Maryland Maritime Strategic Security Plan
State partners with CHHS to develop a Maritime Strategic Security Plan to coordinate resources and streamline response.
The state of Maryland relies heavily on its maritime, both commercially and recreationally. The Chesapeake Bay, along with the waterways surrounding Washington, D.C. and the back bays and tidal waters of the Eastern Shore, support a large amount of business for the state, and provide numerous rest and relaxation opportunities for residents. Protecting these waterways from terrorist attacks, as well as other disasters, is a high priority for the state. However, the maritime domain is a complicated mix of local, state, and federal jurisdictions, with private actors playing a vital role as well.
Maryland, through its Department of Natural Resources and State Police, partnered with CHHS to develop a Maritime Strategic Security Plan that would coordinate various maritime entities and streamline their response. This new plan would update and revise the previous Maryland Maritime Concept of Operations and Strategic Security Plan, which was simultaneously too specific and under-representative. During a six month period, CHHS staffers elicited input from all of Maryland’s maritime partners and, assisting a committee tasked with oversight of the plan, created a new plan that reflected the changing needs of the maritime and the security goals of the state.
CHHS staffers Sean Kates and Karla Schaffer held and attended meetings throughout the state and region, from Salisbury and Ocean City on the Eastern Shore, to the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., to various offices in and around the Port of Baltimore. At each meeting, Sean and Karla discussed the merits of a unified strategy for maritime emergency response and sought suggestions from the attendees on how best to achieve it. They invited all maritime partners to participate in the construction of the Strategic Security Plan by becoming members of the Maryland Maritime Security Team (MMST), which met each month to discuss the progress and direction of the new plan.
Through these state-wide meetings and MMST discussions, Sean and Karla developed a draft Plan, which provided a framework for understanding how partners like the U.S. Coast Guard, the state police and a local fire department could coordinate their efforts to secure the maritime domain. The plan provides information to agencies, businesses and individuals throughout the state on what they can expect in the maritime domain and how they can help keep it secure. It serves as the unifying document for the various operations plans, strategic guides and hazard-specific response strategies throughout the state, and coordinates the various local, state, federal, and private partners’ efforts to protect one of the state’s most valuable assets.