January 13, 2010

CARDIN, CUMMINGS ANNOUNCE MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN RECOVERY FUNDS FOR GREEN JOBS THAT WILL HELP CLEAN UP THE BAY

BALTIMORE -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD-7)  today joined with the Parks & People Foundation to announce $1,077,000 in recovery funding to create 20 new "green" jobs that will focus on reducing urban pollution and runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.  

 

The Parks & People Foundation has been awarded funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to create four green crews to work on restoration projects at several Baltimore City locations.   The restoration projects will involve urban habitat restoration, community forestry, watershed restoration, trash clean up and removal and other projects at designated sites.  

 

"Restoring the Chesapeake Bay means dealing with urban pollution which too often inundates the Bay watershed when there are heavy rains or runoff," said Senator Cardin, who has introduced the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act , S. 1816, giving states and local governments stronger enforcement tools to clean up the Bay.   "Part of the effort to cleanup the Bay must include creating new, green jobs that will help improve our eco-system while providing training for new career paths."

 

"We understand with great clarity what is harming the Bay," said Congressman Cummings. "We know the sources of the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediments that flow into the Bay and we understand how they destroy the Bay's fragile ecosystem. We also know that controlling and reducing these pollutants is absolutely essential if the Bay is to thrive again. What we have to understand now is that we can put thousands of people back to work creating a green society surrounding the Bay, keeping further pollution from harming this precious resource. "

 

"In addition to creating jobs immediately, this funding will enable Parks & People  to continue to expand our environmental restoration work and provide green jobs training and career opportunities throughout Baltimore," said Jacqueline Carrera, President and CEO of the Parks & People Foundation.  

Following the press conference announcing the funding for green jobs, the Senator and Congressman toured one of the restoration projects in West Baltimore where crews will be working. Over an 18-month period, these crews will be working on numerous projects comprising a long-term effort to utilize urban forestry to improve water quality, revitalize inner-city neighborhoods and enhance quality of life in communities.   The projects are a joint effort of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works and the Parks & People Foundation. The other restoration projects will focus on sites including the Gwynns Falls Trail, Westport, and numerous school and public housing sites throughout Baltimore City.

 

"Our environment and future economic growth are tied together and in creating new, green jobs we can help preserve habitat while providing new skills that will be important for jobs of the future," said Senator Cardin.