The Clean Water Blog

Joining the Team to Fight for Maryland

Jennifer Kunze

I’d like to introduce myself as Clean Water Action’s new Maryland Program Organizer! I started just two weeks ago, and I could not be more excited to work with you to protect clean water and healthy environments in our state.

I have lived in Maryland my whole life – I spent my childhood hiking in the Catoctin Mountains near my hometown of Frederick, swam in the St. Mary’s River while attending St. Mary’s College in southern Maryland, and now love exploring the shores of the Patapsco and its streams near my home in Baltimore City. I know how beautiful, vital, and threatened our communities are, and I am thrilled to be joining an organization with such a long history of protecting both the environment and people’s health.

I’ve spent the past three years working as the Environmental Programs Organizer at the Center for Grace-Full Living in East Baltimore, a small but vibrant community center that focuses on meeting people’s immediate needs, finding ways to heal as individuals and communities, and pursuing restorative justice across our society. There, I coordinated community gardens, taught environmental education classes, created courses on healthy cooking and nutrition, and organized watershed restoration programs from rain barrels to rain gardens. There are so many ways that we can come together in our own neighborhoods to contribute to a healthier environment in ways that make our communities healthier, too.

But I also saw the ways that invisible influences on our environment have enormous impacts on our health. When particulate pollution from coal plants throughout the state is giving kids asthma, when aging sewer infrastructure dumps fecal bacteria into streams running through our neighborhoods, when trash incineration threatens already overburdened communities with mercury and lead pollution for decades to come – we have no choice but to join hands across the state to protect ourselves and our environment.

Another growing threat to Maryland is transport of crude oil from North Dakota on our railways, in cars that have already proven to be unsafe in deadly accidents across the continent. Bills currently pending in the Baltimore City Council and the Maryland House of Delegates take crucial steps toward protecting Maryland from the dangers of oil trains. Please read more here and if you want to get involved in this campaign, let me know about environmental issues in your community, or just chat, please be in touch.