February 2nd - Walk the Talk: An Interfaith Response to Polluted Runoff
IPC, Earth Forum of Howard County, the Presbytery of Baltimore, and Maryland League of Conservation Voters organized Walk the Talk: An Interfaith Response to Polluted Runoffon February 2, 2014. Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin kicked us off with an inspiring invitation to be stewards of Creation, followed by presentations from Vince Gardina, Director of the Baltimore County DEPS, and Lindsay DeMarzo of the Howard County Office of Environmental Sustainability. A congregational panel organized by the Presbytery of Baltimore offered ideas and inspiration for getting started in their own congregations. And several key partners provided resources and guidance to the faith community on topics such as stormwater retrofits, county programs, and grant funding.
Polluted Runoff is the only source of pollution that is still increasing here in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Under federal decree, local jurisdictions have implemented programs to encourage management of polluted runoff, to be in compliance with House Bill 987. These programs encourage all property owners – congregations included – to contribute to solutions that will reduce polluted runoff.
Those who would like to see this bill repealed or weakened often state that it is unfair for congregations to underwrite these additional costs. Yesterday’s gathering offered a response from many in the faith community who are willing to accept their responsibility for polluted runoff as a public witness to their commitment to Creation, and also because they understand that to not accept responsibility simply shifts that burden to other groups – or worse, to future generations.
A call to advocacy was issued at the event, and many attendees responded by signing letters to Senator Kasemeyer and Senator Robey (Howard County districts) asking them to keep HB 987 intact.
For those who were unable to attend, please see our website for links to important resources, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to pursue projects at your congregation to address polluted runoff, but don’t know where to get started.