GreenLaurel

Greenlaurel: The Skinny on Eco Grants Funded by those Pretty Bay License Plates

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Chesapeake Bay license plate owners also get lots of discounts through the “plate perks” program.

Has your group or organization been considering a “greening” project, but wondered where the cash will come from?

Consider attending the how-to-apply-for-grants summer workshops offered by Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The workshops are designed to bring you up to speed on how to write a competitive design and environmental and water quality grant. All those $20 Chesapeake bay license plates and stormwater fees are helping to make Baltimore cleaner and greener. Maybe your group will be part of the solution?

Greenlaurel: Surprisingly, Senate Blocks Trump’s Attempt to Cancel Methane Rules

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Pennsylvania resident Frank Finan filmed condensate tank methane emissions with his infrared FLIR GasFindIR camera. With the FLIR GasFindIR, hydrocarbon emissions, including methane, can be seen with the naked eye as black smoke or steam. Emissions like this are migrating into Baltimore’s air. 

Federal lawmakers have blocked an attempt by President Donald Trump to cancel Obama-era methane rules — at least on federal lands. Though Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has quietly cancelled Obama’s broader methane emissions regulation enacted in 2015, thanks to the move by the Senate, oil and gas must still capture and reduce fugitive methane emissions on fed lands. This unlikely block is actually a big deal for citizens who live near fracking sites, the tax coffers of certain states and all citizens who live on Planet Earth.

Greenlaurel: Why Baltimore City Council’s Unanimous Climate Resolution is Important

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Councilman Zeke Cohen surrounded by youth and environmental leaders in support of the city’s climate resolution.

At first glance, the Paris Climate Agreement resolution that the Baltimore City Council passed this week may seem perfunctory. After all, cities from Pittsburgh to Paris have voiced their opposition to President Trump’s anti-climate decision and pledged to support the global agreement.

Greenlaurel: Any Ideas For Zapping Mosquitoes Without Using Chemicals?

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The Asian Tiger mosquito was brought to Maryland from Japan in 1985, most likely in tires. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Reader Ann D. recently submitted in a question that many others may be wondering: How do you get rid of annoying skeeters without chemicals? With the West Nile and Zika viruses back in the news, and the little buggers now out in full force in Baltimore, it’s time for mosquito 101. 

Greenlaurel: Herring Run Nursery is Your Go-To for a Huge Selection of Native Plants

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Herring Run is a 31-square-mile watershed. It starts in Towson and flows into the Back River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Tucked away on the Mount Pleasant Golf Course is a one of Charm City’s best-kept-secrets: Blue Water Baltimore’s Herring Run Nursery. The native plant nursery is an ideal spot for landscaping enthusiasts seaching for an extensive variety of trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers native to the Chesapeake Bay region.

Greenlaurel: Beneath the Surface of Baltimore Harbor’s Failing Clean-Up Grade

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The Waterfront Partnership and Baltimore City have joined paddles to expand the affordable public kayaking program.

At face value, the 2016 Healthy Harbor Report is pretty depressing. Another year of failing grades in swimming stats and fecal matter and pollutant levels. But if you dive beneath the surface, there’s a clear story of progress, pipes and partnership. If only time could speed up a bit so we could all enjoy — maybe even swim — in a cleaner Baltimore Harbor sooner, rather than later.

GreenLaurel: Does Your Next Car Make a Difference to Our Climate?

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An electric-fueled (EV) car charged at a home switched to cheaper-than-BGE-electricity is emission-free.

Absolutely.

The average two cars that your family tootles around in contribute about 40 percent of your family’s 48,800 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year (see below). Check out how your car’s emissions stack up, and consider switching to a sedan, a hybrid or an electric vehicle to lighten your CO2 load. Then, take two minutes and switch your home to green energy and you’ll be part of the solution. These individual actions can’t come at a more critical time for our climate. The planet just hit historic CO2 levels.

GreenLaurel: What’s Driving the Chesapeake Bay’s Improving Health?

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Despite President Trump’s suggestion to eradicate $73 million in federal Chesapeake Bay restoration funding, Congress has kept the money in its proposed budget for next year.

“Save the Bay”: A slogan we’ve seen and heard for decades. And decades is how long it has taken to get the mechanisms, financial support and state, federal and nonprofit leadership in place to revive the 64,000-acre estuary.

The good news is that we are reviving the Chesapeake Bay. The latest University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (UMCES) Chesapeake Bay Report Card, as well as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s State of the Bay report, both say the Chesapeake Bay is slowly and steadily improving. Here’s why.

GreenLaurel: City’s Carver High Carpentry Students Learn on the Job at Second Chance

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Carver Vo-Tech’s carpentry team building storage and display shelves at Second Chance.

Since 1925, Baltimore City’s Carver Vocational-Technical High School has offered students a college prep high school education with a pathway to one of nine vocational careers. Today, led by teacher Greg McDevitt, Carver carpentry students are not only trade apprentices, but they also give back to Baltimore as volunteers. The students’ ongoing volunteer project at Second Chance caught our eye.

GreenLaurel: Big Towson Solar Install is Win For Seniors, Job Seekers and Climate

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GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic and Constellation volunteers worked side-by-side to install 300 solar panels on St. Ambrose’s Aigburth Vale Senior Community.

We’ve been fishing for stories that spotlight Baltimore’s sustainability partnerships that bring together teams from public, private and nonprofit sectors. From Civic Works’ solar job training to cleaning up the Inner Harbor, many partnerships are making Baltimore better.

On the St. Ambrose Aigburth Vale Senior Community’s rooftop in Towson last week, yet another great partnership was at work. It was there that Maryland Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes, Constellation solar volunteers and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic solar trainees gathered to outfit the building with a sustainable supply of energy.