Wetlands are threatened by rising seas. File photo

MA - Chesapeake Bay watershed legislative agenda unveiled to battle climate change

The annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council has yielded four key legislative goals for the Chesapeake Bay, climate change, and clean and renewable energy.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was joined by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Virginia Delegate and Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission David L. Bulova, last Friday as well as regional leaders to discuss environmental issues.

“We have worked hard to make Maryland a national leader on climate change and environmental stewardship, which is why I am submitting a memorandum today to Maryland legislative leaders which lays out four key principles to guide further action,” said Hogan.

According to the official memorandum released by Hogan, they are:

  • Chesapeake Bay: Financing For Tomorrow. “Now is the time to make a real down payment on our future environmental and restoration priorities by supporting a robust public-private funding mechanism. Let’s leverage the power of private capital for the public good — it will be good for the Bay and good for the bottom line."
  • A Climate for Clean and Renewable Energy. “We must continue working closely with the federal government and regional partners to advance the clean energy economy. This partnership includes the SMART-POWER agreement I signed with Virginia and North Carolina. Together we can position Maryland as a regional power player for the entire Atlantic Coast.”
  • Outdoor Recreation: Access for All. “I urge the General Assembly to work with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Chesapeake Bay Cabinet to remove funding restrictions within state law so we can better manage and use existing revenue sources to accomplish our collective goals.”
  • Equitable and Just Transition. “Managing state lands, working with local zoning officials, and incentivizing use of brownfields, waste sites, and other underutilized locations continues to offer great potential if we strike the right balance of responsible deregulation and reasonable incentives.”

He also reiterated the state's goal to to be dependent on 50% renewable energy by 2030 and highlighted the "historic" $6.5 billion committed by his administration for a myriad of bay initiatives.

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