Maryland Update


Volunteers from ReNew White Marsh plant a tree at the April 21 planting at the REED Center in Frederick County.

AJ Metcalf

From the Desk of Allison Colden

Fall 2023

CBF and Volunteers Plant 6,000 Trees

CBF staff and volunteers worked with several different farmers and organizations this spring to plant about 6,400 trees at four sites along headwater streams in Maryland. As the trees grow, they will sequester carbon while their canopies shade the streambed, which helps mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

In Maryland, runoff from agriculture is the leading source of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways. These Chesapeake Bay pollutants fuel harmful algal blooms. Tree plantings along streams are among the most cost-effective natural solutions to reduce this pollution to the Bay. CBF is grateful to the farmers and hundreds of volunteers who helped plant this spring and is looking forward to fall plantings.

Governor Moore Announces New Bay Restoration Strategies

This July, Governor Moore renewed Maryland’s commitment to Bay restoration and announced new strategies to move efforts forward. He pledged that Maryland would be the first state in the region to wholeheartedly adopt the most recent recommendations from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and said that Maryland’s efforts would be driven by science and data.

Additionally, the governor signed two Executive Orders establishing the Governor’s Council on the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Watershed and an Oyster Shell and Substrate Task Force. A healthy oyster population is critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and recycled oyster shells—used to create oyster reefs—are in short supply.

“Leading Bay scientists recently released a report that identifies what has worked, what hasn’t, and suggested improvements that will accelerate efforts to achieve healthy rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay,” said CBF Maryland Executive Director Allison Colden. “We commend the governor for his leadership in beginning to align state policies with these scientific recommendations. Targeting the state’s efforts to areas where they will be most effective, both in reducing pollution and improving habitat for living resources, is an essential first step.”

CBF Secures Major Victory for Harford County Forests

This spring, a Harford County judge ruled in favor of CBF in a lawsuit against a developer of the proposed Abingdon Business Park that planned to clear about 220 acres of forest, including 49 large and ecologically valuable trees, to build warehouses.

This is a major victory for citizens to ensure that the Forest Conservation Act in Maryland can be used to protect forested land from unceasing encroachment by developers. The judge’s ruling sends a message that there must be a clear factual basis for granting waivers from the state’s requirements to protect priority areas and species in forested land.

—Allison Colden
Maryland Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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