06/01/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/01/2023 08:04
Funding reaffirms BGE's commitment to the Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps, environmental justice, and expanding Maryland's tree canopy
BALTIMORE (June 1, 2023) - BGE today announced the expansion of its Equity in Energy partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust by providing a $600,000 grant disbursed over the next three years. The funds will go toward expanding support for the Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps, new work on environmental justice, and expanding the Urban Trees Initiative led by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
"BGE has supported the Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps since its inception in 2010. BGE's multi-year grant will enhance the program by supporting specific coverage of environmental and climate justice topics, and by supporting several environmental justice-related projects in underserved communities," said Alexander Núñez, senior vice president of Governmental, Regulatory and External Affairs for BGE and member of the Chesapeake Bay Trust's board of trustees. "We set ambitious goals to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions. We understand that our responsibility goes beyond our day-to-day operations, however, and we believe in advancing the resiliency of the communities we serve. The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a valued and strategic steward of Maryland's treasured Chesapeake Bay and the natural resources in its watershed, and BGE is proud to underwrite their vital programs."
The grant funds will support the Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps, which provides onsite training and educational opportunities for young adults interested in exploring potential environmental careers in a professional space. During their time in the Corps, members are matched with non-profit and government host organizations and receive hands-on guidance aimed at improving local communities and protecting natural resources. Members of the Corps are given a one-year stipend, training, and other support by the Chesapeake Bay Trust during the year.
New for the 2023-2024 class, Corps members will work on clean and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, climate adaptation activities specifically in communities disproportionally affected by climate change, mitigating health impacts of climate change in underserved communities, and more.
BGE's grant will also leverage the new Urban Trees Program established as part of the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021. The purpose of this environmental justice program is to plant at least 500,000 native trees by 2031 in urban underserved communities. Urban trees have significant benefits to human health, climate, the economy, and the environment. Yet some urban communities are severely lacking in greening, contributing to heat island effect, exacerbating asthma and other health issues, and reducing quality of life. Providing resources through ground-up, community-based grants will empower people to own this piece of community improvement, leading to sustainability.
"BGE's support for these programs allows the Trust to expand access to this region's valuable natural resources to a wider audience," said Dr. Jana Davis, president of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, which administers the Corps program. "We are thrilled to be able to broaden our partnership of many years with BGE to this new work."
In addition to the multi-year grant funding, BGE is also committed to assisting with a number of Chesapeake Bay Trust environmental hands-on events, such as tree plantings and habitat restoration, with support from BGE employee volunteers and strategic partners.
BGE is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility, providing safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and 700,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company was founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and remains headquartered in Baltimore City to this day. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading energy utility company. Engage with the latest BGE stories on bgenow.com and connect with BGE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About the Chesapeake Bay Trust
The Chesapeake Bay Trust envisions a restored, protected, and resilient Chesapeake Bay watershed and other natural resources in our area, from the Coastal Bays to the Chesapeake to the Youghiogheny River. The Trust empowers about 400 local community-based groups each year with the resources they need to take on a meaningful and measurable role in restoring forests, streams, rivers, bays, wildlife, and more in their own communities. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Chesapeake Bay license plate; donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form; donations made by hunters, fishers, and boaters in the Maryland online natural resource licensing system; donations from individuals and corporations; and partnerships with private foundations and federal, state, and local governments. The Trust has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for over two decades. On average, 90% of the Trust's expenditures are directed to its restoration and education programs.