Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


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Mission Statement
Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Response to Governor’s Climate Change Summit

I was encouraged to see Gov. O’Malley host the Maryland Climate Change Summit and to hear the discussions on the effects of climate change, but many questions still need to be answered if we want a more resilient and prepared region.

Here on the Eastern Shore, we are seeing the effects of climate change faster than nearly any other area in the country.  According to the Governor, Maryland currently is losing 1.6 acres of land every day to sea-level rise.  584 acres a year may not seem significant, but what’s happening on that land is significant.  Holland Island, just one of the 13 major Chesapeake islands to forever be sunk into the Bay, was within the past 100 years a significant place that included a thriving community of 70 homes, over 350 residents, a main street, stores, a school, a church, a baseball team and more. It’s all gone.

Lost land doesn’t immediately affect those that live inland, but what about the effects of rising temperatures on farming and human health?  Will fungi or other pests prosper, or will longer growing seasons significantly increase farm outputs?  Are our roads and bridges planned to serve us through rising sea levels and more powerful storms?

The Eastern Shore and its people have been resilient throughout history, but in order for us to adapt to a warmer and wetter climate, we need to prepare.  The land and life here are precious and as the Governor said, “It’s not just about what we stand for; it’s about what we stand on.”

Rob Etgen

Executive Director

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