Senate Bill Number: 791
House Bill Number: 1031
Vision: Global leaders are calling for conserving 50% of Earth’s landmass. The Maryland the Beautiful Act is Maryland’s response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and his Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report, which sets a new national goal of 30% of U.S. lands permanently preserved by 2030.
Sponsors: Sen. Elfreth, Sen. Eckardt, Del. Stein, Del. Leudtke and others
If Passed, What Would this Bill Do?
- Protect and conserve 30% of Maryland’s lands by 2030.
- Protect and conserve 40% of Maryland's lands by 2040
- Create two new programs (“Greenspace Equity Fund” & “Local Land Trust Revolving Loan Program”) for equitable and accessible conserved greenspace.
- Expanded funding for the Mel Noland Woodland Incentive fund to increase forest protections.
Use this Phone Script to call your legislators! You’d be amazed by how important your voice is to your local legislator. Not sure who your representatives are? Visit mdelect.net and enter your address to look up your state representatives and their contact information.
- Email your legislators, using the phone script above for some talking points. Phone calling is more impactful though.
- Here is a fact sheet to help you with talking points.
- Check out our recording of the 2022 MD Legislative Briefing, and join us in advocating for environmentally conscious policy in 2022! Additionally, check out this accompanying resource document, filled with helpful contacts, advocating strategies, bill information, and more!
This Maryland initiative opens the door to a new, more-inclusive, model for science-based, locally driven conservation of lands, wetlands, and inland waters – setting a goal of 30% of Maryland lands protected by 2030 and also creating two new programs (“Open Space Equity Program” & “Land Trust Emergency Revolving Loan Fund”) for equitable and accessible conserved greenspace.
The “Greenspace Equity Program” program would create a new opportunity to fund conservation and greenspace projects in underserved communities, such as community gardens, pocket parks, trail connections, and more. The Maryland Land Trust Emergency Revolving Loan Fund would allow for local land trusts to immediately secure funding to protect critical and important Maryland lands and waterways without traditional delays.
Currently, Maryland has already conserved nearly 30% of its lands, so we are on track to achieve a 30 x 30 goal! But given the huge loss of nature and habitat in our state, we need to go further, and this bill sets us on course for 40% by 2040, making Maryland the leader among other states in the 30 x 30 effort.
Environmental Justice Implications/Equity:
Through targeted conservation, this bill addresses climate resiliency, lack of urban agriculture/locally grown foods, and lack of accessible greenspace in urban communities. Urban communities will suffer first and foremost from climate change impacts, and Maryland needs to create a process to green and conserve land -- no matter how small. As vacant lots are resurrected into corner green spaces, this will increase cooling shade, improve air quality, sink carbon into the ground, increase biodiversity, create opportunities for pocket food gardens or other agricultural practices, and improve mental and physical wellbeing.
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