First State of the Coast Conference Tackles Issues Facing Maryland Bays
Posted: May 23, 2018 8:44 PM
By Nicole Edenedo
(CAMBRIDGE, Md.) - An inaugural summit of environmental leaders in Maryland kicked off day two of what may be an annual conference to tackle the most pressing issues the state's coast lines face.
Over 200 leaders in environmental science, conservation and oversight groups gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge this week for the three-day State of the Coast conference to exchange ideas, tools, concerns and solutions surrounding Maryland's ecosystems and how environmental shifts impact them.
"For example, one issue we talked about all day yesterday was climate change, and associated effects like sea-level rise and more numerous days of high temperature, like over 90 degrees, and how that impacts our ecosystems," said Mark Belton, Secretary for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Keeping the Eastern Shore's coastlines clean is also a top priority along with having the right tools.
The industry's latest technology showcased how to help keep track of pollutants in our waterways such as nitrates, and ways to decrease those numbers.
"We specialize in building technology that helps other environmental nonprofits restore the Chesapeake Bay and document progress toward water quality," said John Dawes, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Chesapeake Commons. "Instead of everyone doing calculations differently, they can manage all this data from one place."
A three-day conference may seem short but leaders say it is enough to start planning a brighter future for the Eastern Shore.
"Two things we announced this morning: one was a climate change academy where we will actually educate folks, local government and state governments, nonprofits and infrastructure organizations, on the basics of climate change," Secretary Belton announced.
"The second thing we did was announce a new common application for all the grants the state gives for coastal communities for resilience against climate change and other issues."
Belton's office along with Maryland's other environmental departments will continue to work together to eventually bring tools to the public in hopes that everyone can pitch in help protect the state's coastal bays.