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Maryland Announces First State-Led Climate Leadership Academy

Effort to Support Communities in Sustainability Planning

Photo of Sunrise over Ocean City InletMaryland is launching the nation’s first state-sponsored Climate Leadership Academy to help local governments, critical infrastructure organizations and state agencies effectively plan, prepare and implement climate change initiatives.

At a launch event on the first day of Maryland’s inaugural State of the Coast conference, senior state and local officials and decision-makers developed a vision for the academy, which will be an important resource to help public and private sector incorporate the impacts of climate change into their decision-making and planning.

“Under Governor Larry Hogan’s strong and independent leadership, Maryland is well-equipped to lead the country in driving creative, innovative and successful strategies aimed at addressing anticipated climate change-related impacts on our businesses, citizens and communities,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Through the Climate Leadership Academy, we will support locally-designed and led efforts and initiative by providing a forum for community leaders to build their own capacity, convene with their peers and partners, and share best practices and results.”

Joining Secretary Belton and Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles, organizations represented in the initial planning session include the Association of Climate Change Officers, Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Maryland Energy Administration, Maryland Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Maryland.

“Ensuring secure, healthy and prosperous communities in the face of a changing climate will require us to deploy a force of leaders across organizations and occupations that have the capacity to successfully address climate related risks and opportunities, and weave them into the DNA of their decision-making,” Association of Climate Change Officers Executive Director Daniel Kreeger said. “We hope that other states will follow Maryland’s lead in taking bold steps to ensure an appropriate resource for their communities, as well as to shape policies that compel participation.”

Sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the State of the Coast conference in Cambridge is bringing together more than 200 business, government and industry leaders, resource stakeholders and users, academics and scientists, and federal and state experts. In two and a half days of workshops, sessions and presentations, attendees are exploring resource management issues and opportunities for coastal resilience.