MILLERSVILLE, MD — U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today joined officials from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to unveil the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, a new program administered by the Trust that provides service-learning opportunities and green job training for young people through environmental and energy conservation projects.
The initiative pairs young adults with watershed organizations, local governments and other community-based organizations throughout Maryland. Over the course of the year-long program, Corps volunteers will receive hands-on environmental, leadership and technical training opportunities at the same time that they provide environmental outreach and stewardship assistance to their host organizations and the communities they serve.
“The Chesapeake Bay is the environmental heart of our state. It is also the economic engine that powers our regional economy. The Conservation Corps recognizes that connection by providing the skills and training needed for jobs in the emerging green economy,” said Senator Cardin. “Habitat restoration projects involve a broad-range of skills that are needed to restore and protect the environment, improve health and stimulate future technological innovations.”
In total, 16 young people were matched with 16 organizations statewide. Under the guidance of mentors at their host organizations, the volunteers will work on a variety of environmental initiatives including energy efficiency programs, restoration activities and clean-ups, water quality monitoring programs, reforestation projects and job training programs for youth. The Corps volunteers are between the ages of 18 and 25 and come from diverse geographic and educational backgrounds, ranging from previous environmental outreach experience to working with international service corps organizations.
“The Trust’s mission is to increase citizen involvement in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Allen Hance, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The Chesapeake Conservation Corps program seeks not only to involve these talented young individuals with today’s restoration programs and initiatives, but also to challenge them to become leaders in tomorrow’s green economy.”