Getting young students excited about what they and their families can do to “Reclaim the Bay” is the goal behind the Maryland Department of the Environment’s first Earth Day poster contest. K-through-8 students are encouraged to submit an entry that depicts what Marylanders can do to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.
Whether it is through Curriculum Extension Units, after-school programs or in science classes, we want to get the word out to our next generation of environmental advocates that Maryland is a leader in the Bay watershed’s restoration efforts. But we can’t do it at the State and local government levels alone. We need everyone to get involved in restoring the Bay.
We’ve put together a fun animation that can be shown in class or watched at home about the 10 things that everyone can do to help “Reclaim the Bay.” This poster contest is our way of having students show us what they think is the most important aspect of our Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.
Many factors contribute to the degradation of our waterways. By making better choices we can continue to build upon the progress for a healthier Bay.
Thirty years ago, we began the first phase of the Chesapeake Bay restoration when Governor Hughes introduced a legislative package of 38 “Bay Initiatives.” These programs included strengthening existing sediment and erosion controls and creating the Critical Area Program, which designated areas for development and conservation.
From those beginnings to our current Watershed Implementation Plan to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act, Maryland has worked with our inter-state Bay Program partners and our county and municipal governments to take the necessary steps to reduce pollution and restore the Bay. We are making great strides through this ongoing collaboration, but there is still more hard work to do if we are to succeed.
We hope that you can help us get the word out to students in K-8 – not only about this exciting opportunity, but also about the importance of doing what ever they can around their homes and neighborhoods to help with Bay restoration.
The deadline for contest submissions is Monday, April 8, 2013. Winners will be announced at a special event during Earth Week.