Written by Jessica Jenkins, Communications Intern
As the days get longer and warmer, the average Marylander is spending more and more time in our great outdoors. With this time outside, many are starting their gardening regimen. Thanks to the work of the Smart on Pesticides coalition that we are a part of, we passed the Pollinator Protection Act of 2016 that bans the sale of products containing neonicotinoid (neonics). This helps consumers make safe choices for their families and our pollinators.
On May 25, 2017 Governor Hogan signed the Pollinator Habitat Bill into law. According to the Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition, “Maryland’s pollinators are at risk, due in part to pesticides and a lack of sufficient habitat. The 2016 Pollinator Habitat Plans law aimed to restore and increase habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife. This law requires that Maryland’s Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Services and the State Highway Administration establish pollinator habitat plans for lands owned or managed by each agency.”
Last year alone, Maryland beekeepers lost 56% of their hive populations to habitat loss and pesticides. This new law specifically bans neonicotinoid (“neonic”) pesticides, which have been proven to kill bees, from state pollinator habitat areas. “Keeping state pollinator habitat free of harmful pesticides will help protect our bees, food supply and the environment,” said Ruth Berlin, executive director of the Maryland Pesticide Education Network. “Maryland is demonstrating once again that we are a national leader in pollinator protection.”
Governor Larry Hogan needs to hear that this is an issue that matters to Marylanders – from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. He needs to hear from you, Friend. Will you join with fellow Marylanders to protect our coast?
When the initial Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s draft of an energy plan came out in 2015 that included our coastal waters for potential offshore drilling, our movement got organized. It started with the fantastic grassroots efforts of Ocean City residents who kayaked against the drilling of our precious natural resources on the eastern shore. 1
Maryland League of Conservation Voters Announces 2017 Awardees for the Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – In preparation for the largest environmental event of the year, Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) announced the awardees for the 2017 Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner. Maryland LCV bestows the Chesapeake Champion Award to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, awards the Legislator of the Year Award to House Chair of the Environment and Transportation committee, Delegate Kumar Barve, and the John V. Kabler Memorial Award to the 2016 Prince George’s County Promotores Class.
The Citizens’ Election Fund is building momentum among various constituencies ahead of the anticipated vote. On April 2nd, Environmentalists for Citizens’ Election Fund drew activists from as far as Washington DC to discuss the connection between strengthening democracy and protecting the environment. The next day, Howard County Council introduced the bill, now known as CB30. Later that week on April 7th, Ben Jealous headlined Women for Citizens’ Election Fund, which focused on how the program would increase access to elected office for minorities and underrepresented residents.
Since then, Fair Elections Howard coalition partners have launched canvasses and hosted grassroots action days intended to build on the groundswell of support. The culmination of these events was last Wednesday’s press conference and public hearing. Before the proceedings, Congressman Sarbanes joined co-sponsors Jon Weinstein and Jen Terrasa to deliver a rousing address, touting the program and its potential to make history. The hearing that followed drew 70+ proponents and inspired diverse testimony in favor of the legislation. With the threat of an executive veto looming, the large turnout was a good portend for the necessary 4-1 veto-proof margin.
Looking forward to legislative work session and the tentative vote, we are reminded that there are miles to go before we sleep. Accordingly, Council Chairman Weinstein cautioned, “Don’t get complacent because this issue needs to be fought for here [and now].” To make this dream a reality, we need you to continue advocating for the bill in public and private circles and emailing Council. Additionally, we are still recruiting residents of Councilwoman Sigaty's District to lead an in-person visit and ensure that we have her vote.
Public Funding Organizer
Maryland LCV Education Fund
MARYLAND LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS AND PARTNERS GAIN TRACTION IN 2017 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
Maryland’s Environment Had A Banner Year
Annapolis, MD – The Maryland General Assembly closed the 2017 session with powerful affirmations of the importance of protecting Maryland’s people and environment. Maryland gained national acclaim by banning hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), as well as limiting the over-use of antibiotics in agriculture.
From our Executive Director, Karla Raettig:
Annapolis, MD- Maryland League of Conservation Voters is proud to stand with the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition in the bipartisan victory in banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state of Maryland today with Governor Hogan’s signature making it law.
I only have one word for the incredible turnout at the Environmental Legislative Summit- W-O-W! This was my eighth summit with Maryland LCV, and I’ve never seen so many Marylanders attending the Environmental Legislative Summit. I can't thank you enough!
Throughout the years, all the progress we’ve made as an environmental community has been because of you. So many people attended, that there were lines to get into the room and into the building. What an incredible force we are, I am so proud to be a member of this community with you.
One of my favorite parts of the evening was Speaker of the House Mike Busch proclaiming, “…No matter what happens in DC,… We are not going to back down one iota on the environment!" Protecting our natural resources is what makes us Marylanders, and I’m grateful to have local leaders who demonstrate my community’s values.
As you may have heard, our Maryland General Assembly voted earlier to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the 2016 Clean Energy Jobs Act. I have no doubt this happened because of you joining your voice with your neighbors and advocating loudly to your legislators. And they LISTENED.
There were over 450 Marylanders that came to the Environmental Summit last week to hear about our other priorities:
- Banning fracking in Maryland
- Limiting the use of antibiotics in livestock for non-therapeutic purposes
- Defending septics regulations
You are the reason we work so hard to ensure a bright, healthy future for all Marylanders. Thank you for standing with me, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the environmental community, and the natural resources of Maryland.
I look forward to many more successful actions this Session with you,
Dannielle Lipinski, Communications and Outreach Manager
Today we at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters celebrate an early victory this session with one of our major climate bills, The Clean Energy Jobs Act, passing out of the Maryland General Assembly today, despite Governor Hogan’s veto of the bill last session.
We applaud the General Assembly for standing up for Maryland’s clean energy economy and increasing our state’s renewable energy. This bill continues Maryland’s leadership on combatting climate change and reflects what we all know; Maryland voters want action on climate.
We can no longer depend on the national administration to take action against climate change, and action at the state level is more important than ever. We are enthused to have a General Assembly taking up the reins of leadership on climate change.
Today we at Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) give Governor Hogan a mark of “Needs Improvement” on his first environmental report card, noting that the Governor’s actions don’t always match his words when it comes to prioritizing the environment and public health. With a new President who has promised to rollback federal protections and nominated an environmental cabinet that denies climate change, the organization looks to Governor Hogan to show that conservation is not a partisan concern and that supporting public health and protecting natural treasures are good for business.
From the desk of Karla Raettig, Executive Director:
On January 11th in Annapolis, our legislators will reconvene in the state house at 12:00 pm. As they take their seats, the clock will start ticking on our 90 day legislative session and our opportunity opens to pass some great environmental laws.
In conjunction with the statewide Maryland Climate Coalition and legislative champions in both the Senate and House of Delegates, we are working to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill ensuring that Maryland gets 25% of its electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020. Additionally, we have prioritized banning hydraulic fracturing in the state, a practice that has been linked to disastrous water and air pollution along with serious public health hazards.
We are also lending our support to limiting the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock to stop the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. These bacteria sicken millions of Americans every year and kill tens of thousands. We will also be working on banning Styrofoam statewide. This would be mean no establishment or institution can serve on Styrofoam materials, including restaurants and bans the sale Styrofoam containers or packaging peanuts.
We additionally join with our partners to protect smart growth policies related to septics regulations in reaction to the Governor’s statement this summer on rolling back on Chesapeake Bay restoration.
Related to all environmental legislation, Maryland LCV will be defending the budget for environmental agencies and enforcement of current environmental laws.
The truth is that we need you now more than ever. With the federal political climate, we must take a stand to defend the progress we’ve made here in Maryland. Make sure you stay tuned to your inbox for upcoming action alerts and updates from this legislative session.
We need to hold strong as a community and make sure that the great progress we’ve made continues into the future. Thank you for standing with me and the future of our beautiful state,
Maryland League of Conservation Voters