodplain, provide the public with 100-year floodplain information and data resources, and conduct public outreach about floodplain hazards and the means to protect property against flood damage. Calvert County’s participation in the CRS Program allows county residents owning property with structures within the 100-year floodplain to receive a 10% discount on their flood insurance premiums when they initiate or renew their flood insurance policies (effective May 1, 2015).