Maryland faces a powerful set of interconnected challenges in the 21st century. Our leaders will need to make wise decisions and take bold actions to protect and restore the state’s natural resources, to prudently manage the state’s economy, and to guide the state’s politics in a manner that distributes opportunity as broadly as possible. In recent years Maryland’s citizens have recognized the critical importance of the natural resource challenge, especially as regards restoring the Chesapeake Bay and confronting climate change.
The importance of restoring the Chesapeake Bay has long been an animating concern for the Town Creek Foundation. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is one of the most extraordinary places in America, and its network of streams, creeks and rivers hold tremendous ecological, cultural, economic, historic and recreational value for the region and its citizens. Given its centrality to the history of our region, and to our region’s environmental advocacy, its condition may be the most important barometer that we have of our ability to live sustainably.
In the Spring of 2009, President Obama issued the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order which has established an unprecedented implementation and accountability framework for cleaning up the Bay. Acknowledging the failure of the decades old voluntary approach to Bay restoration, this new framework allocates pollution budgets to each of the six Bay states, and establishes federal consequences if the states do not meet their reduction obligations in a timely manner. On the whole, the accountability structure anticipates having all necessary pollution reduction measures in place by the year 2025. In accordance with this accountability framework, Maryland has committed to reduce its Bay pollution by 20% by the year 2020.
The Town Creek Foundation is committed to helping Maryland exceed its Bay pollution reduction goals. In support of this commitment we are making grants to help ensure that state and local leaders – government officials, politicians, business and agricultural interests, environmental advocates and ordinary citizens – have the technical capacity, political will and public support necessary for developing, implementing, and sustaining robust pollution reduction strategies.