*** Our prayers and support go out to the family and friends of Maryland's Speaker of the House Michael Busch who passed away on Sunday April 7, 2019.
We are excited to report that the Ban on Foam Food Containers and the Forest Fee-in-Lieu bills passed the Maryland legislature. The Governor has until May 28th to veto these bill. You can call Governor Hogan at 410-974-3901 to let him know you support the bills. If he does not veto the bills before May 28th, they will go into effect.
Ban on Foam Food Containers - House Bill 109/Senate Bill 285
We All Did It! Yes -- Maryland has passed a ban on foam food containers -- and this is a BIG deal. The next generation will probably not know what Styrofoam picnic plates are -- and you made that change happen!
Everyone who called their legislators, sent in emails, and collected signatures played a role in this. Together - we are making a change! The ban will mean once it goes into effect, foam cups/plates/containers will not be available at grocery stores, and restaurants/cafeterias will not be allowed to use them to serve food. This will affect congregations that have school cafeterias, serve meals to the hungry, etc.
So, are you ready for the change? Check out our guide here and help your congregation move away from banned food containers.
To read more about the Foam Ban, click here.
Forest Fee in Lieu Bill -
As for Forests, we won some, and we lost some. We were able to get the Fee in Lieu bill passed, which is really exciting because it means no longer will counties/cities be allowed to just stockpile the fees paid by developers when forests are removed. Instead, local government will need to have actionable plans for replanting and increased transparency for how the money is spent. It also requires a 1-to-1 replanting requirement!
In addition, a Study Bill passed that will require the formation of a study group to analyze forest losses in preparation for next legislative session. We're disappointed that the No Net Loss bill did not make it through, but we plan to be back at it again next year, and legislators know this issues WON'T go away. To read about all three of these bills, click here.
Even though Maryland General Assembly closed on April 8th, you can still be an advocate for clean water, forests, trash reduction, and other issues that are important to you.
- Call Governor Hogan at 410-974-3901 to let him know you support these bills.
- Join our Advocacy Leader list for updates throughout the year.
- Join a nearby trash cleanup with the many watershed groups around you. We're hosting one in Gaithersburg on April 13th -- come join us! Not sure where to go near your neck of the woods? Email us and we'll help you find something close to you.
Join us April 8th in Baltimore to hear about the future of Urban Forests and Green Infrastructure with author Dr. Jill Jonnes
- Get involved with a network of congregations in your region to restore clean water. Email bonnie@interfaithchesapeake to learn more - or complete this sign-up form so that we can better support you.
Stay Connected with us and let's get back at it again January 2020!