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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2014

Contact: Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager, Sustainable Maryland,
(301-405-7956, mikeh75@umd.edu)

Chesapeake Beach Receives Prestigious Sustainable Maryland Certified Award at Maryland Municipal League Conference, 1st in Calvert County 

College Park, MD (September 16, 2014) –The Town of Chesapeake Beach was one of ten Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference held in Annapolis on Friday, September 12.

The Town of Chesapeake Beach is the first Sustainable Maryland Certified municipality in Calvert County.  Perched on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, the Town of Chesapeake Beach has an intimate connection to the natural world, and a commensurate understanding of its obligation to protect the local natural resources that are integral to its viability as a community. Toward that end, the Town has developed a unique collaboration with a local non-profit in order to capitalize on the sense of place and it’s location on the Chesapeake Bay, and has developed the Fishing Creek Trail, and abandoned railway, to offer access to educational opportunities and community engagement projects for local residents. A partnership with the local non-profit Chesapeake Beach Oyster Cultivation Society (CBOCS) has fostered a variety of educational opportunities for local resident and students. The program has grown to include more than 200 active volunteers. Hundreds of local students will come to the Fishing Creek Trail for a day of observations, measurements, counting surveying spat on shell and water quality monitoring. As a result of this partnership, over 150,000 oysters have been relocated to date. Chesapeake Beach has long recognized the symbiotic relationship between the Town, its residents, and the local business community. The Town promotes local businesses on its web site, on the annual Town Calendar, and in a tri-fold brochure published quarterly. The Town has also been active on the energy-efficiency front, completing energy audits of Town Hall, Chesapeake Beach Water Park and the Chesapeake Beach Waste Water Treatment Plant. 

“I am very pleased and honored that Sustainable Maryland has awarded certification to the Town of Chesapeake Beach, and that we are the first municipality in Calvert County to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Chesapeake Beach Mayor Bruce Wahl. “As one of the “Founding Mayors” of Sustainable Maryland, it is wonderful to see recognition for the town’s efforts.  In particular, the Chesapeake Beach Oyster Cultivation Society (CBOCS) is a wonderful success story that has produced hundreds of thousands of yearling oysters planted in an sanctuary oyster bed in the Chesapeake Bay, and each year provides educational opportunities for over one thousand fifth-graders from Calvert and Anne Arundel County schools, both public and private.  CBOCS is largely the effort of volunteers, but also receives key support from the Town’s Public Works department.”

To achieve Sustainable Maryland Certified status, municipalities are required to form a Green Team comprised of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials; complete a variety sustainability-related Actions worth a total of at least 150 points (including two mandatory actions and two of six priority actions), and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied. 

The 10 municipalities to achieve Sustainable Maryland Certified status this year include:

Town of Bel Air (first municipality certified in Harford County)

Town of Berwyn Heights (Prince George’s County)

Town of Boonsboro (first municipality certified in Washington County)

Town of Chesapeake Beach (first municipality certified in Calvert County)

Town of Cheverly (Prince George’s County)

City of Greenbelt (Prince George’s County)

Town of Snow Hill (Worcester County)

City of Takoma Park (Montgomery County)

Town of Riverdale Park (Prince George’s County)

Town of University Park (Prince George’s County)

According to Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager for Sustainable Maryland, “These awards are a testament to the passion and dedication of volunteers, municipal staff and elected officials to lighten our collective imprint on the Earth, restore the natural world, and plan together to create a better tomorrow for our children and their children.” 

Joanne Throwe, Director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland at College Park, congratulated the certified towns: “These newly certified Sustainable Maryland municipalities have demonstrated, each in their own unique ways, their commitment to strengthening the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability in their towns and cities. I commend their elected officials, municipal staff, and of course the passionate volunteers of their Green Teams for their efforts to shine a guiding light on the path forward for all of Maryland’s communities to a brighter, more sustainable future.”

Shown below, Chesapeake Beach Council Member Stewart Cumbo, Community Development Coordinator Connie O’Dell and Mayor Bruce Wahl (R) with the Sustainable Maryland Certified award at the Maryland Municipal League conference; and the Chesapeake Beach Sustainable Maryland Certified logo.

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Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipalities as of 2014 (3rd full year of the program):

  • Total Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Certified: 22 (14% of Maryland’s municipalities) 

  • Total Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Registered: 45 (29% of Maryland’s municipalities) 

About Sustainable Maryland:

Sustainable Maryland is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland that is designed to support Maryland's 157 municipalities as they look for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities. Using best practices in resource areas like water, energy, planning, health, food, and economy, a municipality can earn points toward sustainability certification.

Sustainable Maryland offers a customizable menu of concrete actions, allowing communities to select initiatives that best fit their specific needs. This free and voluntary program, with the support of the Maryland Municipal League, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Town Creek Foundation, helps communities choose a direction for their greening efforts; complete their chosen actions with help from program tools, trainings, expert guidance, and other resources; and be recognized statewide for their accomplishments. 

For more information about Sustainable Maryland: www.sustainablemaryland.com .
For information about the Town of Chesapeake Beach’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Bill Watson, Staff Coordinator, Town of Chesapeake Beach, Email:  wrw544@yahoo.com , Phone 410-286-5222.

For a printable copy of the above Press Release, click here .

 

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