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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.

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Chesapeake Film Festival and ESLC

From October 11th to October 14th, the Eastern Shore won’t just be the land of sails and oysters—it will be a sea of film! This long weekend is a celebration of storytelling and filmmaking including workshops, guest speakers, director Q&A’s, and jam-packed cinematic discovery. Jim Bass, ESLC Coastal Resilience Specialist, will lead a discussion following the Maryland premiere of Current Revolution at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on October 13 during the Chesapeake Film Festival. Current Revolution is the newest film by Roger Sorkin and the American Resilience Project. The film, and associated outreach campaigns, tackles the challenge of how various industries can help modernize the aging power grid to make it more secure, sustainable and responsive to the needs of its users. The film, sponsored by Delmarva Power, encourages the use of renewable energy sources to generate electricity. The screening is the Maryland premiere for this essential and excellent film. Current Revolution is paired with Tidewater, another eye-opening film by Sorkin that shows the ravages of climate change on the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, a region whose vulnerability to sea level rise affects military readiness and our overall national security. And don't miss - An Island Out Of Time (PREMIERE): Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 7:30PM - 9:30PM. Directed by Tom Horton, Dave Harp, and Sandy Cannon-Brown (30 min). From the filmmaking team that brought us High Tide in Dorchester and Beautiful Swimmers! This is a film about a remarkable couple, Mary Ada and Dwight Marshall, whose lives on Smith Island personify Chesapeake Bay’s watermen, seafood harvesting culture and history. It’s also about the four children who chose to break with that tradition and why. Written by Tom Horton, the film – like his 1996 book, An Island out of Time - is both celebration and elegy for a place beset with rising sea levels, erosion, pollution, and

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Listen to ESLC’s Jim Bass talk coastal resilience on WHCP

Jim Bass, coastal resilience specialist for ESLC, recently joined Director of Dorchester Country Dept. of Emergency Services Anna Sierra for an interview on Cambridge's WHCP to kick off National Preparedness Month (September). Jim spoke in detail as to how emergency preparedness and ESLC''s coastal resilience program are interconnected, and how the Eastern Shore is one of the nation's most susceptible areas to sea level rise in the country. Jim and Anna also touch on information about the "Know your Zone" program from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Thanks to WHCP ("A Great Place to Be!") for inviting Jim on the air. LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD

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ESLC’s Wayne Gilchrest awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

ESLC Education Program Director (Sassafras Environmental Education Center) Wayne Gilchrest received the Meritorious Service Award (Lifetime Achievement) at the inaugural Environmental Business Leadership Conference, hosted by the Maryland Environmental Service on July 19th at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis. The impressive one-day program featured a lineup of nearly 40 experts from across many, key environmental fields, discussing riveting topics in a dozen business programs and breakout sessions, networking with industry leaders, and more. Following a competitive nomination and selection process, the awardees were selected by a fifteen-member panel. The awards were presented at the sold-out affair. The complete list of award recipients included: Environmental Business Leadership - Public Sector: The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Maryland Environmental Business Leadership - Private Sector: Thomas Maulding, Weller Development Co. Meritorious Service Award (Lifetime Achievement): The Honorable Wayne T. Gilchrest, Director, Sassafras Environmental Education Center, and former Member of Congress from Maryland Rising Star: Diane Croghan, Anne Arundel County Government Environmental Excellence - Sustainability: Marriott International, Inc. (being accepted by Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, Marriott International) Environmental Excellence - Environmental Restoration: Barbara McMahon, MDOT Maryland Port Administration Environmental Excellence - Solid Waste Management: Mr. Trash Wheel (being accepted by John Kellet, President, Clearwater Mills, LLC) “Each of the Environmental Business Leadership Awards recipients are exemplary individuals and organizations that have consistently demonstrated strong leadership and determination to strengthen and preserve Maryland’s environment,” said Roy McGrath, chairman and chief executive officer of the Maryland Environmental Service. “This inaugural group of awardees has set the bar very high and serve as examples of how good stewardship of the environment intersects positively with business and industry,” he added. The regional event brings together key business and environmental leaders to collaborate and learn about the latest environmental business and product innovations, technologies, and opportunities.  

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Upper Eastern Shore Location to Provide Environmental and Recreation Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 1,172 acres in Queen Anne’s County for the development of a new Wildlife Management Area that will provide conservation, habitat and recreation benefits, including birding, hiking, hunting and trapping. The department worked in cooperation with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) on the acquisition. The new area will be managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The acquisition near Church Hill will permanently protect agricultural fields, mature forested uplands, and stream corridors that currently provide excellent water quality protection. The property functions as a headwater catch basin that drains into Brown’s Branch, a tributary of Southeast Creek on the Chester River. “This acquisition is an exciting win for both conservation advocates as well as outdoor enthusiasts,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This large and incredibly beautiful property on the Upper Eastern Shore will protect ecologically-sensitive habitat while providing the public an excellent location for outdoor recreation, especially hunting or trapping.” The Program Open Space acquisition will protect the uncommonly high diversity of fauna and flora found in the upland areas of the property, which provide essential habitat for migratory songbirds, pollinators and small mammals. “This farm has been one of our highest priorities for conservation for more than two decades,“ ESLC President Rob Etgen said. “It includes a huge area of prime farmland, and the streams are the largest remaining chunk of unprotected habitat for several endangered wildlife species. I am incredibly excited about this farm and grateful to the Hogan Administration for their support and stewardship.”

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Bailey steps up recycling efforts at Eastern Shore Conservation Center

The following email, sent to all tenants of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center from ESLC's Facilities & Administrative Manager Owen Bailey, outlines the efforts made by ESLC (led by Bailey) in making the Center a zero-waste facility. We're sharing it here for others to read, as perhaps it will prove useful to you as well:) "Over the weekend I listened to a podcast on recycling from Stuff You Should Know. It reinforced our efforts on recycling as they argued Single Stream Recycling is too inefficient since too much of the materials are contaminated with food or items people hope can be recycled but can’t. When a recycling company receives a container full of too many contaminates, they throw the whole bin out, regardless of what recyclables are in there. The episode went further into what can(not) be recycled and why. I wanted to use this as an opportunity update you all on our Zero Waste efforts. The good news is we have been recycling a lot more materials than before. Battery recycling and CFL bulbs are going well. We are recycling more plastic with the #6 plastic cups and #5 plastic yogurt containers. That said, there are a lot of materials that end up in the recycling bins that I end up throwing away. Below are the most common items that do not get recycled. Sprout containers: The green containers can be cleaned and given back to Eat Sprout who will reuse them. The other containers (oatmeal bowls and brownies) are compostable and should go in the trash. Straws: We can’t recycle straws (material is too cheap to spend money on recycling). I would encourage everyone to not use plastic straws or use paper/reusable straws made from metal. Recently Seattle banned straws and I predict (and hope) more states and cities will follow. Paper coffee

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ESLC aims to protect half of Delmarva Peninsula

On Friday, July 27th The Star Democrat published an article on its front page about ESLC's most ambitious initiative in its 28-year existence, currently referred to as Delmarva Oasis.  The initiative, which seeks to include the support and partnership of multiple conservation-based organizations and the local governments of three states, is a beginning of a discussion about the end game for conservation. In other words, what habitat, food production and public access lands must we absolutely protect to sustain the core life functions of Delmarva - permanently, and can this region serve as a model for long term sustainability in other areas. According to such lead experts as renowned biologist and author, E. O. Wilson, the answer in large part lies in landscape-level land conservation. More conservation is needed, faster than before, and at scales unprecedented. Wilson proposes the idea in his 2016 book, Half Earth – Our Planet's Fight for Life. Research shows that if we conserve half the land and sea globally, the bulk of biodiversity will be protected from extinction. More specifically, 50% conserved equals 85% of species entering the safe zone, and 85% of species saved equals a planet stabilized enough for humans to continue to exist. “As a community here on the Eastern Shore, we have worked hard to protect the lands we love (about 29 percent protected on the Shore),” said ESLC President Rob Etgen. “With a new Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the horizon and major road improvements at the northern and southern end of Delmarva, we are concerned about a return to the sprawl pressures of the past. “We feel we must ramp up our land protection efforts, and we must take a more holistic regional approach if we are to keep the farms and forests and wildlife that make this region the wonderful place we know and love.”   Why Delmarva? A flight

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NextStep190 concerns Talbot County residents

(From The Star Democrat March 3rd article "The process of change" by Connie Connolly) It’s both the product and the process of NextStep190 that concerns Talbot County residents. A process designed to involve Talbot County residents in revising Chapter 190 of the county code seems not to have caught the attention of some who now are concerned the revision product will hit them in their wallets, their lifestyles, their freedom — or all three. Whether in or out of the loop, a large group of residents is fired up. They have shared their gripes, questions and concerns with each other on social media since mid-February. “I don’t like this whole being told what to do,” one county resident said. Her views have struck a chord with 1,300 Talbot countians who have joined Talbot County Citizens Against NextStep 190, the Facebook page launched on Feb. 11. Complaints about how and when meetings were scheduled, and how they were promoted, is a recurring theme on the Facebook page. But communicating with the public is a key component of the process, according to County Planner Mary Kay Verdery. At the start of the Talbot County Planning Commission’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, Verdery summarized how her office has gotten the word out about the NextStep190 process, “a project to update Talbot County’s Zoning, Subdivision, and Land Development Ordinance,” according to the website nextstep190.com. She told the commission that once the initial meetings to coordinate staff were completed, “just under 30 public participation and 20 public attendance (to observe work sessions) meetings” were held. Verdery said meetings were advertised on the NextStep190 website and in the newspaper, through email blasts and with postcard mailings. “We’ve taken multiple steps to make sure the public was aware of these meetings,” Verdery said. “We’ve had many meetings since we started.” One member of the Facebook group had his own

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Cambridge Residents Invited to Community Design Charrettes and Kick-Off Event for Cannery Park

ESLC and its project partners will host two community design charrettes, as well as a project kick-off event, to celebrate and gather community input for Cannery Park. The park, which will be located adjacent to the former Phillips Packing Co.’s last remaining building (soon to be known as The Packing House), is the culmination of a planning and funds-seeking process that has been in the works for approximately seven years. The media kick-off event will happen at 11am on Tuesday, January 23rd at 411 Dorchester Avenue. All residents, local businesses, and members of the media are encouraged to attend to find out more about the future park, and about Parker Rodriguez – the Alexandria, VA-based landscape architecture firm that has been selected to design and create Cannery Park. The two community design charrettes will be open to the public in an effort to capture feedback and input on the design of Cannery Park’s master plan, as well as to provide updates on Cambridge’s newest public space. The first charrette will be held from 6:30 to 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 23rd at the Cambridge Empowerment Center, located at 615 B Pine Street. The second charrette will be held at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 25th at the Public Safety Building, located at 8 Washington Street. Along with ESLC staff, members from the City of Cambridge, Dorchester County, Cross Street Partners, and Parker Rodriguez will be in attendance during all of the week’s events. The restoration of Cambridge Creek, along with the removal of an inactive railroad line so as to create a rail trail connecting the park to downtown, will be among the first action items in the creation of the new park. Parker Rodriguez was founded in 1996 as a full service land planning, landscape architecture, and urban design firm serving

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Recent Posts

  • This Is Why I Preserve: Carol Bean
  • Chesapeake Bay Architects Discuss Design and Climate Adaptation
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Rob Etgen
  • Thriving – Not Simply Surviving – in the Delmarva Oasis
  • Saving the Stacks
  • Buy Local Challenge: Cookin’ with Carol
  • It Was a Beautiful Day for a LANDJAM!
  • Cannery Park Planting and Clean Up
  • ForeFront Power and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Announce Partnership
  • Former ESLC Staffer Sets Sights on 2019 Mongol Derby
  • ESLC Applies for Land Trust Accreditation Renewal
  • ESLC Releases Comprehensive Sea Level Rise Study
  • New Installation Inside the Eastern Shore Conservation Center
  • ESLC awarded Preservation Grant for smokestack repair at Phillips Packing House
  • Did you know? ESLC headquarters is LEED certified