Because of our proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, everyone in Anne Arundel County is experiencing the effects of the warming climate. District 7 is getting hit even harder due to our many large creeks and rivers. The District is framed out by the Bay on one side, the Patuxent River on the other and is capped off with the South River, the rest of the district is webbed with countless other tributaries. As water levels are rising people are dealing with coastal flooding more often and as water temperature is warming, the water ecology and wildlife is changing.
The water tables are in flux and 100 year flood plains are being adjusted. Many who were not previously at risk of flooding may be now and their insurance will go up. We are also seeing more regular extreme weather events. We have had two tornados touch down in just one year. One of them tearing through miles of South County. We have seen temperatures rise and fall at incredible rates in a 24 hour span and damaging snow storms seemingly come out of no where.
Our industry is also being impacted. The warmer climate changes many aspects of farming – from what can be farmed, to how it can be farmed and when it can be farmed. Our watermen are being challenged by many of the same issues. Extreme weather events like the tornados, torrential downpours, high winds and heavy snow can cause irreparable damage to the businesses on our shoreline and to our farmers alike. One tornado in the wrong spot and the a family’s livelihood could be ruined.
In District 7, we know how important it is to take care of our environment, because we’ve gotten to a point where we don’t have a choice. If we want to be able to continue to have prosperous and safe communities we have to do our part to protect the environment. Shawn will do everything he can to preserve and conserve green space, support initiatives to clean up the Bay and move towards renewable energy sources as well as help our workers move to sustainable practices. Environmental change can be devastating and the solutions can often be expensive. Shawn believes the County has a role to play in helping our industries make these transitions and will fight to keep supporting our workers and business owners through this unprecedented change.