5 Million Maryland Trees for Climate Progress

5 MILLION MARYLAND TREES FOR CLIMATE PROGRESS

New plan provides roadmap for achieving ambitious tree-planting goal to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and combat climate change while providing additional benefits; effort supports equity, targets tree planting in underserved urban communities

BALTIMORE (Nov. 2, 2022) – A commission chaired by the Maryland Department of the Environment has formed a plan to plant millions of trees and capture greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

“Final Plan for Growing 5 Million Trees in Maryland” charts a pathway to reach the goal of planting and maintaining 5 million native trees in Maryland by 2030. A key focus of this effort is supporting equity through the targeted planting of at least 500,000 of these trees in underserved urban communities.

The plan was produced by the Maryland Commission for the Innovation and Advancement of Carbon Markets and Sustainable Tree Plantings, which was established by the Maryland General Assembly as part of the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021.

“The Growing 5 Million Trees in Maryland Plan provides a roadmap that builds on Maryland’s existing investments in climate action, ecosystem restoration, and forest management,” said Suzanne E. Dorsey, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment and chair of the commission. “The plan uses best-available science to track and verify environmental outcomes to maximize the many benefits that trees provide, including carbon sequestration, reduced flooding, improved air and water quality, and reduced heat islands.”

Plan highlights include its promotion and advancement of:

  • New forms of technical and financial assistance for tree growing in rural and urban communities
  • A new Urban Trees Grant program and plans to scale capacity-building in urban underserved communities
  • Progress tracking in the development of new web and map-based tools, and alignment of this tree tracking with existing accounting frameworks for carbon and nutrients
  • State engagement with the carbon market to clarify avenues for participation
  • Models for long-term tree maintenance and management

In addition to supporting the Commission, MDE, with support from the Maryland Department of Natur​al Resources, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Transportation, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, is coordinating the tracking and implementation of this tree planting goal. The state is also partnering with a range of community-based organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and local governments to ensure the long-term success of all tree planting, growing, and monitoring efforts.

This work supports the state’s ambitious climate mitigation goals. A recent MDE report found that Maryland is on track for meeting its 2030 greenhouse gas targets and has more than achieved its statewide reduction goal for 2020. These efforts also build on Maryland state government’s leadership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the U.S. Climate Alliance, as well as ongoing restoration work through the federal Chesapeake Bay ​Program.​​

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