The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program is a partnership between Prince George’s County Department of the Environment and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust). This program offers incentives to homeowners, businesses, and others to install practices that will reduce stormwater runoff, reduce pollution, and improve the water quality of local streams and rivers.
The Trust recently welcomed Kathy Somoza as the new Rain Check Rebate Coordinator! Continue reading to learn more about Kathy’s background and experience so far.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I grew up and still reside in Annapolis, Maryland, though my family and I originally hail from El Salvador. As a longtime Annapolitan, I have been lucky to have access to and enjoy the beautiful resources of the Chesapeake Bay region through kayaking and hiking! I graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. I originally came to the Chesapeake Bay Trust as the Intern for the Rain Check Rebate Program, and I am so proud to now be administering this program.
What is your favorite story or project from the Rain Check Rebate program?
The stories and projects that stick out most in my mind are the ones that, for a multitude of reasons, do not follow a straightforward or linear process. These are the projects that encounter unexpected hurdles or delays, yet what impresses and inspires me is the perseverance that I see applicants demonstrate in getting their project to the finish line. This program is completely voluntary, so the commitment applicants demonstrate to their projects highlights just how dedicated these Prince George’s residents are to the protection, improvement, and beautification of their local natural resources.
What are your professional/environmental goals and how does managing the Rain Check Rebate Program align with those goals?
My long-term professional goals are to increase awareness of the environmental issues around the Chesapeake Bay region and share resources and mechanisms to address and manage these issues. I love managing the Rain Check Rebate Program because it helps me simultaneously accomplish the goals of building awareness on the issue of stormwater runoff and providing access to a solution.
What have you most enjoyed so far about your new role as the Rain Check Rebate Coordinator?
I have enjoyed seeing how the program has evolved since the time I spent as an intern, and I’m looking forward to working closely with our Prince George’s County Department of the Environment partners to bring the best and most accessible program to County residents, businesses, and nonprofits.
Anything else you want to share?
I feel very fortunate to administer this program on behalf of our County partners. It is a wonderful resource and I hope that more and more applicants continue to tap into this program to protect natural resources, beautify and strengthen communities, and improve local water quality!
Helping Kathy with the program is our Rain Check Rebate intern, Oliver Vasquez!
Oliver is a senior at Frostburg State University, pursuing a degree in Earth Science with a minor in Sustainability Studies. He is passionate about the sustainable aspects of local environmental issues such as soil, air, and water pollution. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career out in the field collecting data making others aware of environmental challenges and concerns to our society today. Oliver is excited about working with the Trust and supporting the mission and vision of restoring our local watersheds and natural resources.
Thank you to Kathy and Oliver for their hard work and passion in managing and supporting the Rain Check Rebate Program! Learn more about the program here.