Preserving Smith Island -- its People, Culture, and Natural Beauty

News & Updates

September 22, 2021

From SIU President, Eddie Somers:

We have been told we should start letting the general public know what we all have accomplished and some of the things that have been done since we first organized back in, I think, 2012. Our 501C status came a couple of years later. Here is a list of projects that have been funded since then. We thank Somerset County for the support, the many State of Maryland agencies that have funded projects, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Beach to Bay Heritage Area, Chesapeake Bay Trust, The Coastal Association of REALTORS®, and the many federal agencies, especially the federal people at the Martin National Wildlife Refuge and Army Corps for what seems to have started the ball rolling. The list below is some of the major projects that have benefited Smith Island.

Rhodes Pt. Shoreline Stabilization - $4,496,400. 

                                        Rhodes Pt. County Dock - $559,949

                                        Rhodes Pt. Jetty - $250,000

                                        Drainage Study - $50,000. 

                                        SI Vision Plan - $89,241 

                                        Martin Wildlife Shoreline $8,400,000

                                        Sewer Plant- $9,200,000

                                        Thorofare Dredging

                                        Tylerton Boat Ramp

                                        Ewell County Dock repairs

                                        Façade Improvement Grants- $25,000

                                                   Forever Maryland Cleanup Grants- $9,500 (we just received the second grant from here for $4,500)

                                                          Drainage Study Implementation- $300,000

                                        Smith Island Park Improvements - $5,000

                                        Smith Island Overview Deck- $100,000 (permit process)

                                        Two Captains License Courses- $12,000

                          These below were not funded thru SIU but were a direct result of being influenced by the Smith Island Vision Plan

                                        Restoration of 111 ft of Rukes dock at Ewell

                                        Restoration of NW Basin slips at Ewell

                                        USDA Rural Housing Preservation Grant $50,000

February 03, 2018 
From SIU President, Eddie Somers:  
    "a.)  Attached is a very brief fyi regarding a Facade Improvement Grant (home improvement) SIU has been awarded from Md Dept of Community and Housing Development. This is a very early update and we are just getting into details. We will discuss in more detail in a meeting, most likely in March. Please be patient for now until details are worked out according to the grant requirements. 

b.)  On another note I can't remember if I sent this out so if it's the second time forgive. Somerset County has voted to go to a county wide system with the sewer. Quickly what this means is that instead of cost being limited to the individual plant users (we on Smith Island pay all the cost for the Smith Island Plant now) the cost for each system in the county will now be applied county wide. This may mean an initial raise in our quarterly bills but when the new plant is build (currently being designed) it will significantly lower the cost for us. Will keep you posted on this as it is being implemented."  

Click here to access early details about the Maryland Department of Planning Facade Improvement Grant.

December 08, 2017

From Tracey Gordy (Maryland Department of Planning's Lower Eastern Shore Regional Office):

    "Attached is the presentation I did at the Rural Summit Conference last Friday. Feel free to post on the SIU website. There are many photos slides with no text, but I talked though those slides during the presentation. I wanted the photos to be the focus, so they got a great view of the project and of the Island. Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that we did not get the American Planning Association Award we sought for the project, but at least we tried."

Click here to access the aforementioned Maryland Department of Planning presentation.

June 21, 2017

Topics include:

    a.  Rhodes Point jetty and channel project a "go"

    b.  Caleb Evans drafted by the Oakland A's baseball organization

    c.  A press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and associated drawings

Please click here to access the full June 21, 2017 Member Update.

May 20, 2017

Topics include:

    a.  Jetty and Living Shoreline projects -- possibly merging

    b.  Park Dedication (May 22nd is canceled)

    c.  Arts Festival (Sat., May 27, 2017)

    d.  Free business app to advertise your business

Click here to access the full May 20, 2017 Member Update. 

April 16, 2017

Topics include:

    a.  April 01 2017 membership meeting

    b.  Picnic table placement at Ewell Fire Co.

    c.  MD Program Open Space funding

    d.  Watermen's Apprentice Program

e.  Living Shoreline Project

f.  Smith Island Folklore Project

g.  SIU Website and Facebook page

h.  Tom Horton audio recordings

Click here to access the full April 16, 2017 Member Update.