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Coastal Maryland is a unique habitat that serves as critical habitat for a number of Maryland’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need during breeding, migration, or winter. The significance of the entire coastal zone of Maryland to birds is recognized through two Globally Important Bird Areas: Assateague Island and Maryland Coastal Bays. However, Maryland’s coastal, barrier island, and back bay habitats are facing significant threats. Coastal development continues to remove or fragment near-shore habitat, and sea level rise is reducing the amount of beach habitat while also flooding coastal marshes.

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In recognition of the uniqueness of Assateague Island and nearby coastal environs, the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership is in the process of establishing the Maryland Coastal Bird Observatory as a center of expertise to conserve birds and their habitats through a combination of science, education, and stewardship. The core activity is to establish long-term avian monitoring and education programs on coastal barrier islands and back bay areas of the Maryland coast.

Current/planned Monitoring Programs

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