Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.
Rural areas like the Eastern Shore of Maryland will be places of innovation and opportunity, with vibrant towns, thriving farms and forests, and economies built from rural strengths.
Our 2013 Legislative Priorities
- Strengthen Towns as Economic Hubs - Towns are the commerce centers for rural communities. For the sustainability of rural lands and industry, it’s essential that towns are healthy, attractive places to live and work.
- Continue support the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit. Last year the recipients of this credit helped create 740 construction jobs in projects that will revitalize communities and promote green building practices. Ten projects that scored highest in the application process received a total of $11 million in tax credits to help leverage construction projects with a total estimated cost of $82 million.
- Support creation of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. This project would restore multiple historic buildings in downtown Easton, MD and turn it into a non-profit conservation and innovation complex that could potentially bring over 100 full-time jobs to the town and provide public meeting space for community projects.
- Support town-wide tech innovation funding. Town-wide WiFi, and Solar-Trees are examples of technology projects that draw business and vibrancy to towns.
- Reinstitute MDE’s Loan Forgiveness Program for minor Wastewater Treatment Plants. We can support the fiscal and environmental health of our rural communities by ensuring future funding from the Bay Restoration Fund is targeted for minor wastewater treatment plants.
- Support circuit rider funding initiatives or other efforts to help local governments with their Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs)
Protect and Invest in Rural Lands- The Eastern Shore should be a landmark example of rural protection and investment. Collaboration and investment in tourism and traditional working landscapes is the key to protecting rural heritage and supporting its future.
- Safeguard farms by funding Program Open Space, MALPF, and other land preservation programs.
- Seek robust State investment in the regional economic councils and Rural Prosperity Fund. The Mid-Shore Regional Council (MSRC) alone has created over 700 jobs and leveraged over $11.2 million, supporting a host of regional projects in the past seven years. Rural support of public transportation, small business development, regional broadband, ag/resource-based industries, technology parks and more are just a small part of what regional councils do.
- Support Maryland Heritage Areas. Maryland’s Heritage Areas are locally designated and State certified regions where public and private partners make commitments to preserving historical, cultural and natural resources for sustainable economic development through heritage tourism.
- Support transportation policies that result in the most sustainable land use patterns for the Shore. Promote policies that make travel safer and easier and that emphasize alternatives to standard travel.
Grow Rural Opportunities through Energy Innovations- Rural areas are ripe to lead the way to a new energy future where energy consumption is reduced and needs are met through renewable, locally generated energy sources. This will provide rural areas with greater energy independence while supporting local jobs.
- Support offshore wind energy. Offshore wind is potentially one of the Eastern Shore’s greatest untapped energy resources. Developing Maryland’s offshore wind energy industry could lead to over 15,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
- Support the 2013 Community Renewable Energy Generation bill. Maryland should establish a net energy metering program for “Community Renewable Energy-Generating Facilities”. These renewable energy facilities generate electricity from biomass, micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP), solar, fuel cell, wind, and more. These facilities could be used to reduce grid dependency while sharing energy costs to neighbouring small farm operations.
Talk to your elected officials about what you want for your community. They don’t know unless you tell them. Find them here: Who are my elected officials?