As a conservationist and environmental advocate, the result of the Presidential Election worries me – as I’m sure it worries many of you. As a steward of our waterways in and around Baltimore, I am concerned about important programs that protect our land and waters and the health and safety of Americans.
Water unites us. Regardless of political affiliation, we all value the need for clean and safe water for drinking, fishing, and recreation. Many also feel the devastating consequences of more frequent flooding and more powerful storms due to our changing climate. Our work in Baltimore communities brings people together of all walks of life, united in the need for a cleaner and healthier Baltimore.
We are right to be concerned, but we cannot be complacent. The threat of federal environmental protections being rolled back is scary, but it makes our work as an environmental watchdog even more important. We will not give up.
We must be more vigilant than ever before to ensure environmental laws designed to protect us are being enforced and that the environment will not become a casualty of this election. Blue Water Baltimore has been working diligently to improve the health of Baltimore waters for more than five years and we’re not going to stop now. In fact, we will harness the fears, frustrations, and worries we share to work harder and do even more. In the face of these upcoming challenges, we have no choice but to strengthen our commitment to the values and priorities we share.
We have real concerns that the role of the United States Environmental Protection Agency could be weakened, and that our funding to assist schools and houses of worship to reduce pollution will be in jeopardy. We are concerned that enforcement oversight will be weakened, making our role as a plaintiff in Baltimore City’s Consent Decree that much more important. We fear that related work to protect our air quality and our move towards renewable energy will be under attack.
Blue Water Baltimore is prepared to strengthen our fight for clean and safe water, but we need your help! In the coming months and years, stand with us and stand ready to help. Sign up for our monthly newsletter, follow us on social media, share our content, and invite your friends to participate in our upcoming events. We will continue work closely with our partners in Baltimore and across the region to leverage our collective power, knowledge, and energy.
Though I am fearful of what could happen, I am also hopeful. My hope comes from the fact that in Baltimore and across this country, we have the right to organize, to speak truth to power, and to fight to protect the very resources that sustain us – that’s the America I believe in.
If we stand united in our commitment to make Baltimore cleaner and safer for all, I am confident we will persevere. Join us in continuing our fight!
Halle Van der Gaag
Blue Water Baltimore