Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is asking lawmakers to back more funding for the Chesapeake Bay area.
Hogan outlined four goals in a memorandum released for the joint meeting with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and regional leaders at the Chesapeake Executive Council. His first goal seeks more money.
“Now is the time to make a real down payment on our future environmental and restoration priorities by supporting a robust public-private funding mechanism,” Hogan said in a statement. “Let’s leverage the power of private capital for the public good. It will be good for the Bay and good for the bottom line.”
The governor also touted the benefits of clean and renewable energy, saying the state needs to work with federal and regional partners. Hogan specifically mentioned the state’s SMART-POWER agreement with Virginia and North Carolina. The collaboration between the three states, announced last October, provides a framework for developing offshore wind energy.
Maryland has been recognized for slashing carbon emissions but the state isn’t done yet, according to the governor.
“Our comprehensive plan to slash emissions by 50 percent by 2030, achieve 100% clean electricity by 2040 and strive for net-zero emissions by 2045 is one of the most ambitious climate change plans in the nation and is a global model for mitigation,” he said in the memo.
Hogan also asked the General Assembly to remove funding restrictions that are hampering outdoor recreation access. He urged state lawmakers to work with the Chesapeake Bay Cabinet and the Department of Natural Resources to find ways to “better manage and use existing revenue sources to accomplish our collective goals.”
The State Park Investment Commission was announced in August by state Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones. Chaired by former Gov. Parris Glendening, the commission is investigating the levels of funding for existing state parks.
The commission is also tasked with determining if enough state parks exist to meet the demand for recreational opportunities in Maryland. Residents were turned away from more than a dozen state parks in July because of demand, according to a news release from the commission.
Hogan also recently created the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Commission.
“It is essential to expand land conservation efforts to accommodate the public’s demand and desire for outdoor recreation and to dedicate adequate financial and personnel resources for the maintenance and operations of these cherished public lands,” Hogan said in his memo.
Hogan said he is looking forward to working with state lawmakers on a “just transition to cleaner and greener solutions.”
“Managing state lands, working with local zoning officials, and incentivizing (the) use of brownfields, waste sites, and other underutilized locations continues to offer great potential if we strike the right balance of responsible deregulation and reasonable incentives,” Hogan said.
This article was originally posted on Hogan pushing for Chesapeake Bay investment