For Immediate Release                       

Contact:  Karla Raettig, MDLCV Executive Director

202-674-3174 (c)

April 27, 2017                                                             

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.