A woman wearing a purple shirt and black face mask ties a white ribbon marker around the trunk of a tree.
Forest Restoration A student from Allegany College of Maryland marks a locust tree for removal, part of ongoing red spruce restoration efforts at Finzel Swamp Preserve. September 2020. © Matt Kane / TNC

Stories in Maryland/DC

Change is Here

Maryland / DC

MD/DC Executive Director Tim Purinton. A bearded man in a blue shirt stands in front of a wide river.
Tim Purinton Executive Director, Maryland/DC chapter © Severn Smith / TNC

From the Director: Building Equity and Justice in Our Work

Perfect vision is 20/20. 2020 proved the optical opposite, a year clouded with uncertainty. COVID-19 threw the world off balance. The unnecessary deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and others rocked societal foundations. Just up the coast, Christian Cooper, who was racially profiled while birding, reminds us that racism extends its toxic tendrils into the environmental movement that many of us, especially white people like me, have assumed to be morally pure and built on just intentions.

For example, take conservation easements, a trusted land protection tool. Land-use restrictions such as easements share a legal history with racial “redlining” and exclusionary zoning. (Redlining was the practice of shading the Black communities on maps with red to mark them as credit risks.) As we launch an urban conservation program in Baltimore, the birthplace of redlining, we are reminded that social and environmental justice must be woven throughout our conservation agenda, regardless of place. Understanding the history of the environmental movement and how it serves to support the established dominant groups will help us break down this unjust hierarchy.

Despite the tumultuous year, we have many accomplishments to share. I’m especially proud of our team members, all of whom who adapted gracefully to working from home and re-imagined peer and partner engagement. Thanks to our talented staff, trustees and supporters who sustain our mission in diffcult circumstances.

While we face major societal unrest, the climate crisis is not abating, and the lands and waters we cherish will not heal themselves. At TNC, we continue to sail forward, despite the significant headwinds, and I promise we will build more equity and justice in our work, knowing it’s the only way to ensure that people and nature thrive together. That, at least, is clear.

2020 Impact Report: What's Inside

A man holds green soybean pods in his hands. He is surrounded by tall green plants.
Regenerative Agriculture Inspecting a soybean crop. © Isaac Shaw

Transforming Agriculture

Despite the fact that the human population in the capital region has more than doubled in the past 50 years, water quality in the Chesapeake Bay has actually improved. How have farmers contributed to this great success story? The answer is regenerative agriculture.

A man wearing yellow protective fire gear points to a map hung on a wall during a briefing for a controlled burn.
Good Fire Gabe Cahalan leads the morning brief prior to the start of a controlled burn. © Severn Smith / TNC

Restoring Appalachian Forests

Western Maryland plays a particularly critical role in the connectivity of the nearly 2,000 mile Appalachian Mountain spine. We're working in Maryland to utilize science and build relationships with private and public landowners to keep this forest connected and resilient.

A woman holding a red umbrella waits to cross the street. Street lights and headlights are reflected on the wet pavement.
Reducing Stormwater Trying to stay dry during a heavy DC rain. © Greg Kahn

Building Green Cities         

Over the past two year, the mid-Atlantic region has experienced record rain and heat. In Washington, D.C., we're working with community partners and landowners to implement natural solutions to address the challenges of stormwater runoff, flooding and deadly heat waves.

A man and woman set up monitoring equipment along the shoreline of an island in the Chesapeake Bay.
Quantifying the effectiveness of natural tidal wetlands. © © Severn Smith / The Nature Conservancy

Strengthening Coasts

Using science to quantify how natural coastal features like tidal wetlands—the first line of defense against storms and rising seas—help reduce the impacts of climate change.

The long rows of solar panels form an array on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Renewable Energy Solar panels on Maryland's Eastern Shore. © Matt Kane / TNC

Tackling Climate Change

TNC's vision is to have a carbon neutral, or carbon negative economy in the U.S. by 2050. In Maryland, we have a new policy framework that allows us to achieve these goals within our state, but we need to take immediate action.
  • Change is Here. A look back at conservation highlights and successes from Maryland and DC.

    Change is Here: 2020 Impact Report

    A look back at conservation successes across Maryland and Washington, DC.

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