BALTIMORE, MD (January 31, 2013) – Partners from State and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and advocacy groups joined together today to kickoff Maryland’s Reclaim the Bay public awareness effort and Earth Day Poster Contest. Whether we live near the water or miles from it, our everyday actions have a profound effect on our local water quality and the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland has made great progress in working toward restoring the Chesapeake Bay to its former glory, but there is still hard work ahead.
Maryland’s Reclaim the Bay campaign seeks to get Marylanders involved in Bay restoration efforts by sharing what they can do at home to help us reach our 2025 pollution reduction goals. We will also be promoting cost-effective solutions for compliance with water quality standards to ensure that the Chesapeake Bay is fully restored to a healthy resource for future generations to enjoy. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) invites students grades K through 8 to participate in MDE's first Earth Day poster contest. This year's theme is Reclaim the Bay.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) and Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT), Maryland Sea Grant Foundation and the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) are partnering on the Reclaim the Bay campaign to highlight the accomplishments of Maryland's Bay restoration initiatives and solidify the commitment of each organization in working in partnership to educate and encourage more Marylanders to get involved in restoring the Bay.
Since 2007, Maryland has invested more than $900 million in grants and loans for water quality projects, leveraged to a total of $1.3 Billion (including local and federal funds) in capital projects that are estimated to have generated as many as 17,000 jobs.
Maryland invested a record $22.5 million in our cover crops initiative -- allowing us to set another record – enrolling 1,860 farmers last year. Maryland farmers planted more than 413,000 acres of cover crops last year to protect the Chesapeake Bay – for a total of 1.89 million acres planted since 2007.
This year, Maryland is investing record amounts in our Bay 2010 Trust Fund, bringing our total investment to $120 million in just 6 years. We have also supplemented this investment with $74.5 million in capital funds over FY 13 and 14.
This year, Maryland is investing nearly $113 million in our Bay Restoration Fund and $10 million for new oyster sanctuaries.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) invites students grades K through 8 to participate in MDE's first Earth Day poster contest. This year's theme is "Reclaim the Bay." Students are encouraged to submit an entry that depicts what Marylanders can do to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland is a leader in the Bay watershed's restoration efforts. The purpose of Maryland's Reclaim the Bay campaign is to bring public awareness to these efforts and let Marylanders know what they can do to help restore the Bay.
This poster contest is a great way to challenge young environmental advocates around the State to think about what they can do to Reclaim the Bay.
Don’t Litter – Reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay.
Use Fertilizer Sparingly – Limit the amount of fertilizer used on your lawn and garden. Excessive levels of nutrients in the Bay lead to lower levels of oxygen needed for aquatic life.
Build a Rain Garden or Rain Barrel – Stormwater carries pollutants such as lawn chemicals from our yards into the Bay. Creating backyard habitats can minimize runoff and reduce yard work.
Scoop the Poop – Make your neighbors happy and keep harmful nitrogen out of the Bay by always cleaning up after your pet.
Drive Less – More than one-third of the nitrogen pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay originates from air pollution. Consider carpooling, using public transportation, biking or walking whenever possible.
Reduce Electricity - Coal-burning power plants are among the largest sources of nitrogen compounds in air pollution.
Volunteer – Cleaning up the Bay begins in your hometown. Find a local watershed group and volunteer for a clean-up.
Make an Appointment to Service Your Septic System – Septic systems should be inspected yearly to ensure proper functioning. Failing systems can leak into the groundwater and eventually end up in the Bay.
Dispose Properly of Hazardous Household Items – Oils, anti-freeze, paint, cleaners and prescription drugs shouldn’t be poured down a household or storm drain. Check with your local waste management service to find out what hazardous materials they accept.
Tell a Friend – Share one of these tips with a friend today and help us achieve our goal of Reclaiming the Bay. Give the gift of a tree to help spread the word.
“We are making great progress, but we must continue to work aggressively to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Upgrading wastewater plants and septic systems and controlling stormwater pollution from cities, suburbs and farms not only protects the Bay – it protects our groundwater, streams, rivers and reservoirs, which are the sources of our fresh water supply – an essential foundation for our public and economic health. Through the Reclaim the Bay campaign, we want all Marylanders to know that they have a vital role to play in restoring water quality by letting their legislators know they want their waterways cleaned up and by being willing to do their part by taking steps to reduce pollution in their own homes and communities.”
--Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment
“The Department of Natural Resources is very pleased to be a part of the Reclaim the Bay campaign, which strengthens our existing partnership and builds upon the extraordinary level of cooperation that drives us ever closer to our shared goal of a healthy, life-sustaining Chesapeake Bay.”
--John Griffin, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
"Maryland farmers are major players in helping Maryland meet nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals outlined in its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. Agriculture exceeded its first set of 2-year milestones in 2011 by achieving 124 percent of the goal and are well on track to exceed the second set of milestones by June 30, 2013."
-- Earl “Buddy” Hance, Secretary, Maryland Department of Agriculture
“The Maryland Energy Administration is committed to reducing our State’s energy consumption 15% by 2015, achieving our goal of producing 20% of the State's energy from renewable sources by 2022, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2022, all of which will reduce our state’s impact on the Chesapeake Bay. MEA is pleased to be a part of the Reclaim the Bay campaign, today and every day as we move towards a cleaner future for Maryland and the Bay.”
--Abigail Ross Hopper, Acting Director, Maryland Energy Administration
“Maryland plays a key role in the Bay restoration effort and has been an active player over the course of the Bay Program’s 30 year history. Maryland’s contributions are as vast and diverse as its waterways. CBP’s teams that work on fisheries, habitat, land use and water quality science and policy benefit greatly from their expertise and commitment. Maryland’s dedication to improving the Bay’s health and to keeping the public informed about changes, progress and issues is one of the many reasons we are happy to partner with them on this campaign.”
--Nick DiPasquale, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program
“The Chesapeake Bay Trust is committed to advancing Maryland’s Bay restoration goals and working with our partners on meaningful restoration, education and community engagement projects. Each year the Trust engages more than 120,000 Marylanders through its grant programs who are out in the community each and every day making a difference for the Chesapeake Bay and our local waters.”
--Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust
"We know why the Chesapeake Bay has become degraded and what we need to do to restore it. While science is still needed to guide and monitor the recovery, our diagnosis and treatment regimen are as solid and reliable as they come. Now it's up to all of us to do what it takes to restore the Chesapeake Bay."
--Dr. Don Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
“Maryland Sea Grant, from our base at the University of Maryland, is excited to contribute to the work of our many partners in government and communities statewide to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. We look forward to lending our abilities at funding and synthesizing scientific research to help educate and inform Marylanders about opportunities for progress in this restoration effort. Our Extension specialists are eager to expand their work with partners on projects to restore Maryland’s waterways and watersheds.”
--Fredrika C. Moser, Ph.D., Director of Maryland Sea Grant, University of Maryland
Reclaim the Bay Website
Maryland Department of the Environment
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Department of Agriculture
Maryland Department of Planning
Maryland State Highway Administration
Maryland Energy Administration
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Chesapeake Bay Trust
Chesapeake Bay Program
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies
Maryland Sea Grant Program
Smart, Green & Growing
View more photos from today's event on MDE's Flickr site
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230