Blog Posts

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Annapolis City Council: Ward 5

    The Annapolis City Council has nine members, including the Mayor. It takes a majority of five votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment.
    The AA Chapter has endorsed six candidates for the City Council, including the mayor. We are confident, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.
    This is the first in a series of weekly emails that focus on one of those candidates each week. This week we will introduce you to Marc Rodriguez, candidate for Ward 5. See the ward map here.


    Marc grew up spending his summers in Annapolis and completed part of his high school years at Key School.  The time he spent in Annapolis during his formative years had a profound impact, which Marc credits to his active involvement in the community. His passion for the environment started with time spent rowing with the Annapolis Rowing Club, which led to a successful tenure in collegiate rowing at the University of Michigan, where he received a degree in Economics.  This direct connection with the water instilled in Marc a lesson he will take with him to City Hall: protecting the environment and the Chesapeake Bay is essential to preserving our quality of life for generations to come.

    Marc has continued to be active in the community – he volunteers and serves on the boards of Seeds 4 Success, Monarch Academy Anne Arundel, Annapolis Opera, Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center, the Youth Advisory Committee at Arundel Lodge, and the VAAAC Chairman's Leadership Committee.

    Since January 2016, Marc has been working on Ward 5 and City issues with Alderman Jared Littmann. He has helped address key challenges facing our community, and is especially proud of two pieces of environmental legislation he worked on with Alderman Littmann: the Forest Conservation Act and the No Net Loss of Tree Canopy. 

  • Spotlight on the candidates for Annapolis City Council: Ward 7

    The Annapolis City Council has nine members, including the Mayor. It takes a majority of five votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment.

    The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed six candidates for the City Council, including the mayor. We are confident, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.
    This is the first in a series of weekly emails that focus on one of those candidates each week. This week we will introduce you to Rob Savidge, candidate for Ward 7. Ward
    7 goes from Forrest Drive to Tyler Avenue to Bembe Beach. See the map here.



    Rob has made his home in Annapolis for over 16 years with his wife Becca and son Whit. He fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay while earning his degree in Environmental Studies at Washington College, on the Eastern Shore. His career started with the Chesapeake Bay Program, supporting the efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay. From there he worked for a number of years in private consulting as an Environmental Scientist before starting his career with local government. That career started with the City of Annapolis, where he was the Sustainability Coordinator and  Environmental Compliance Inspector, reviewing development projects and authoring the City's climate action plan. Now he works for Anne Arundel County as an Engineer/Project Manager for stormwater management projects.
    Rob is known for "blowing the whistle" on the City when he observed that they were allowing developers to clear protected forests. He successfully lead an effort to protect the forests, and the City is set to turn the area into a new park. Subsequently, he worked with current Aldermen to develop legislation that strengthened the City's Forest Conservation laws, and worked to unite the environmental community in support of these efforts. 
  • Meet the Interns: Jessica Jenkins

    Welcome to our weekly segment introducing our summer interns! First is Jessica Jenkins

    Hi! My name is Jessica Jenkins and I am one of the Communications Interns at Maryland LCV this summer. I am a sophomore at the University of Delaware studying English with minors in the Environmental Humanities and Journalism. I am originally from Marriottsville, MD but have spent my life frequently visiting my grandparent’s house in Shady Side, where I fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Pollinator Habitat Bill is Signed!

    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.”

    Photo of the Signing of the Pollinator Habitat Law

    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.”

  • Push back Against the Effort to Sell our Ocean to Dirty Energy!

    The Trump administration wants to open Maryland’s coast to dirty energy. Join us in calling for Governor Hogan to reject opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling today! >>

    We have been down this road before, Friend. But, this time, we know have the momentum on our side.

    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?

    Governor Hogan must join us in taking a public stand against opening our coast to offshore oil drilling today >>

    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

    For Immediate Release                                                     Contact:  Karla Raettig, MDLCV Executive Director
    May 1, 2017                                                                            202-674-3174 (c)

    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.

    Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Chesapeake Bay. Serving as a watchdog, they fight for effective, science-based solutions to the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Their motto, "Save the Bay," is a regional rallying cry for pollution reduction throughout the Chesapeake's six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to more than 17 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals. As CBF celebrates their 50th anniversary we thank them for their commitment to Maryland's environment and we are pleased to present them with the Chesapeake Champion Award.

    Delegate Kumar Barve has championed many environmental issues over the years that have helped protect Maryland’s air, land, water and people. This year, he is receiving our Legislator of the Year award for his work passing legislation to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Maryland.  While this was certainly the highest profile environmental victory this year, as Chairman of the Environment and Transportation Committee, he has helped guide many successful campaigns this year- from protecting pollinator habitats, to advancing the cause of clean energy, to ensuring sustainable oyster fisheries.

    Chispa Maryland’s 2016 Class of Environmental Justice and Action Promotores are 13 women who were selected to participate in Chispa Maryland’s highest volunteer program. Chispa’s Environmental Justice and Action Promotores elevates Latino leaders and offers training on grassroots organizing within our own communities while building relationships of respect and dignity with members of the community. Since their graduation, these 13 leaders have been working to bring environmental issues, education and activism to fellow Latinos and people of color in schools, churches, community centers, parks, and around our county.

    “It was a banner year for the environment in the 2017 Legislative session, thanks to the leadership of Chairman Kumar Barve. We are honored to award him Legislator of the Year for his passionate defense of the environment and his work to ban the dangerous practice of fracking,” Karla Raettig, Maryland League of Conservation Voters Executive Director.

    Please follow us on twitter @MDLCV and the hashtag #GreenAwardsMD to follow along during the event.

    John V. Kabler Memorial Award

    Established in 2001, the John V. Kabler Memorial Award honors the vision and accomplishments of John V. Kabler (1942-1996). Motivated to act on behalf of the environment in the wake of the Three Mile Island crisis in the late 1970s, Kabler inspired his environmental colleagues to become active in political campaigns. Together these leaders founded the Maryland LCV in 1979. Until his death in 1996, Kabler was a key leader of the Maryland conservation movement. Past recipients of the John V. Kabler Memorial Award include Governors Parris Glendening and Harry Hughes, U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski, Joseph Tydings and Paul Sarbanes, U.S. Representatives Wayne Gilchrest and Chris Van Hollen, Maryland State Senator Brian Frosh, EPA Administrator Russell Train, the Chesapeake Waterkeepers, former Maryland DNR Secretary John Griffin, 1000 Friends Executive Director, Dru Schmidt-Perkins, Maryland LCV Founders Nancy Davis and Ajax Eastman, Adam Ortiz, and the Central Maryland Beekeepers.

  • Take action today to pass CB 30 in Howard County!

    The Citizens’ Election Fund is building momentum among various constituencies ahead of the anticipated May 1st 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 Monday’s legislative work session and the tentative May 1st 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.


    Take a second NOW to email Council in support of CB30. If you live in District 4, contact me for help with scheduling an appointment with Councilwoman Sigaty.



    Devon Hawkins-Anderson

    Public Funding Organizer

    Maryland LCV Education Fund


    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.

  • Statement of the Signing of the Fracking Ban

    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.

  • Let’s Keep Up the Momentum

    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!

    Download the agenda and summit packets here.

    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