Sea level rise caused by climate change pollution is the single biggest threat to wildlife and habitats like the Chesapeake Bay.
With its expansive coastline, low-lying topography, and growing coastal population, the Chesapeake Bay region is among the places in the nation most vulnerable to sea level rise. The state of Maryland is currently losing approximately 580 acres every year to shore erosion, placing natural treasures like Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and Tangier Sound and the wildlife species that depend on them at risk.
Transitioning to clean energy sources, such as Atlantic offshore wind is one of the essential ways to protect wildlife for our children’s future. In the fall of 2010, environmental, health, faith, and civic organizations began a collaboration to bring offshore wind energy to Maryland. The offshore wind campaign illustrated a bold vision for Maryland’s cleaner and healthier energy future that inspired and energized thousands of citizens from across the state and captured the national spotlight. This effort resulted in the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.
The campaign also galvanized and united the organizations involved, leading to the formation of the Maryland Climate Coalition. Comprised of national, regional, state, and local advocacy organizations, the Maryland Climate Coalition is committed to advancing policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and engaging diverse audiences in the demand for urgent action by decision-makers to address the impacts of climate change. A membership list and more information about the coalition and its work can be found at marylandclimatecoalition.org.
As a member of the steering committee and fiscal agent for the Maryland Climate Coalition, the National Wildlife Federation is working to:
Enact public policy in Maryland that mitigates climate change: The coalition’s primary focus is centered on increasing the amount of non-carbon-emitting electricity generation in Maryland utilizing appropriately sited renewable energy sources. Through the Cleaner Power, Brighter Maryland campaign, the coalition is working to achieve significant increases in Maryland’s mandatory Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 40 percent by 2025.
Engage communities in policy campaigns and increase awareness of climate issues to help build a statewide movement that demands action and change: Through building a strong and diverse network of partners including faith, labor, business, health, and environmental justice organizations, the coalition is helping to ensure that addressing climate change is supported by an ever-widening range of constituencies and interests.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.