Volume IV, Number 5
eMDE is a quarterly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state.
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On May 12, 2010, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Petroleum Council presented the 33rd annual Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment and the 5th annual James B. Coulter Award.
The Tawes Youth Award went to the Greenanators from Sunset Elementary School in Pasadena, who organized a comprehensive school-wide recycling program. The Greenanators also used a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant to purchase and install rain barrels, and they have planted flowers and harvested seeds, built bird houses and feeders, and organized Earth Day celebrations. Currently, the Greenanators are producing a video to demonstrate how everyone can conserve water, energy, and waste at home with a slogan to “Conserve 10 percent in 2010.”
Stephen Hult, Secretary and Chair of the Erosion Committee of the Anne Arundel County’s London Towne Property Owners Association, won the Tawes Adult Award. Mr. Hult has led the installation of six living shorelines, encompassing about 15 percent of the entire shoreline owned by the community. Living shorelines use natural habitat elements, such as marsh, rather then hard bulkhead or riprap revetment, to protect shorelines. Living shorelines act as a “filter” to trap and reduce pollution, provide critical habitat for species, and reduce erosion and flooding. They are also an adaptation measure recommended by Maryland’s Climate Change Commission to reduce the risk of rising shorelines. Currently Mr. Hult is “tutoring” other communities on how to apply for grants and how to install the living shorelines.
Mark Ecker, MDE’s Water Management Compliance Program Compliance Specialist, who lives in Smithsburg, received the James B. Coulter Award for his work as a government employee. Mr. Ecker has been with MDE for nearly 25 years, and his responsibilities as an inspector include erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, stormwater discharges associated with construction activities, waterway construction, non-tidal wetland impacts, and all citizen complaints related to water quality. Mr. Ecker is an extremely knowledgeable and detailed-oriented team player who puts environmental protection ahead of personal interests, and who is an excellent communicator able to work with all parties, from lawyers to laborers. Mr. Ecker’s work on inspection and enforcement of water quality issues is directly responsible for eliminating the potential for large amounts of sediment and pollutants to enter Maryland waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
Speaking at the event, MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson said, “We are proud to honor the tremendous time and talents these environmental champions have given to protect our State’s precious resources and the Chesapeake Bay. Their contributions make their own communities a better place to live and benefit all Marylanders.”
Read more about the annual awards and previous years’ winners, here.
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