By Codi Coulter
Mark Hoffman is the Maryland Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. At this year’s Agriculture and Environmental Law Conference he will speak in the “Legislative Strategies for Reaching Ag Sector 2025 Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Goals” panel alongside Jason Keppler, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Watershed Implementation Program Director and acting Conservation Grants Program manager. For more information about the Conference and to register, visit go.umd.edu/umlawconfreg21.
The Chesapeake Bay Commission comprises 21 members in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Each of the three member states enacted legislation to establish the Commission, and its members include state legislators, cabinet secretaries, and citizens. Its goal is to coordinate policy and legislation to advance the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
At the Conference, Hoffman will discuss recent state and federal legislation related to the Bay cleanup, including the 2021 amendments to the Clean Water Commerce Act and other related legislation. In addition, Hoffman will highlight the federal legislation the Commission is working on to increase funding in the region in the next Farm Bill.
“Maryland has the most to gain or lose in terms of Bay restoration, so we need to be a leader in trying to advance pollutant reductions,” said Hoffman. He added that the increasing impacts of climate change are shifting the focus from strictly water quality to broader environmental concerns, explaining that “we need to think about how traditional pollutants fit within the context of climate adaptation and resilience.”
According to Hoffman, the Commission focuses heavily on agricultural best management practices (BMPs), policies and funding. In addition, farmers have shown themselves to be very willing to implement BMPs and they need increased technical service and funding to maximize their ability to achieve nutrient reduction goals.
To learn more and hear from Hoffman, register for the seventh annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference, being held virtually Nov. 17-18. You can register at go.umd.edu/umlawconfreg21.