Governor O’Malley highlights efforts to strength the middle class, protect public health and the environment

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Governor’s Press Office – 410-974-2316

LAUREL, MD (October 31, 2013) — Governor Martin O’Malley today hosted Maryland’s Better Choices, Better Results Forum on Sustainability,  the third in a series of statewide sessions designed to foster an ongoing, collaborative dialogue on strengthening the middle class.  More than 300 stakeholders joined the Governor, cabinet officials and other policy experts to discuss the significant progress made under the O’Malley-Brown Administration strategic goals and to lay a foundation for continuing the work that is creating a stronger, healthier Maryland.

“We have made a choice to create a better, more sustainable future for our children,” said Governor O’Malley. “And we have made progress, not by chance, but by choice. We chose to foster innovation and invest in a greener, cleaner, more sustainable economy, and Maryland’s workforce now has more green jobs per capita than any state in the Mid-Atlantic region. We chose to set some of the most ambitious goals in the nation — to reduce greenhouse emissions, advance  renewable energy, protect the health of our children and elderly, restore our living resources, and making our communities more sustainable – and we chose to hold ourselves accountable for reaching them.”

The forum highlighted key sustainability initiatives, including Maryland’s progress on Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts as tracked by Baystat. Other initiatives covered included creating and expanding sustainable communities and sustaining our resource-based industries. In addition, the event fostered an ongoing dialogue to lay out a vision for continuing to restore the Chesapeake Bay, protect public health and the environment and generate investments in green jobs. 

“Under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, Marylanders have benefited from strong leadership on sustainability issues, including coordinated efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,” stated Congressman Steny Hoyer. “I’m proud that, over the past two years, we have achieved 100% of our State’s benchmarks toward Bay restoration, which helps ensure that our tourism, seafood, and shipping industries continue to thrive. At the same time, the Administration is helping to build more sustainable communities by working with local governments to accommodate projected growth while focusing on renewable sources of energy and sustainable agriculture. We are fortunate to have a Governor who recognizes our sustainability challenges and who is leading the way forward in meeting them head on. I will continue to work with him and Lt. Governor Brown and ensure the federal government is a strong partner in helping Maryland achieve its sustainability goals in the years to come.”

The O’Malley-Brown Administration is making better choices that are leading to better results. Since 2007, we’ve preserved more than 47,000 acres of prime agricultural land on 372 Maryland farms. Maryland has planted 108,664 trees through the Marylanders Plant Trees program. Together with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the other Bay watershed states, we developed the nation’s first major watershed pollution control plan under the authority of the Clean Water Act to achieve water quality standards for the Chesapeake Bay and meet our 2025 water quality goals for Chesapeake Bay restoration. In fact, Maryland has met or exceeded both the 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 milestone goals for Bay restoration. And  Governor O’Malley recently announced that the State and its partners produced and planted a record 1.25 billion native baby oysters (spat) in Maryland this year – the first time any hatchery in the nation has produced more than one billion Eastern oyster spat in a single season.

“Marylanders take pride in preserving and protecting our environment and with the O’Malley-Brown administration’s incredible efforts to put us on a sustainable path, we are leading the way toward a greener future,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “From getting students outdoors to giving families ways to make their homes more efficient, I am working to create opportunities for every-day individuals to become engaged in preserving our environment for the next generation.”

In addition, Maryland is a Top Ten state for Energy Efficiency for the second year in a row according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Governor O’Malley recently released the State’s final Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan – one of the most stringent legislative climate change rules in the nation.

Maryland recently revamped the Smart, Green & Growing website, where you can learn more about the State’s sustainable initiatives. It features all of the State’s “green” maps in one atlas, is accessible from mobile devices, and includes ways to share information via social media.

Learn more about the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s Better Choices Better Results Forums and watch the recording of the Sustainability’s live stream at: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/forums.html

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