View of the Ocean City Maryland skyline. The buildings line the skyline in the distance across an open body of water. Green marshes cut by meandering channels of water are in the foreground.
Front Lines of Climate Change View of Ocean City across the salt marshes in Isle of Wight, Maryland. © Matt Kane / TNC

Stories in Maryland/DC

Legislative Priorities: Leading Maryland Forward

Advocating for a cleaner future for Maryland's environment and communities.

Change is here in Maryland. We are feeling the impacts of increased flooding, more frequent and severe rain events and rising temperatures. These growing challenges are stressing infrastructure, threatening human and natural communities and overburdening our local governments. We must work together to build more capacity, strengthen coordination and increase available resources to fund programs and projects that build resilience.

Fingers of open water cut through low green marshes. A line of trees stand out against the horizon. The setting sun is partially obscured by passing clouds.
Wetlands Sunset Isle of Wight, Maryland. © Matt Kane / TNC

Maryland’s ninety-day legislative session ran from January 12 to April 13, 2021. From climate change to police reform, equity to Covid-19, the General Assembly was faced with immense challenges.

In order to protect the health and safety of legislators, state employees, agency members, lobbyists, advocates, and others, as much work as possible was completed virtually with very limited and highly restricted in-person legislator meetings.

The Maryland/DC chapter's Government Relations team worked hard to promote our priority legislation, targeting issues key to TNC's mission: climate mitigation, climate adaptation and clean water. 

  • Reduce Carbon Emissions: During the 2021 legislative session we provided testimony on bills that aim to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, which is the largest carbon-emitting sector in Maryland. The Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act passed, which means that Maryland residents will soon see more environmentally-friendly state transit services.
  • Clean the Bay: The Clean Water Commerce Act of 2021 also passed in Maryland’s legislative session. This will provide $20 million annually to projects that reduce nutrient and sediment loads in the Chesapeake Bay and that further Maryland’s clean water goals.