Joel McCord, WYPR

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Smithsonian scientists work to save Maryland’s marshes and beyond

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Genevieve Noyce is a scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

The Chesapeake Bay’s marshes have been called the lungs of the bay. They provide habitat for fish and waterfowl. The marshes clean polluted bay waters and slow the power of floods and storms.

That’s why the scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are studying how to preserve marshes in face of rising sea levels prompted by climate change.

Could Maryland Democrats tip the scales during the GOP governor’s primary?

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Photo by Martin Falbisoner, via Wikimedia Commons

Kelly Schulz’s campaign for the Republican nomination for governor is warning its supporters that Democrats may soon be meddling in their primary.

In one letter to supporters, Schulz senior campaign advisor Doug Mayer suggested that the Democratic party has focused advertisements against more moderate players instead of fringe Republicans who would have no chance during a general election in November.

Maryland Senate passes PFAS ban

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Photo by Joel McCord/WYPR

Maryland’s Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to ban Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a group of human-made chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency says can cause harmful health effects in humans.

Big support for climate solutions, but maybe not this bill

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Robin Lewis, of Interfaith Power and Light, speaks to a rally supporting a climate solutions bill. Photo by Joel McCord/WYPR.

There appeared to be enthusiastic support for reducing Maryland’s carbon footprint at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday. But some weren’t so sure the Climate Solutions bill before them was the way to do it.

The opening shots in the drive to legalize cannabis

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Brett Levin / Flickr / Creative Commons

The legislative drive to legalize recreational cannabis in Maryland during this General Assembly session opened Monday with supporters of two House of Delegate bills arguing they would help right past wrongs.

Opponents, however, warned in a House committee hearing they would only lead to more trouble.

Short-staffed MDE could spell trouble for Maryland’s drinking water

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Maryland Department of the Environment

The enforcement and inspection crews at Maryland’s Department of the Environment are woefully understaffed, a situation that could lead to a Flint, Michigan, style water crisis here, state Attorney General Brian Frosh has warned.

State lawmakers moving to legalize recreational cannabis

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Brett Levin / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maryland lawmakers returned to Annapolis Wednesday to take on a number of issues, among them, the legalization of recreational cannabis. Last fall, a Goucher poll found that 60 percent of Marylanders favor legalizing marijuana.

But the House and Senate are taking sharply different approaches.

An early start on the General Assembly

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Maryland State House. Credit: Preservation Maryland/Pre-Existing Digital Collection

Maryland’s General Assembly will return to Annapolis for its regular session in less than a month and advocacy groups are already laying out an ambitious environmental agenda.

Much of that agenda centers on climate change. The proposals range from beefing up the requirements of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction act to going all electric in the state’s vehicle fleet and changing building codes to require all electric buildings.

Delegate Kumar Barve, the Montgomery County Democrat who chairs the House Environment and Transportation Committee told a virtual gathering of environmental groups this week the goal is to “electrify everything.”

The reason, he said, is very simple.

“First of all, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground where they can’t harm us.”

Read more (and listen) at WYPR.

Mike Miller resigns from the Maryland Senate

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Mike Miller, who presided over the Maryland Senate longer than any other state senate president in the nation, has resigned from the Senate, citing health reasons.

Miller, 78, presided over the Senate for 33 years, longer than some Senators have been alive.

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