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ESLC receives grant for climate resilience outreach, education

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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

ESLC Coastal Resilience Program Manager Jim Bass speaks at the 2019 Fall Conference of the MD Association of Floodplain and Stormwater Managers.

EASTON — Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is excited to announce it has received a grant award from the Rauch Foundation to host a year-long series of workshops addressing regional impacts of climate change. This project, entitled “Rise and Thrive: Building Understanding and Support for Climate Action on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” is the second grant awarded to ESLC’s coastal resilience program by the Rauch Foundation in as many years.

The purpose of this project is to directly engage public and private audiences in order to build regional public support for climate adaptation solutions. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is the country’s third most vulnerable region to sea level rise, behind south Florida and Louisiana. Because of the threats of increased flooding, the loss of properties, and widespread ecological impacts, ESLC is working with communities to take action on these threats today.

This series of workshops builds upon ESLC’s long history of public engagement, particularly on the subject of climate change. The organization’s climate staff have hosted conferences on climate adaptation every year for the past four years, spoken at numerous conferences and events each year, and participated regularly in educational programming with schools across the region.

The timing of this work is aligned with a major surge in effort activity on Delmarva Oasis, ESLC’s initiative to protect 50% of the land on the Delmarva Peninsula while restoring critical habitats by 2030. Delmarva Oasis is intended to sustain the region’s treasured culture and heritage as well as protecting the largest contiguous block of productive farmland in the Mid-Atlantic region and preserving $15 billion in ecological benefits. The initiative also protects open spaces for public enjoyment in the form of parks, trails, and hunting lands. The threats of climate change compound the need for coordinated land protection effort to ensure a vibrant Delmarva Peninsula for years to come.

ESLC President Rob Etgen expressed his gratitude and admiration for the Rauch Foundation. “Many thanks to our partners at the Rauch Foundation for their ongoing support,” said Etgen. “Over the years we have learned much from the Rauch Foundation and their efforts to curb sprawl and support communities on Long Island.”

In Maryland, the Rauch Foundation supports innovative work on the environment with special emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay.

Due to ongoing public health concerns stemming from COVID-19, ESLC is likely to conduct the first workshop as a virtual event. As workshops are scheduled, whether in-person or online, information will be posted on ESLC’s events website at www.eslc.org/events.

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