The Coalition is a voluntary alliance of public agencies, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, and conservation coalitions. The region it spans includes the area from the Chesapeake Bay on the east to the Piedmont in the west, and from Pennsylvania in the north to the suburbs of Washington, DC in the south. It includes the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s and the cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie and others.
Follow the USFWS 2015 Urban Conservation and Education interns as they "band ospreys at Poplar Island, restore wetland habitat with students throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, provide educational programs to local students, and observe and identify wildlife and plants living in Masonville Cove as part of our 2015 BioBlitz."
The Coalition is pursuing protection of green infrastructure in fulfillment of four key values:
The Coalition seeks to improve regional capacity to respond successfully to the impacts of a changing climate. The region is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and strong coastal storms. Green infrastructure investments on a regional basis at all scales -- landscape through site-level -- can provide cost-effective protection for essential built infrastructure such as transportation, energy and water treatment facilities. It can safeguard water supplies from the effects of drought or excessive storm water runoff. Green infrastructure can buffer homes and businesses from adverse storm impacts, and provide additional benefits, particularly for underserved and vulnerable populations.
Access to the benefits of nature is unequally available across the region. The Coalition believes access to nature is a basic human need and American right. The region’s increasingly urbanized population needs nearby nature, and access is limited to non-existent in some neighborhoods. Studies demonstrate that access to nature benefits health reduces crime, spurs investment and improves local economies. Local and regional greenways, city parks, restored urban stream corridors and street trees and urban forests provide particular value to currently underserved neighborhoods and communities that lack open green space.
In the rapidly developing regional landscape, considerable native habitat for wildlife and plants has already been lost to or fragmented by highways, transmission lines, and other development. The Coalition supports new partnerships and initiatives to connect, restore and protect habitat across jurisdictional boundaries. A network of protected land and water resources are needed to support migratory species, permit forage for food and shelter, and conserve refugia for rare and endangered species and generally assure that a diverse array of plants and animals will continue to have viable, healthy habitat.
Every person, young or old, requires accessible opportunities to encounter nature and benefit from exposure to healthy, functioning ecosystems. Citizens who are knowledgeable about the natural foundations of the world they inhabit are the best means of ensuring its stewardship and renewal. The Coalition believes that expanding the region’s protected green infrastructure network will provide the best classrooms and instructional materials for a lifetime of learning and respecting our natural world.
The Coalition’s first major project is examining the use of green infrastructure to protect communities and natural areas in the region. Thanks to support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a project team led by The Conservation Fund and assisted by several other organizations and agencies is mapping green infrastructure that contributes to the region’s ability to resist and respond to extreme weather events, such as major coastal storms, and other effects of a changing climate. The project team will identify key opportunities to add to the existing network and make recommendations about best governance and management practices. Working directly with local governments on their planning and project agendas, the team will help integrate green infrastructure planning and projects across jurisdictional boundaries and goals.