The Environmental Committee (aka “Green Team”) started 2019 with a working session on our Action Plan and schedule of activities for the year.
At the meeting Vice Commodore Liz Filter announced that John Butler will become the new Environmental Committee co-chair replacing Phil Renaud who has moved to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She noted that given John’ s work with EYC’s oyster Initiatives and community outreach efforts he will be able to easily step into this new leadership role and thanked him for agreeing to serve.
The committee then focused on finalizing our schedule of activities from clean regattas and lectures to hands-on project events. Working groups were established for the various projects and initiatives.
One of our major efforts this winter will be to further develop our collaborative efforts with community partners. We will be expanding our oyster efforts with both the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (living oyster wave wall) and the Marylanders Grow Oysters/Severn River Association Program (oyster cages). Our collaboration with Spa Creek Conservancy on water quality and community outreach will be strengthened.
Lastly, we will be working with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to continue our efforts to facilitate a community dialogue and identification of joint actions on Bay Stewardship.
Regarding Bay Stewardship, our first 2019 Environmental Lecture was “Restoring Chesapeake Bay” on January 30. The speaker was Gary Jobson, well known sailor, America's Cup winner, president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, vice president of the International Sailing Federation and vice-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. He discussed how legislation and everyday actions are improving the Bay watershed and shared some of his personal experiences. His lecture was well received.
On February 27, we will have a presentation on solar energy and the new community solar program in Maryland. Carolyn Ricketts with Neighborhood Sun, a community solar organization, will discuss the 2015 MD Community Solar 3yr Pilot Program, how it effects Marylanders, how community solar works, and who can use community solar.
She will go over the likelihood of a bill in the 2019 legislation asking for an extension of the 2015 Pilot Program and give a brief overview of the The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and its impact on community solar and other renewables. CEJA is a priority bill for most environmental organizations and will increase MD's need for community solar as it asks for MD to expand its renewable portfolio to 50% by 2030 with a provision to execute a study to develop a plan to get to 100% renewable by 2040.