Md. Climate Change Workgroup Gets Underway

Members Include State, Local and Private Stakeholders

ANNAPOLIS — On Wednesday, August 8th, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hosted the first meeting of the Maryland Climate Change Commission’s Adaptation & Response Working Group (ARWG).

Due to its geography and geology, the Chesapeake Bay region is very vulnerable area to sea level rise. According to the DNR, scientists have already detected sea level rise impacts all along Maryland’s coast including intensified coastal flood events, increased shore erosion, inundation of wetlands and low-lying lands, and salt-water intrusion into groundwater.

“If left unchecked, rising temperatures will cause devastating impacts to Maryland’s people, natural resources, and property,” said DNR Secretary John R. Griffin. “We are pleased to have such a diverse group of partners and stakeholders working together to address this critical issue.”

On April 20, 2007, Governor Martin O'Malley signed an executive order establishing the Maryland Climate Change Commission and charging it with drafting a Maryland Climate Action Plan. Three working groups operate under the Commission - the Scientific and Technical Working Group, the Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group, and the Adaptation and Response Working Group.

Chaired by Secretary Griffin, the Adaptation & Response Working Group will recommend strategies for reducing the vulnerability of the State’s coastal, natural, and cultural resources and communities to the impacts of climate change; and develop a comprehensive strategy for reducing Maryland’s climate change vulnerability.

At the meeting, DNR Coastal Planner Zoe Johnson presented information about Maryland’s current adaptation and response actions. Bill Dougherty of the Center for Climate Strategies presented information about adaptation and response actions being undertaken by other state and international governments. The ARWG established a proposed work plan and discussed created technical working groups to make progress on its charge.

The Adaptation & Response Working Group is comprised of the following individuals:

DNR Secretary John Griffin, Chair
MDP Director of Resource Conservation Planning, Joe Tassone, Co-Chair
Jenn Aiosa, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Rodney Banks, Dorchester County
Ronald Bowen, Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works
Sherwood T. Brooks, Century21 Newport Bay Realty
Carl Bruch, Environmental Law Institute
David Burke, Burke Environmental Association
Russell Brinsfield, UMD, Wye Research
Ron Cascio, Citizen
Phillip Conner, Marine Trade Association
Peter G. Conrad, Baltimore City Planning
Gilbert Dissen, Dissen & Juhn Corp.
John Frece, National Center For Smart Growth
Bill Giese, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Julia Gorte, Pax World Management Company
Lara Hansen, World Wildlife Fund
Lynne Heller, Citizen
Jason Holstine, Amicas Green Building Center
Jesse Houston, Ocean City Department of Planning
Anthony Janetos, University of Maryland
Joan Kean, Somerset County
Dennis King, UMCES
Peter Lefkin, Allianz of North America Corp.
Joseph Maheady, U.S. Green Building Council
Karen McJunkin, Elm Street Development
William Miles, Retired – Citizen
Joy Oaks, National Parks Conservation Association
Robert Pace, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Dru Schmidt Perkins, 1000 Friends of Maryland
Court Stevenson, UMCES
Sue Veith, St. Mary’s County
John Kostyack, National Wildlife Federation

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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