Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake


  • Reflection: Only YOU Can Lift Your Voice 
  • Grant Funding Available
  • New Round of Grant Funding for Tree Plantings
  • Free Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County
  • Donate_Button.jpgFree Water Audits in Baltimore
  • Building Greater Partnerships
  • Nibi Walks ~ Every Step Is a Prayer
  • Support IPC through Amazon Smile!
  • Upcoming Events
  • In-Kind Needs - Can you help us?

Only YOU Can Life Your Voice

20151116_174414.jpgWith a presidential election cycle like the one we’re currently experiencing, it’s easy to forget how each voice – each vote – matters. Don’t lose heart - your vote is critical! And so is your voice. And so is your pocketbook.

I recently was excited to hear from Fair Farms Maryland about how consumer choice and pressure is shifting business practices in the farming industry:

  • Perdue Farms has nearly eliminated the use of human antibiotics in its chickens. They also announced a noteworthy new animal welfare program that includes more space and sunlight for birds and more humane slaughter methods.
  • 31% of US farmers have increased their use of organic seed as a result of consumer demand.
  • Maryland farm-to-consumer sales rose 32% between 2007 to 2012 (farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture or CSAs)
  • 70 US retailers have committed to stop selling plants that contain bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides. Maryland just passed its first statewide law in 2016 to restrict the use of these pesticides.
And, here's a local win that resulted from the collective voice of the people: 
  • As you know, Baltimore City failed to meet its sewer management consent decree and was allowed an extension for another 16 years, angering City residents. The local group Blue Water Baltimore collected signatures opposing the extension and convinced a US District Court judge that they should be allowed to intervene in the consent decree to serve as an ongoing voice for the public. By serving as a formal party to the court proceedings, they can now submit legal requests, raise issues, and elevate the voice for the people. 
So, yes, the people have a voice. And, that voice is being heard. But, only YOU can make your voice heard. 

Your neighbor can’t vote for you. 
Your sister can’t write a letter to your Senator for you. 
Your child can’t call Governor Hogan for you. 

You need to lift your voice.

Not sure how?

Join our advocacy team by signing up as an Advocacy Volunteer.

  • Are you willing to speak at a hearing? 
  • Can you write a letter to your representative? 
  • Can you draft content for our newsletters about legislative issues?
  • Can you represent IPC on coalition calls?
  • Want to volunteer as a public advocate in other ways?

Click HERE to volunteer or email Jodi Rose at [email protected] to discuss your interests.

The Maryland legislative session is just around the corner, county councils are finalizing stormwater financial plans, and a task force will be educating legislators about environmental injustice in Maryland.We need your voice to elevate the faith voice.


Grant Funding Available

Outreach and Restoration Grant offered by Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to provide grants for local watershed projects through the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program.  This grant program funds projects in partner areas - Howard County, Baltimore City, Gaithersberg, and Charles County - as well as throughout Maryland. CBT brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the grant process. Applicants are encouraged to contact CBT to discuss grant ideas before applying. Please contact them soon if you are interested.  Non-profit organizations, community associations, faith-based organizations and more are eligible. Grant awards range from $5,000-$75,000. The grant is currently open.  Contact Abbi Huntzinger at[email protected] or 410-974-2941 x106 with questions. Application Deadline: September 28, 2016.

The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant program, offered by the Montgomery County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT), is also now accepting proposals to support watershed restoration and outreach throughout Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant Program encourages on-the-ground restoration including RainScapes practices as well as outreach and engagement activities that reduce stormflow and pollutants and engage Montgomery County residents in the restoration and protection of the local rivers and streams of Montgomery County. Please note that this funding opportunity is available for projects throughout Montgomery County for grant awards of up to $100,000. The municipalities of Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Takoma Park are not eligible for funding in this program; however they are eligible in the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program that is also open now. Deadline: October 6th, 2016 at 5 pm. For questions contact Grant Manager Jeffrey Popp at [email protected] or 410-974-2941, ext. 103.

Mini Grants Program for Community Engagement is designed to engage Maryland residents in activities that enhance communities, engage residents, and improve natural resources. What this funds: Activities such as tree plantings, rain gardens, stream cleanups, and storm drain stenciling. To see a longer list of potential projects, read the full RFP.  Awards are up to $5,000.  for more information contact: Bre'Anna Brooks, [email protected]410-974-2941 x112.

CTK_TFSP_1.jpgNew Round of Grant Funding for Tree-Planting

We will be applying for more funding to continue the Trees for Sacred Places program in 2017.  Our next round of funding may be open to congregations who can plant as few as 20 trees on their property. If your congregation has not been able to participate in the tree-planting program before due to the minimum number of trees to be planted, but could participate if the minimum number is as few as 20 trees, please reach out to Bonnie to put your name on our waiting list at [email protected] or 410-609-6852.

Rectangular_Cistern.jpgFree Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County

Want to slow down the rainwater rushing off your congregation's roof? Want to reduce your Prince George's County Stormwater Fee? We can help! Grant funding secured by the Anacostia Riverkeeper is available to install cisterns at faith-owned properties. 

These cisterns will store rainfall for non-potable water uses, or facilitate slow release after the storm. The project is no cost to the church and can alleviate flooding problems as well as reduce your property’s contribution of polluted runoff.

If your congregation has a roof at least 500 square feet in size and you're interested to learn more, please contact us. Already six congregations in the DC Metro Area have installed cisterns. What better way to draw your members into a deeper conversation about our responsibility to minimize negative impacts on shared water resources. For more information, contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected]or 410-609-6852.

Hurry to Get a Free Water Audit for Your Congregation! Time is Running Short

pocket_watch.pngIf your congregation is located in Baltimore City or County and it hasn't yet had a FREE water audit NOW is the time to sign up. Learn more HERE. To schedule your water audit and register for Blue Water Congregations Click HERE

The water audits are offered free of charge through Blue Water Congregations, a program of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Blue Water Baltimore and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Contact Bonnie at [email protected] or 410-609-6852 with questions.

earth-day_(1).jpegBuilding Stronger Partnerships

We work hard to inspire people of faith to care for the Earth and broker the resources they need to take action, such as grant funding, technical support, and organizational support. We have ideas for how to achieve even more together, but we need to know more about you to continue building on our partnership. By knowing where you live and worship, we can connect you to other people of faith in your region who are working on similar things. Please fill our out Stay Connected form so that we can provide more customized support to you and your congregation.


Do you have a personal narrative about water, environmental issues, or green spaces in your community? What are the joys, challenges and opportunities that you care about? The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program, wants to share your story in a project they are calling #ChesapeakeStories. The first batch of stories received will be edited into a video that will be shown at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum on September 30, 2016 at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. To find out more or for submission guidelines, please click HERE or contact Will Parsons at [email protected] by September 23.

Nibi Walk ~ Every Step Is a Prayer

A group of indigenous people plan to lead a walk of the Potomac River from Fairfax Stone, WV to Point Lookout, MD. They are raising awareness of the sacredness of water and our duty to protect it. They will walk about 30 miles each day from October 7-October 19. You are welcome to join them for all or part of the walk. They are also looking for congregations to host potluck dinners for them along the way. If you can participate as a walker or provide food along the way, please reach out to Sharon Day,[email protected]Click HERE to visit their website.

Shop AmazonSmile and Support IPC

amazonsmile.jpgAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the ADDED bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. It's easy to begin. Simply click HERE and select Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Inc. as your charitable organization of choice. That's it!! Next time you shop online, make sure you start at AmazonSmile and IPC will receive .5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

  • September 20 - Your Input is need for Baltimore's Sustainability Plan- 8:30-10 AM - Hosted by 1000 Friends of Maryland. Contact Kimberly Brandt  [email protected] for an invitation
  • September 21 - Central Maryland WIP Workshop (Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Harford, Howard & Montgomery Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • September 25 - Blue Water Congregations Celebration at St. Anthony's of Padua Catholic Church. Congratulations to all the congregations in Baltimore City and County that have participated in this program. 
  • September 28 - Outreach and Restoration Grant deadline. Contact Abbi Huntzinger at [email protected] or 410-974-2941 x106 with questions.
  • September 29 - Baltimore Hebrew Congregation's Rain Garden Grand Opening, 8:30 am (the rain garden is located in front of the EB Hirsh Early Childhood Center building)
  • September 30 - Upper Eastern Shore WIP Workshop (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's Talbot Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • September 30 - October 2 - Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum - annual conference offering excellent workshops on watershed restoration and community engagement. Click here for more details
  • October 1 - 3rd Annual St. Luke's Blue & Green Festival for the Restoration of Back Creek. 11 am - 3 pm. Free. Click HERE for flyer.
  • October 6 - Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant deadline. For questions contact Grant Manager Jeffrey Popp at [email protected] or 410-974-2941, ext. 103.
  • October 7 - Western Maryland WIP Workshop (Allegany, Frederick Garrett and Washington Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • October 7 - 19 - Nibiwalk an indigenous-led waterwalk ~ every step is a prayer from Fairfax Stone, WV to Point Lookout, MD. Contact Sharon Day [email protected] or 612-721-0253.
  • October 8 - Colesville Presbyterian Church - Tree Planting Day, 9am
  • October 15 - Catonsville Presbyterian Church - Tree Planting & Interfaith Workshop with American Turkish Friendship Assn. begins at 9am
  • October 19 - Lower Eastern Shore WIP Workshop (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • October 21 - Southern Maryland WIP Workshop (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • October 22 - Shaare Tefila (Olney, MD) - Trees Spiritual Workshop, following Shabbat Services
  • October 22 - Camp Wabana (Edgewater, MD) - Tree Planting Day, 8am
  • October 30 - Shaare Tefila (Olney, MD) - Tree Planting Day, 12:30pm
  • October 30 - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (Baltimore, MD) - Trees Spiritual Workshop,9am
  • November 5 - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (Baltimore, MD) - Tree Planting Day,9:20am

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • IPC is doing a database cleanup. Do you have a few hours you could donate to us each week? Contact Andrea Proctor at [email protected] to volunteer. 
  • Are you able to staff an information table at events for us? Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call 410-609-6852 if you're willing to help with this from time to time. 
  • IPC could use a canvas case for small external speakers (used with a projector). Do you have something you can pass along? Contact Kolya Braun-Greiner at[email protected] or call us at 410-609-6852 if you do!  Shout out to Laura Heller for her gift of speakers provided!
Thank you!