UPDATE: Calvert Department of Public Safety Releases Statement on Cliff Instability Near Driftwood Beach in Lusby

March 22, 2023

UPDATE 3/22/2023: The Calvert County Department of Public Safety has issued the following statement regarding the safety hazard of cliff erosion and an exposed septic tank in the area of Driftwood Beach in Lusby.

In October 2020, cliff erosion following a storm exposed a septic tank located on a residential property along the cliffs in the Driftwood Beach area of Lusby.

Following the recommendation of the Calvert County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health, the septic tank was pumped and capped. The home was voluntarily vacated by the resident soon after. Due to the instability of the cliff, staff and equipment cannot safely be brought onto the property to remove the septic tank.

Signs are posted warning the public to stay out, however members of the public continue to walk along the beach in the area. The cliff remains unstable and creates a potential hazard to anyone walking on the beach.

This property is one of several high-risk properties that are continually monitored by the county. Since November 2020, the Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, has been diligently working with the property owner to secure funding through FEMA to acquire the property.

The acquisition of any high-risk, residential property is voluntary and done by request of the owner. Calvert County continues to work with our local, state and federal partners navigate the complex hazard mitigation process.

The cliffs of Calvert County are a remarkable part of our county’s natural heritage; however, many areas of the cliffs may be vulnerable to collapse. The areas at highest risk were identified during a Cliff Stabilization Study conducted in 2010. The study identified residential properties at highest risk, as well as areas where presence of the Puritan tiger beetle, a protected species, would limit cliff stabilization efforts.

Citizens are advised to explore only in areas designated safe for public access and always remain aware of your surroundings. While Calvert County values exploration of our natural world, we urge you to do so safely and responsibly. The well-being of our citizens and environment are vital to the future of our community.

3/16/2023: Calvert County Health Department and the Property Owner’s Association of the Chesapeake Ranch Estates (POACRE) are advising that no one should be walking along the base of the cliff (beach), north of Driftwood Beach.

Access to this area is already denied by POACRE and signage posted.

There is imminent danger due to a septic tank that is precariously perched at the top of the cliff above this area. Due to the instability of the cliff, equipment cannot be safely brought onto the property to remove the tank.

As a result, at some point in the near future, this tank will fall from the cliff and onto the beach. It is imperative that no one be on the beach when this happens.