On behalf of Governor Larry Hogan, it is my privilege to invite you to Maryland’s first conference on healthy ecosystems, resilient communities and vibrant economies. Maryland’s inauguralState of the Coast ConferenceConnecting People, Innovation and Opportunity– will take placeMay 21-23, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge.

With an annual economic contribution of more than $200 billion that supports 1.6 million jobs, the health of Maryland’s coast and its resources are inextricably connected to the health of our state’s economy and environment. Today, our coastal communities are faced with environmental shifts such as climate change, sea level rise and the increasingly significant impacts of catastrophic weather events. This makes the already challenging tasks of cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, safeguarding people and infrastructure, and facilitating commerce even more complex.

It is our hope that this conference – the first of its kind – will provide a forum for thoughtful and insightful discussion as to what has occurred, what is happening now, and how that knowledge should frame planning and management moving forward. With the most pressing challenges facing our coastal habitats and communities, what could be more appropriate than a conference focused on connecting people, innovation and opportunity?

The conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum to exchange timely and relevant information on the dynamic conditions of Maryland’s coastal communities, environment, and economy, and apply that information to existing and future restoration and protection efforts, policies and decision-making. We hope to bring together the unique blend of people involved in policy, science, strategy, business, and on-the-ground restoration and management.

Please consider joining me in CambridgeMay 21-23for theState of the Coast Conference.

Mark Belton
Secretary
Maryland Department of Natural Resources