What is Maryland doing to prepare
In August 2008, Governor Martin OíMalleyís Commission on Climate Change reported that Marylandís people, wildlife, land and public investments are at risk due to the consequences of climate change including sea level rise, increased storm intensity and extreme drought and heat waves. Under the Governorís leadership, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is coordinating implementation of the commissionís recommendations for reducing the Stateís vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
Combating climate change in Maryland means protecting and restoring natural resources such as tidal wetlands and marshes, vegetated buffers and Bay islands that shield Marylandís coastal environments from the impacts of sea level rise and coastal storms.
Emphasis must also be placed on updating our current building codes to prepare for emergencies, directing future development away from areas of sea level rise, reducing energy usage and assessing how climate change will affect the management of the Marylandís aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
In addition, citizens can make small changes in their lifestyle which can have a significant cumulative effect in reducing air pollution that causes climate change. Simple things such as conserving energy at home and work; carpooling, walking or bicycling to work; and planting trees can also make a real difference for both people and wildlife.
Individuals living in the coastal zone should adopt living shoreline practices that combine marsh plantings with sills, groin fields or breakwaters to remedy shore erosion problems. Families should also develop a personal emergency response plan in preparation of hurricanes, heat waves and vector-borne illness.
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