ALEI provides education on the network of natural resource protection laws that intersect with agriculture, helping to strengthen both farming and environmental quality.
Agriculture and the environment are inextricably linked. Since farmers’ livelihoods are dependent on the health of environmental resources such as soil and water, farmers are naturally stewards of the land. When the environment is degraded, farmers are often first to feel the negative impacts on their business.
In the Delmarva region, agriculture is regulated by different environmental protection laws, many enacted to help restore the ailing Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and had been degraded over the past decades due to improper management of development. The Bay and other natural resources are crucial to the survival of agriculture in the region.
ALEI’s goal is to provide educational resources so that Maryland farmers are empowered to make management decisions with regard to their business and how it may impact the surrounding environment. ALEI helps farmers stay on top of laws that may affect their business practices and seeks to engage the non-agricultural community. This way, controversies stemming from misinformation or lack of information can be avoided, keeping both agriculture and the environment strong.
Read about how drought, water law, and agriculture affect one another in ALEI’s water law publication: http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/18516