Chesapeake: The Sierra Club Maryland Chapter Newsletter
Chapter Home
Newsletter Home
Past Issues

Winter 2009

>> Download PDF version

Your Two Cents

Want to comment on something you’ve read in Chesapeake? Send your comments by e-mail to Please included your name, address, and phone number. We’ll post comments here on the website. Material may be edited for length, content, or clarity at the discretion of the editor

MAPP, PATH and Maryland’s Energy Future in Limbo

by Alana Wase
Despite Maryland’s commitment to clean, renewable energy, plans are being made to import additional coal-fired power into our state. Two transmission line proposals, the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) and the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH), if built, would encourage existing coal- fired power plants to ramp up production and ship additional dirty coal power to population centers on the East Coast

Ron Henry’s Letter from the Chair

by Ron Henry
Hello, All. Well, here we are in midst of the autumn quarter already. And what an energetic period it has been thus far!

In Our Excom Elections, All Candidates Are Environmentalists

This issue of Chesapeake includes the ballot for electing at-large members of the executive committee of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club

Excom Candidates’ Statements

Statements from candidates David O’Leary, Brigitte Fortin, and Betsy Johnson

Chapter Conservation and Legislative Priority Campaigns

by Dave O’Leary
Throughout the summer and fall, chapter volunteers and staff were hard at work researching, planning and meeting to decide on chapter priorities for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010. We looked into the wide range of issues covered by the Sierra Club national Climate Recovery campaigns, and considered the many issues facing us here in Maryland. At an annual planning meeting in September, the chapter leaders decided to focus on two conservation priorities: reducing global warming pollution through smart energy solutions, and protecting natural places and resilient habitats.

Chapter Legislative Committee Prepares for the 2010 General Assembly Session

by Yi-Hsuan Lee
The Maryland Chapter Legislative Committee has been finalizing our top legislative priorities for the 2010 Maryland General Assembly, and would like to welcome any new volunteers to participate in this exciting time! The assembly session lasts for 90 days, from mid-January to mid-April, during which time the legislative committee is involved in fast-paced lobbying activities in Annapolis in order to influence the passage of environmentally-friendly legislation

New Federal Action to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

by Dave O’Leary
On Monday, October 19, Senator Ben Cardin introduced the “Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009.” If this bill is passed, it should strengthen the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and reauthorize funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The next day, Congressman Elijah Cummings introduced a corresponding bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. These bills follow an Executive Order from President Obama in May regarding protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Information about the two bills is online at The House bill number is H.R.3852. The Senate bill number is S. 1816.

Mattawoman Matters

by Jim Long
My affair with Mattawoman Creek began many years ago, after calibration paddling the Potomac’s tidal-freshwater embayments near my home. Mattawoman is different. Wooded wildlands frame serene upper tidal reaches; acres of emergent wetland plants waver in the currents; wild rice nods above as submerged aquatics undulate below; and the picture is always animated by fishing birds drawn to this finest of all Chesapeake Bay fish nurseries. Truly, as its Algonquin namesake implies, it is “where one goes pleasantly.”

Could a Remarkable Creek Be a Compass to Saving the Bay?

The Algonquin Indians termed it “where one goes pleasantly.” Paddlers and anglers, otters, egrets, and eagles prize it. State fisheries biologists regard it “the best of the best.” Local government considers it a sewer district. Mattawoman Creek epitomizes what ails the Chesapeake Bay in the face of sprawling urbanization: nearly all land-use decisions are handled by local governments, which, too often, have strong ties to the development industry.

Congress Takes an Important Step in Protecting Utah Wilderness

by Chris Yoder
Legislation to protect the unique and vulnerable natural legacy embodied in the wilderness quality wildlands of Utah took an important step forward on October 1, 2009. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing on H.R. 1925, a bill that would designate about nine million acres of these priceless lands as wilderness. This was the first hearing on a comprehensive Utah Wilderness Bill since Utah Congressman Wayne Owens first introduced the “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Bill” in 1989

Maryland Chapter Weighs In on Local Political Race

Annapolis and Frederick elected new mayors and city councils in November. The Sierra Club endorsed candidates in both places, and two-thirds of our endorsees won.

Getting Green by Being Green

Since coal is the primary fuel for 60 percent of the electrical energy in our area, saving electricity means being green—from less mountaintop removal mining to less global climate change. Burning less fuel oil and natural gas to heat our homes also reduces environmental harm. Fortunately, there are federal and state incentives for saving energy.

Electrical Power

by Rich Reis
Mr. Bennet, my high school physics teacher, liked to remind his students that our parents’ electric bills reflect the energy, not the power we use. However, because electrical capacity and loads vary by season and by time of day, commercial and industrial energy costs also vary by season and time of day. These customers also pay for peak power costs. PEPCO and other utilities are now offering incentives to allow them to remotely turn off our air conditioning systems using Digital Cycling Units (DCU) during some summer afternoons

Maryland Sierrans Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

by Mary C. Corddry
Following is a roundup of what’s happening with the nine Sierra Club groups in Maryland: Anne Arundel County, Catoctin, Eastern Shore, Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland

Thank You for a Wonderful Jamboree

What a weekend! Of course we loved the workshops, bluegrass music, and food, but best of all was the wonderful company!

To Enjoy, Explore, and Protect the Planet

by Jan C. Hoffmaster
As many of you already know, Dan Soeder has moved to West Virginia and has resigned his position as our outings chair. I know he’s going to be active in the West Virginia Chapter and I will attempt to fill his shoes as best I can.

Some Helpful Information for Outings Participants

Sierra Club outings are open to everyone, members and non-members alike. Each outing is intended to be a wholesome, safe, and enjoyable experience in the outdoors. Participants must have proper clothing, equipment, and stamina suitable to the event, and are encouraged to select activities that match their individual abilities for outdoor adventures.


Up to Top