xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

How Eastern Shore can fight climate change threat | READER COMMENTARY

A stand of Loblolly pines killed in 2003 after Hurricane Isabel flooded the low lying area where they grew with salt water in the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. (Bill Tiernan | The Virginian-Pilot)
A stand of Loblolly pines killed in 2003 after Hurricane Isabel flooded the low lying area where they grew with salt water in the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. (Bill Tiernan | The Virginian-Pilot)

The staff of Eastern Shore Land Conservancy applauds the editorial board of the Baltimore Sun for its commentary, “Eastern Shore farms are getting salty: Here’s why everyone should care” (Jan. 4).

The concerns of the Sun’s editorial board are timely and well-articulated. We know intimately from our work across the Shore that issues of saltwater intrusion, erosion and increased flooding are widespread and increasing at an unprecedented rate. The authors wisely point to “[w]orsening health, rising food costs, heat waves and wildfires, [and] scarcity of clean drinking water” as emergencies the region will grapple with as climate change further alters our landscape.

Advertisement

What does this have to do with land conservation? The answer is right under our feet.

By protecting land, encouraging smart development and increasing individuals’ access to natural areas we can make a difference in saving the Eastern Shore from a more significant loss of natural and community resources. Assuring the economic viability of farming and resource-based industries is essential for long-term retention of land and food security. Similarly, protecting the environmental integrity of the region is vital to our health, our quality of life and a balanced sustainable economy for our region.

Advertisement
Advertisement

To protect the Eastern Shore against the loss of land and species, against the physical and social impacts of climate change, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is launching a new initiative called Delmarva Oasis. This initiative will bind the conservation goals of the Eastern Shore to those of surrounding regions in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Our vision is a whole peninsula that supports thriving rural economies and strong prosperous towns in the face of coming challenges.

To introduce the public to Delmarva Oasis and address issues of climate resilience, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is hosting a four-part virtual workshop series called Solutions for a Changing Delmarva. These workshops will focus on the positive aspects of current climate policy and projects rather than dwelling on the consequences of inaction. As an overarching theme and backdrop for the workshop series, the Conservancy will highlight its Delmarva Oasis initiative which seeks to permanently protect 50% of the peninsula from development. With these workshops, we hope to excite Delmarva residents to be part of the solution while providing in-depth information on natural protection against climate impacts. For more information on these workshops and event registration, visit www.eslc.org/events/.

Only by taking collective action can we protect the land we love against a changing environment. Together we can avoid becoming another Shechem and create a bright future for the Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula.

Jim Bass, Easton

Advertisement

The writer is coastal resilience program manager at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement