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Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate: A Year in Review

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A property owner proudly displays a Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate yard sign on their property to showcase their new permeable pavement walkway and participation in the program.

Residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland, are doing their part for a clean, healthy, and beautiful Prince George’s County. For six years, the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to administer their Rain Check Rebate Program. This program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to receive a rebate, or reimbursement, for installing stormwater management practices. The seven approved practices include rain barrelscisternsurban tree canopy, rain gardens, pavement removalpermeable pavement, and green roofs. Each of these practices help reduce stormwater runoff and improve the quality of rivers in the County. These practices also have the added benefit of beautifying the property.

We are excited to announce that Fiscal Year 2019 for the Rain Check Rebate Program was another successful year with 91 approved applications, representing 180 projects, totaling $79,035 in rebates. These projects help treat 59,194 square feet of impervious surface, which is slightly larger than the size of a football field! Each of these projects has a hand in keeping our rivers clean and healthy by filtering the polluted runoff before it enters into our rivers.

This program is a no-brainer if you are considering any of the green initiatives they cover, which run the gamut. The process of applying for a rebate was so much easier and more straightforward than we expected. Good stuff by Prince George's County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust!

Val and Daniel
Prince George's County Property Owners

Stormwater runoff is a major issue in urban areas nationwide. It occurs when rainwater flows across impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads, that do not allow the water to soak into the ground. As it flows across these surfaces, it picks up and carries with it many different pollutants such as oil and grease from cars, bacteria from pet waste, and trash from littering or improper disposal. Often, the polluted runoff flows directly into our streams and rivers through storm drains. The practices mentioned above help reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that enters local waterways.

Thank you to all of the residents who have participated in the Rain Check Rebate Program throughout the years! This program would not be a success without your support and participation!

Fiscal Year 2019 By the Numbers

91
Approved Applications
79,035
Rebates Awarded
180
Projects Installed
59,194
Sq. Ft. of Impervious Area Treated

The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program is currently open and accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Learn More and Apply

Plastic Free QAC Has Long Term Plans to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic

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Plastic Free QAC, Inc. let no grass grow under their feet when awarded a Community Engagement Mini-Grant last November through the Chesapeake Bay Trust for a series of informational events regarding the effects of plastic pollution on waterways and reusable bags as better alternatives to plastic.

Plastic Free QAC (PFQAC) is grassroots, non-profit organization committed not only to beautifying Queen Anne’s County but also in changing behavior and empowering residents and businesses to make more environmentally friendly choices day to day. Only in existence for 2 years, they started with a handful of trash cleanups along county roads and waterways and grew to reusable bag distribution events throughout the County and partnerships with environmentally friendly businesses, other local non-profits. PFQAC conducted 16 monthly cleanups, each 1/4 mile in length, adding up to 4 miles. A total of 944 plastic bags were collected and counted from the 8 most recent cleanups.

Their award through the Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini-Grant program (their first-ever grant-supported project) gave PFQAC the chance to build an outreach plan committed to raising awareness of the detrimental impacts of single-use plastics and sustainable options available through supermarket events; tabletop presentations at churches, libraries, and community centers; trash clean-ups; and hands-on art activities to engage children. All of the educational and tabletop materials produced through this grant provide the foundation for the organization’s future efforts throughout the County.

One of the big issues to be addressed when applying for this Trust grant program is the replication or interpretation of a project in other areas of the watershed to enable other groups in other areas to leverage ideas. PFQAC strongly noted already valuable lessons learned including the importance of strong partnerships with local nonprofits, use of powerful visuals such as pictures and videos, sound research on purchasing costs, messaging tailored to specific audiences, methods for recruitment of volunteers, expanded outreach using social media and a variety of other communications tools, as well as effective record keeping and data collection.

PFQAC is experienced in organizing and completing environmental projects and you may have seen them at 2019 Kent Island Day, 2019 Sea Glass Festival at Chesapeake College, Rotary Club presentations, the Kent Island Federation of the Arts, or the Chester Safeway.

PFQAC also participated in the Community Engagement Mentorship Program working with ShoreRivers in defining project goals and capacity, organizing project budgets, and working through the Trust’s online grant portal system.

And they aren’t stopping there! This small but mighty group have outlined 10 initiatives for 2020 which include tackling heavy issues like surveying and researching boat shrink-wrap recycling and marina practices; expanding partnership opportunities with environmental clubs and area schools; working with the Maryland Department of the Environment to encourage businesses to join the Green Registry; and encouraging restaurants to adopt straw-upon-request platforms and install biodegradable product practices.

We are pleased to share their promotional video, created by PFQAC creative videographer Julie Shaeffer, here.

Learn more and to get involved with Plastic Free QAC here.

The Trust Welcomes the New Year with a New Member

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By Kristina Arreza
Chesapeake Bay Trust Communications Intern

After completing an internship with the Trust, Katherine Somoza joins the Program team as Restoration Program Assistant. Katherine shares her story on why she decided to continue pursuing a career at the Trust after her internship working with the Rain Check Rebate Program (RCR) ended.

The Annapolitan graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a year early with a B.S. degree in Biology. “I intended to pursue Pre-Med after undergrad, but I realized throughout my college career that it wasn’t the direction I wanted to take. I decided to look for any experience that was somewhat related to biology.”

How did you hear about this internship?

“I found out about this position on UMBC’s career database. Since I was already drawn to non-profits, I found the position for a Rain Check Rebate Intern, saw it was close to home and applied right away.”

What did you like most about the Rain Check Rebate Internship?

“I liked that it was local. It’s a program for Prince George’s County and is funded by the Prince George’s County Clean Water Fee. The concept of money being redirected back to the residents is something I am proud to work towards. My supervisor Bre’Anna Brooks was a great leader and mentor for me. A month into training, she gave me the reigns on the application process, pre- and post-site visit protocols, and reaching out to residents.” Somoza interned with the Trust from September 2019-December 2019. “It’s a very unique experience. The site visits were my favorite since I was able to have hands-on experiences bonding with the residents of Prince George’s County, and educating them about environmental practices they can use in their own homes.”

What made you want to pursue a career as Restoration Program Assistant at the Trust?

“I really enjoy the office culture and environment. The tasks I have are very hands-on, whether it be as an intern or a Restoration Program Assistant.” Somoza shares that her current position is a lot different from her internship, but there is always bound to be an overlap when programs and projects come into play. As a former intern that focused on outreach and engagement, Somoza shares that the position carries a lot more responsibility in finance as well as assisting the restoration and education department team members. “Having the internship is a strength because you know the dynamics between departments and can utilize that to work together.” Somoza reports to Sadie Drescher who leads restoration programs that include implementation projects, research efforts, and innovative county watershed and citizen engagement grant programs.

It says in your bio that you intend on pursuing a Master’s degree. Is that still on the table for you?

“Yes, I miss school and I enjoy learning. Although I’m still in the process of deciding what to pursue, I know that I want to involve either the environmental or public health realm or possibly an intersection between the two. A perk about working here is that you get to review a lot of applications for grants and programs. I’m hoping they will guide me towards what to do next.”

Is there any advice that you’d like to give for future interns at the Trust?

“I would advise future interns, specifically those who are working with the Rain Check Rebate program, to stay organized. There are so many transitions and in between all of them, there’s a risk that an applicant can fall through the cracks and you don’t want to deprive them of something like the RCR program. You need to be mindful of those. Also, make the most of the pre- and post-site visits! It’s a great teaching opportunity and a great way to share and educate others about it.” Somoza also advises applicants to “keep an open mind. Sometimes when applying, people have specific goals or positions they want. If I stuck to my specific goals, then I would have missed out on this opportunity. Be flexible! Open minds lead to greater opportunities. And lastly, do your research. If you have a pool of many interests, see if they fit with the culture you are going to be a part of.”

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Katherine!

Chesapeake Bay Trust Celebrates at 2020 Legislative Reception

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The evening’s speakers are pictured from left: Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Department of Natural Resources; Gary Jobson, Chairman of the Board of the Chesapeake Bay Trust; Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.; Jana Davis, Trust executive director; Senator Pam Beidle; Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo; and Superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay Office for National Parks Service, Wendy O’Sullivan.

The start of January marked the convening of the 441st session of the Maryland General Assembly and with that, the annual Chesapeake Bay Trust Legislative Reception. This year’s event was a special celebration honoring the 10th anniversary of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps program.

The evening brought together the 10th cohort of Chesapeake Conservation Corps members, Corps alumni, Maryland State Delegates and Senators, grant program partners, supporters, and friends to network, celebrate, and acknowledge the importance of the work both the Trust and the Corps do.

Guests were reminded by Senate President Bill Ferguson that “The Bay is not political. The Bay is the most important thing that we have in the state of Maryland. It is the commerce hub and is where we have the birth of our future experiences.”

10th cohort Corps members networked with alums, mentors, and host sites as well as Trust leadership and elected officials.

The Trust featured its newly released annual report for FY 2019 highlighting the over $11 million granted out to organizations throughout the watershed to fund almost 400 projects collaboratively supporting natural resource projects through education, restoration, community engagement, science and innovation, and capacity building. Board of Trustee member, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo spoke about the Trust’s reputation for transparency and operational excellence noting “The Chesapeake Bay tag is the … piece that allows the Trust to leverage so much more. If you think about when you go to the MVA and pay that little extra money for that Bay tag and you encourage all of your friends and you encourage all of your family members to get that bay tag. That equates to about $3.5 million to the Trust. But the great thing about that is that the $3.5 million because the Trust is run so well, is leveraged to more like $12 million dollars. Which is absolutely incredible when it comes to the amount of work that needs to be done to restore the Bay.”

And speaker Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio reminisced about her involvement in protecting the Trust as a member of the Maryland General Assembly. “Before I was Secretary of Department of Natural Resources (DNR), I served in the Maryland House of Delegates and at that time I learned that the Bay plate program was a pilot program that was going to expire. Senator Astle and I got together and made a joint decision to co-sponsor legislation to make it a permanent program. And I’m still really proud of the fact that we were able to accomplish that and have the support of the entire Maryland General Assembly to make that happen because the Chesapeake Bay Trust is so important. At DNR, we firmly believe that cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay takes participation from a variety of stakeholders and it takes every citizen in Maryland to be a part of the process. And I think that is really one of the great and unique things about Chesapeake Bay Trust is that your programs and your grants are getting projects done on the ground in our local communities and really engaging citizens in the process. And we’re really proud to partner with the organization.”

Senate President, Bill Ferguson welcomes the crowd.

One way the Trust continues to engage is through the operation of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps program (CCC). Each year, the CCC places young adults (ages 18-25) with nonprofit or government agencies to work full-time in the environmental field for a one-year term of paid service in the Chesapeake Bay region. The Corps Members receive hands-on green job and leadership experience through on-the-ground experience leading and assisting with projects and programs for their host sites, extensive training hosted by the Trust and other service-learning opportunities including grant writing and project management.

Since its inception, the program has partnered with over 117 host sites and graduated 265 corps members, many who were in attendance representing the environmental agency they went on to work for after graduation.

Guests included Delegate Dana Stein, Corps Advisory Board member Delegate Anne Healey, and Maryland Secretary of the Environment, Ben Grumbles.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust partners with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, BGE, and the National Park Service to run each cohort of, on average, 35 members. Founding advocate, Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller told the crowd “it’s very easy for me to support this program… We want to protect the Chesapeake Bay; we want to protect Maryland… it takes young people like this with some enthusiasm to make things happen.”

National Park Service Superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay Office, Wendy O’Sullivan, added “I stumbled into the National Parks Service through a youth corps program, right out of grad school. So all of you that are here … you are on a path and you are part of a family now of the champions of the Chesapeake of Ambassadors for our environment and the Park Service couldn’t be more proud to add and be part of that leveraging of the bay plate money for the corps program.”

 

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program is open for application! Learn more about the program and how to apply to join the 11th cohort here!

Chesapeake Bay Trust Announces $3,941,976 in Grant Awards from May 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

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Annapolis, MD
–  The Chesapeake Bay Trust approved 129 grants totaling $3,941,976 to enable a wide range of organizations to implement on-the-ground restoration and education projects and programs. Four times each year, the Trust’s board of trustees announce their grant approvals helping local non-profit organizations, schools, community groups, local governments and municipalities through a variety of outreach and restoration techniques. In the fiscal year 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Trust awarded more than $13 million in grants.

“More and more first-time applicants are entering into the environmental grant arena, along with groundbreaking projects and forward-thinking partnerships, that will not only benefit communities of the watershed but catapult environmental mindfulness to new audiences and new locations,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We take our role as fiscal manager very seriously and work hands-on with our grantees to get as many valuable projects as possible in the ground and moving forward.”

ABOUT THE AWARDS:

The Community Engagement and Restoration Small Grant program is designed to engage new applicants and organizations from a diverse array of communities in small-scale projects that enhance communities, engage residents, and, ultimately, improve natural resources. This program provides funding to groups that have traditionally been under-engaged with environmental issues and to provide to applicants who may not be experienced in applying for grants.

Nine awards totaling $37,729 were made to:

Church of the Guardian Angel, Town of Emmitsburg, Alleghany County Commissioners, Baltimore Museum of Art, NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, Inc., National Aquarium, Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park, Holy Communion Lutheran Church, and No One Left Unhelped, Inc.

The Pre-k-12 Environmental Education Award Program provides accessible funds of up to $5,000 to schools, organizations, and agencies to support educating students about their local environment and how they can have a positive impact in their community, making them stewards for the environment. Projects involve students investigating a local environment issue, problem, or phenomenon through indoors and outdoor research culminating in developing solutions and taking action in their school or community.

Forty-six awards totaling $177,622 were made to:

Colonial Virginia Council, BSA, The William J. Watkins, Sr. Educational Institute, Inc., Village School, Anacostia Watershed Society, Viers Mills Elementary School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, John Poole Middle School, Mountainside Education and Enrichment, Inc., Stemmers Run Middle School, Key School, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, The Summit School, YMCA of the Chesapeake, Lacawac Sanctuary, Friends of the Rappahannock, One Montgomery Green, Graham Road E.S. Fairfax County Public School System, Dance Exchange, Boxerwood Education Association, Hollifield Station Elementary School, Susquehanna Heritage, Grasonville Elementary School, Endangered Species Coalition, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Wind Dance Farm & Earth Education Center, St. Joan of Arc School, Wilderness Leadership & Learning, Inc., Northern Garrett High School, Richmond Waldorf School, Prince George’s County Public Schools / William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center, Dunloggin Middle School, St. Martin of Tours, James River Association, Sparrows Point Middle School, Church Hill Elementary School, Potter County Conservation District, Sandusky Middle School, Chesterfield County Public Schools, Capital City Public Charter School, Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy, Penns Valley Area School District, Lacey Spring Elementary School, Baltimore Lab School, Thomas Johnson Elementary School, and Hamilton Elementary Middle School #236.

The Anne Arundel County Community Tree Planting Award Program is designed to increase the number of trees planted in Anne Arundel County, and to engage Anne Arundel County residents in tree planting activities that raise public awareness and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.

2 awards totaling $5,000 were made to:

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church and Magothy River Middle School.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps Mini Award Program provides resources to young adults in the Chesapeake Conservation Corps program so that they may learn about how to apply for, and manage grants as they begin their environmental careers.

Twenty-eight awards totaling $33,535 were made to:

Arundel Rivers Federation, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Susquehanna Heritage, ShoreRivers, Howard County Recreation & Parks, Natural & Historic Resources Division, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, Inc., Town of Edmonston, National Wildlife Federation, C&O Canal Trust, Inc., Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Inc., The Nature conservancy, Living Classrooms Foundation, Adkins Arboretum, Western Maryland Resource Conservation & Development Council, Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Inc., Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Environmental Concern, Uptown Metro Ministry Group / Presbytery of Baltimore, Audubon Maryland – DC, University System of Maryland Foundation – The Environmental Finance Center, Friends of Otter Point Creek Alliance, and the Central Baltimore Partnership.

The Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Award Program improves communities, water quality in County waterways, and engages County residents in stormwater issues with funding to support on-the-ground restoration activities specific to Prince George’s County.

One award totaling $12,700 was made to:

Center for Watershed Protection.

The Restoration Research Award program’s goal is for scientific teams to answer several key restoration questions that serve as a barrier to watershed restoration  project implementation.

Six awards totaling $903,848 were made to:

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., University of Maryland College Park, Exponent, Tetra Tech, Inc., and Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.

The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Award program helps communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the number and amount of green spaces in urban areas, improve the health of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, and enhance the quality of life and community livability. This program supports design projects, financing strategies, and/or implementation of green street projects.

Twenty awards totaling $1,015,972 were made to:

James River Association, City of Portsmouth, Cambridge Main Street, City of Hyattsville, Wrightsville Borough, Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, Inc., Town of Laurel, Baltimore Tree Trust, The 6th Branch, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, City of Martinsburg, WV, City of Ranson, Borough of Marietta, Bon Secours Unity Properties, Rock Creek Conservancy, Center for Watershed Protection, Inc., City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Neighborhood Design Center, Mount Clare Community Council, Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance, and Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County.

The Outdoor Learning Network Initiative Award pilot program is a capacity building and funding opportunity for high-need school districts within the Chesapeake Bay region to build the partnerships and skills necessary to effectively advance local environmental literacy goals.

Two awards totaling $120,000, over a two-year period, were made to:

Conestoga Valley School District and Cacapon Institute.

The Watershed Assistance Award program was established to support the panning, design, and programmatic development associated with protection and restoration projects that lead to improved water quality in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Maryland portion of the Youghiogheny watershed, and the Maryland Coastal Bays.

Five awards totaling $300,000 were made to:

Prince George’s County, Maryland, Howard County Recreation & Parks, Natural & Historic Resources Division, Town of Betterton, and Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.

The Anne Arundel County Forestry and Forested Land Protection Award program’s goal is to implement cost-effective reforestation and greening projects and increase the number of acres of protected forested land in Anne Arundel County. By increasing tree cover and expanding green areas, erosion can be reduced =, water and soil quality can be improved, airborne pollutants can be filtered, and summer temperatures and resulting ozone pollution and energy can be reduced.

Two awards totaling $218,042 were made to:

Arundel Rivers Federation and Fishing Creek Farm HOA.

The Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Award program was established to support watershed restoration projects and programs that reduce pollutants through the implementation of watershed restoration practices. Projects in this program accomplish on-the-ground restoration that treat rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces and/ or demonstrate the accomplishment of another metric that aids Anne Arundel County in meeting local water quality and runoff reduction improvement goals.

Six awards totaling $1,117,528 were made to:

Arundel Rivers Federation, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Rivers Association, and Annapolis Roads Property Owners Association.

###

About the Chesapeake Bay Trust: The Chesapeake Bay Trust (www.cbtrust.org) is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly dedicated to improving the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake region through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration. The Trust’s grantees engage hundreds of thousands of individuals annually in projects that have a measurable impact on the waterways and other natural resources of the region. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Chesapeake license plate, donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form, donations from Maryland’s online boating, fishing, and hunting license system, contributions from individuals and corporations, and partnerships with private foundations and federal, state, and local governments. The Trust has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for fourteen years: 92 percent of the Trust’s expenditures are directed to its restoration and education programs.

Introducing Our 21st Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration Silent Auction!

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From Baltimore City to the Eastern Shore, our Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration’s silent auction offers chances to wine, dine, play and stay throughout Maryland. We are thrilled to have so many area businesses supporting our event and our mission.  And there are more being added each day! There is something for everyone so be sure to attend the event on May 2nd and bid to take home a Treasure of the Chesapeake for your very own!

Don’t see your favorite organization listed? Let us know and we’ll reach out to them! mailto:info@cbtrust.org

 

Adkins Arboretum Mckay Jenkins
Alan Brown Advisory Gary Jobson Sailing
Annapolis Maritime Museum Live! Casino Hotel Arundel Mills
Association of Maryland Pilots Longwood Gardens
Athleta Ramon Matheu
Rebecca Baier Mear’s Marina
Baltimore Center Stage O’Leary’s
Baltimore Orioles Patagonia
Baltimore Ravens Merchandise Pearlstone Retreat and Conference Center
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra The Point Crab House
Blue Lotus Yoga Studio Portside Custom Framing
Boordy Vineyard Running Hare Vineyards
Brooks Note Winery Rustic Beautiful
Carl M. Freeman – Bayside Resort Golf Club Sagamore Spirits
The Chesapeake Bay Trust St. Michael’s Winery
Chesapeake Bayhawks Schooner Woodwind
Chesapeake Beach Waterpark Southwest Airlines
Cooper’s Hawk Winery – Annapolis Sperry
East of Maui Strathmore
Edgewater Acupuncture Sultana Education Foundation
Extreme Signs and Graphics Sunrise SUP
Jay Flemming Margaret Thorn
Galway Bay Restaurant Three Stone Steps
Gaylord National Resort Watermark Cruises
Nancy Hammond Wades Point Inn
Hartcorn Studios The Westin Annapolis
Here.a pop up shop WMAR2
Homestead Gardens Ginger Woolridge
Jeanneau  

Cheers to the Brews of the Bay and Wines of the Watershed!

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As a part of this year’s Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration, we invited area breweries and wineries to toast us into our event’s 21st year.  Being based in Maryland is the obvious similarity of the group, but dig deeper and you can tell they all share the passion, drive and ingenuity to create; it’s the end result that sets them all apart.

And drink in all those results! Whether the outcome of a quest, a funny thing that happened on the way to the pursuit of another dream, a scientific experiment, or happy accident, we are inspired by the stories they tell, the obstacles they overcame and the ambition they never seem to shake.

Entrepreneurial practices and forward thinking stewards have created a “sip sustainable” trend where everything from product packaging to ingredient purity is poured over and there is just as much thought put into the environmental footprint as there is to the recipe.

So cheers to brews of the Bay and wines of the watershed! Join us on May 2nd to meet and sample selections from:

Flying Dog Brewery: Frederick, Maryland – “More than 30 years ago a group of amateur hikers convened in a Pakistan hotel room after summiting the world’s deadliest mountain”….

Monument City Brewing Company: Baltimore, Maryland – “Six thousand miles separated the founding brothers of Monument City Brewing, but good beer kept them close”…

Boordy Vineyards: Hydes, Maryland – Born from a farming tradition dating back to 1725, and the source of many modern day wines…

DuClaw Brewing Company: Baltimore, Maryland – From a home brewing operation in college to a cherished craft. “Rules be damned”…

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard: Dickerson, Maryland – “Shale, clay and sand, combined with a unique microclimate at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, provide an ideal setting for a vineyard,” writes industry reporter, Sally Colby…

Heavy Seas Brewery: Baltimore, Maryland – Founder Hugh stepped into running a new tavern while on his way to becoming a stage actor and director. But that’s just the start of the quest…

Burley Oak Brewing Company: Berlin, Maryland – What do you get when you mix Eastern shore land, a soil scientist, and indigenous plants and grains? Grain to glass and “Home Grown Ales”…

Charm City Meadworks: Baltimore, Maryland – No longer reserved for Renaissance festivals and born from a love of beekeeping, their dry (gluten free) mead is for more than those with dry humor…

Chesapeake Bay Trust Announces Awardees from February 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

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Annapolis, MD – The Chesapeake Bay Trust announced the approval of 12 grants totaling $417,823 to enable a wide range of organizations to implement on-the-ground restoration and education projects and programs. Four times each year the Trust’s board of trustees announces its grant approvals which help local nonprofit organizations, local governments, and schools improve water quality and better local communities through a variety of outreach and restoration techniques. In fiscal year 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Trust awarded more than $13 million in grants.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit, grant-making organization dedicated to improving the streams, rivers, and other natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay region through environmental education, community outreach, and local watershed restoration. In addition to private and public partnerships, the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s funding comes from two other major sources: the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate program and donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland state income tax form. Since 1985, the Trust has awarded more than $90 million in grants that have engaged hundreds of thousands of area residents in efforts designed to improve water quality and better local communities. For more information on the Trust’s grant programs and how to get involved, visit www.cbtrust.org.

About the Awards:
The Community Engagement and Restoration Small Grant program is designed to engage new applicants and organizations from a diverse array of communities in small-scale projects that enhance communities, engage residents, and, ultimately, improve natural resources. This program provides funding to groups that have traditionally been under-engaged with environmental issues and to provide to applicants who may not be experienced in applying for grants.

Four awards totaling $17,823 were made to:

Cedar Haven Civic Association on the Patuxent River, Inc.: for educational workshops regarding small-scale stormwater management practices in a coastal community.
Lead for Future Academy: for support of four community clean-up projects in Clarksburg, Maryland.
Project Bright Future: for the “Canvassing Water for Life” project.
ShoreRivers: for the production and distribution of the 2018 State of the Rivers Report Card and for support of the State of the Rivers presentations on the Eastern Shore.

The Environmental Education Grant Program (see lower half of page on-line) was designed to increase environmental stewardship though hands-on education and public involvement in the Bay and its rivers by providing grants that build and expand K through 12 environmental education programs and increase student access to Meaningful Watershed Experiences (MWEE).

Eight awards totaling $400,000 were made to:

Calvert County Public Schools: for a proposed project building on a long-standing fifth grade oyster program. Students will use what they have learned in the classroom and during field experiences to assist in the construction of sanctuary oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Students will work in partnership with local conservation organizations to complete this project.
Charles County Public Schools: for partnership with The Alice Ferguson Foundation to implement an environmental literacy program for 3rd grade students. CCPS and AFF will expand on existing curricula to develop an interdisciplinary full Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) for all 3rd grade students. The MWEE will be driven by the investigative question, “How can I impact my schoolyard ecosystem?” The systemic program will guide students through outdoor experiences and classroom learning resulting in action to address local environmental issues.
Parks and People: for the delivery of environmental educational lessons to 500 Baltimore elementary students created and led by 10 City high school students to improve academic performance and promote environmental stewardship. Youth will use their knowledge of Baltimore and lessons learned in a MWEE to form a claim using the scientific method; and, identify and undertake potential actions. Actions will connect to Baltimore’s streams and align with the P&P SuperKids Camp summer program.
ShoreRivers: for the implementation of our Students for Streams MWEE program in 7 public high schools across 4 counties in Maryland. ShoreRivers will work with Sassafras Environmental Education Center to develop and co-lead Kent County Public High School teachers through their first sustainable MWEE. ShoreRivers will continue to work with Dorchester, Queen Anne, and Talbot County Public Schools in order to provide professional development specifically designed to tackle obstacles that teachers identified in creating a completely sustainable MWEE.
Somerset County Public Schools: for a collaborative initiative between Somerset County Public Schools, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) to create systemic MWEEs in three grade levels, 5th, 7th and 9th, in order to address regional vulnerability to climate impacts and community resilience in the face of those impacts. Ensuing student inquiry into related topics will occur through a combination of classroom work and field experiences, collecting and analyzing data; and will culminate in student-led stewardship to address resiliency in various ways. The project will help students to make sense of the science behind these forces and what they can do to help “shore up” their community’s future. This project will enable the school system to meet its commitment under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement to provide MWEEs for elementary, middle and high school students.
Washington County Public Schools: for the continued implementation of a foundation MWEE and Environmental Literacy lessons in grades 4, 6, and high school. Cohorts were trained in the MWEEs and in designing lessons aimed at identifying environmental issues and developing solutions to related problems. Additional funding allows WCPS to continue to build strong experiences for K-12 students and teachers, create a sustainable program that incorporates the MWEES, and provide rich opportunities for ALL students to identify issues in their communities and practice service and good citizenship through vetted project and lessons.
Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Inc.: for a program led by Waterfront Partnership and the Towson University Center for STEM Excellence, aims to increase teacher capacity to provide high-quality MWEEs for fifth grade students in Baltimore City. During this grant period, we will provide up to 18 fifth grade teachers with a five-day professional learning workshop, an Inner Harbor field trip for their classes, and action project guidance and supplies. Specifically, the program will increase teacher capacity to: 1) lead students in implementing more integrated and impactful action projects, 2) foster student-centered inquiry, 3) teach the relevant science content, and 4) effectively engage students outdoors.
Wicomico County Board of Education/Public Schools: for a partnership with the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art at Salisbury University to plan and implement a systemic program of environmental education for kindergarten and ninth grade students; expanding the current pilot programs and allowing for a formalization into the WCPS curriculum as systemic MWEEs and help us to meet the expectation of having systemic E-Lit programs in each grade band.

For more information on any of these specific grant awards, email Cindy Edson at cedson@cbtrust.org.
For more information on all our grant programs and open grant application opportunities, please visit https://cbtrust.org/grants/
The next meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Trust Board of Trustees is scheduled for May 2019.

Meet the design team behind the new Chesapeake Bay license plate

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Creating the new Chesapeake Bay license plate was a true team effort, and one of the keys was the designer behind the process. TM Design is a Maryland-based graphic design firm who took the Bay Plate project to heart, going above and beyond the contract for the Trust. “It’s our Bay, and our state pride, and that was a big motivator,” says founder and president Tina Cardosi. Her firm creates branding materials, websites and marketing collateral and has worked with the American Forest Foundation, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, The Nature Conservancy, National 4-H Council, and more.

According to Executive Director Jana Davis, “the Trust was incredibly fortunate to have found TM Design. Tina and her group have a rare combination of creativity, artistry, responsiveness, customer insight, and collaborative spirit. It was wonderful to work with a group who cared as much, if not more, than we as the client did about the ultimate outcome of the project. They were incredibly tolerant of a long and unorthodox process to create the new design.”

Listen to Jana and Tina talk about the process and how the new license plate was born. Find out more about TM Design on their website and get to know Design Girl on Instagram.

Trust Celebrates 2019 Scholarship & Award winners at Annual Legislative Reception

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2019 Chesapeake Bay Trust scholarship and award winners

Last night, the Chesapeake Bay Trust was joined by friends, supporters, and Maryland legislators to celebrate our 2019 scholarship and award winners at our Annual Legislative Reception and Awards Program held at the Maryland General Assembly. During the event, more than 150 environmental leaders and Maryland legislators came together to honor seven remarkable individuals for their outstanding contributions to environmental education, watershed restoration, and volunteerism.

This year’s winners embodied the spirit of the Trust’s family of grantees, who work tirelessly to restore and protect their local natural resources and engage community members in those efforts.

Awards are made each year to two students for environmental and community leadership, to one educator for excellence in environmental education, to one business for green efforts, to one organization for a notable watershed stewardship project, and to one community leader or volunteer who goes routinely above and beyond in improving the streams, rivers, parks, forests, or other natural resource within our watershed.

This year, in addition to these annual awards, the Trust presented the Torrey Brown Award to Senator John C. Astle for his fervent dedication to environmental causes and his steadfast commitment to the Trust as a member of its Board of Trustees. Notably, Senator Astle was instrumental in the establishment of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, an early career and green jobs training program managed by the Trust, in 2010.

“It is an honor to be among the distinguished recipients who have received this award. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with the Trust over the years and I am proud of the strides we have made on behalf of our natural resources, our communities, and the young people of our region.”

Senator John C. Astle

Chesapeake Bay Trust’s 2019 Award Winners

2019 Torrey Brown Award: The Honorable John C. Astle Maryland Senate, Anne Arundel County

The Torrey Brown Award is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the Trust and its mission to preserve and protect our region’s natural resources. Senator Astle is being presented with the Torrey Brown Award for his tireless championing of the Chesapeake Bay Trust for sixteen years as the Senate liaison to the Trust’s Board of Trustees. John’s commitment to the Trust has been essential to its success over the years, helping to strengthen and protect the Chesapeake vehicle license plate while expanding the Trust’s ability to provide resources to communities and organizations working to improve our beloved natural resources. Along with Senate President Mike V. Miller, John played a key role in the establishment of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, a green jobs development program managed by the Trust. Approaching its tenth year, the Chesapeake Conservation Corps has more than 200 alumni, many of whom are now leaders in the environmental field throughout the Chesapeake watershed. John’s legacy at the Trust is that of steadfast champion. The Trust is a better organization because of his leadership and support.

2019 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award: Stuart Clarke Executive Director, Town Creek Foundation, Talbot County

Ellen Fraites Wagner, a colleague of Governor Harry Hughes, helped establish the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and this award, named in her honor, recognizes a natural resources leader who works or volunteers to motivate and inspire others by promoting environmental awareness. Stuart Clarke, in his role as Executive Director of the Town Creek Foundation since October of 2004, has revolutionized the way many individuals in the Chesapeake natural resources community approach issues, delve into topics, and work together. Through his targeting of resources and convening of thought leaders, he has challenged the community to be smarter, work harder, and be more strategic. Through his leadership, other leaders in the natural resource space have learned how to connect climate, water, food security, and other issues and therefore how to expand the work in those realms. An influential member of the Trust’s board for eight years, Clarke’s leadership truly has changed the way almost every other foundation operating in our region (and beyond) approaches their grant-making.

2019 Student of the Year Scholarship: Nicholas Kophengnavong Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore City

Nicholas Kophengnavong is a junior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and has been actively involved in the environmental movement from a young age, joining the Green Team at Commodore John Rodgers Elementary/Middle School at age eight. He was a member of Baltimore Office of Sustainability’s (BOS) first Student Environmental Leadership Action Team (SELAT) and as a sophomore was accepted into BOS’s Youth Environmental Internship program. Since then, he is an active member of Baltimore Beyond Plastic, a youth-led action-oriented team with the goal of reducing plastic pollution in Baltimore which was instrumental in the passage of a citywide Styrofoam ban in April 2018.

2019 The Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship: Maleah Smith Huntingtown High School, Calvert County

This award was named after Senator Arthur Dorman, Trust board member and pioneer in efforts to engage individuals of color in natural resources issues, and is awarded to a student of color who is active in connecting environment and community issues. This year’s awardee, Maleah Smith, is a senior at Huntingtown High School in Calvert County. As a varsity basketball player and track athlete, Maleah was acutely aware of an environmental issue at her school: plastic water bottle waste. Last year, she spearheaded an initiative to cut down on plastic water bottle waste in the Calvert County Public School system, successfully proposing the installation of drinking fountains with water bottle refilling stations to the county Board of Education. As a result of her efforts, water bottle refilling stations have been placed in the Board of Education building and all four county high schools, with plans to add more to the middle and elementary schools. To date over 50,000 plastic water bottles have stayed out of the landfill and students are more aware of the harmful effects of disposable plastic waste. In addition to her leadership as a student athlete, Maleah is active in the Student Government Association, a member of the National Honor Society, a peer-to-peer tutor with Transitioning to Excellence, and a volunteer with the Sierra Club.

2019 Educator of the Year: Kimberly P. Tucker, PhD Director, Stevenson University Center for Environmental Stewardship; Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Baltimore County

The Environmental Educator of the Year is awarded to a K-12 or college educator who has shown an outstanding commitment to environmental education. Dr. Kimberly Pause Tucker’s research with students focuses on various topics in molecular ecology. Her teaching responsibilities at Stevenson University include Evolution, Conservation Biology, and Diversity of Life. She is passionate about education and has dedicated much of her career to STEM and environmental outreach. Since 2012, she has directed an annual STEM career day for middle school girls called Expanding Your Horizons, directed a summer science camp for middle school children for five years, and was also part of the small team on the Steering Committee who developed the inaugural Maryland STEM Festival (2015). In her role as the founding Director of the Stevenson University Center for Environmental Stewardship, she hosts environmental service projects, such as stream cleanups, invasive plant removal projects, and more. Dr. Tucker’s work is nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards and is an inspiration to both her students and her colleagues.

2019 Commercial Stewards Award: Irish Restaurant Company, Anne Arundel County

This award, established to honor previous Chairpersons of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, recognizes an outstanding corporate or commercial entity that strives to make a difference in the community, has made a significant contribution to natural resource restoration and protection in the Chesapeake region, and engages its employees and members of the community in environmental issues. The Irish Restaurant Company is known throughout the region for their family of beloved restaurants, including Galway Bay in Annapolis; Killarney House in Davidsonville; Brian Boru in Severna Park; and Pirate’s Cove, their newest addition on the West River in Galesville. Since the founding of their first restaurant in 1998, owners Anthony Clarke and Michael Galway have also earned a reputation for their commitment to the environment, their community, and to promoting green practices in their businesses. They strive to reduce their carbon footprint through numerous initiatives, including nearly eliminating plastic used in the service and packaging of products and menu items; limiting the use of drinking straws to only those who really need them; introducing water saving practices through low flow sprayers and efficient water heaters, and more. The Killarney House property is a showcase for their environmental ethos, featuring solar panels (both thermal and PV applications) and a large-scale stormwater practice, funded in part through a Trust grant program, which prevents substantial polluted runoff from reaching Beards Creek.

2019 Melanie Teems Award: Frederick Food Security Network Frederick County

Named after the longest-serving staff member of the Trust, this award recognizes an exemplary project or program that engages residents in efforts to improve the region’s natural resources, serving as a model for other organizations. Frederick Food Security Network is a program of the Hood College Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies that takes an innovative approach to addressing urgent environmental and community challenges that represent the best of creative problem solving and community collaboration. By working with community partners to establish a network of “vegetable rain gardens” in Frederick, they are improving food security for residents of local food deserts, reducing local water pollution by diverting rooftop runoff for use as irrigation, and promoting better eating habits and environmental stewardship in the Frederick community.