Mattawoman Creek Kayak & Canoe Trip
Thank you so much for participating in the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter's Fall Colors Paddle on the Mattawoman. We really enjoyed our time paddling on the creek and getting to know everyone.
As you all know the Maryland Department of the Environment is required to make a decision by December 1st on whether or not to issue permits to destroy the wetlands of the Mattawoman and build the Cross County Connector. This is a very critical moment to protect the Mattawoman.
We would like to ask everyone to submit a short letter to the editor to their local paper on the issue, in addition you could submit a photo from the link above. Below are directions and a sample letter to the editor. A letter to the editor can be written and submitted in as little as 30 minutes and can really elevate the issue to state decision makers.
If you choose to submit a letter to to the editor, please let me know and the name of the paper so I can monitor if it is published.
Thank you all again! We hope that you enjoyed the paddle on the Mattawoman as much as we did!
Tips on writing an excellent letter:
-keep it short, two paragraphs or about 250 words
-make it personal, why do you care? (Protection of the Chesapeake Bay, fish, sprawl vs smart growth, global warming, preserving space like the Mattawoman for future generations, etc)
-use one fact (fact sheet on the Mattawoman)
-close with a strong ask: deny permits to destroy Mattawoman wetlands to build the Cross County Connector, protect the Bay
-provide your address
-if you can, write the letter in response to an article that was recently in their paper, it is more likely to be published
Sample letter to the editor: (do NOT submit this, as I am submitting it personally and the papers will NOT publish duplicate letters)
In response to the article "Groups at odds over proposed rockfish restrictions" I would like to applaud the Department of Natural Resources efforts to protect striped bass which have been overfished. This is a good step, but that alone will not ensure the recovery of striped bass. The striped bass face an even larger danger than overfishing- they may soon be losing their home. Mattawoman Creek is reported to be the best habitat for fish spawning, particularly striped bass, in the Chesapeake, and yet it is threatened.
Charles County has requested permits to destroy the wetlands of the creek and build a new highway. The highway if built, would pave over wetlands, pollute the Mattawoman and destroy the striped bass' favorite spot to spawn. How on earth can we expect to restore the population of the striped bass, let alone the Chesapeake Bay if we continue to build highways over precious tributaries? Enough is enough, I urge the Maryland Department of the Environment to oppose building the highway and to protect the few remaining high quality streams of the Chesapeake Bay. If we don't protect the Mattawoman, we will restore the Bay.
-Alana Wase, Baltimore resident (address)
If anyone would like help submitting your letter, or if you have questions about the contact information for your local paper, feel free to email us, or call the Sierra Club office at 301-277-7111.
Thank you and please do let us know if you submit a letter!
Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club
Conservation Program Coordinator
7338 Baltimore Ave, Suite 101A
College Park, MD 20740