Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore today appointed Josh Kurtz as Maryland’s Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. 

For the last two years, Kurtz has served as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Maryland Executive Director. As Maryland Executive Director, Kurtz has led CBF’s efforts to improve water quality across Maryland and help the state reach its 2025 Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint pollution reduction goals.  This included efforts to plant more trees, conserve forested land, help farmers make environmental improvements, green cities, and ensure the state maintains sustainable fisheries. 

Kurtz joined CBF in January 2021 after serving as the policy and government relations director for The Nature Conservancy in Maryland. Kurtz previously led advocacy campaigns at the Maryland General Assembly and the D.C. City Council to generate support for environmental conservation and policies to reduce climate change.

Kurtz has a master’s degree in public policy from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware. 

Gov.-elect Moore also announced the appointments of Serena McIlwain as Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Kevin Atticks as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.  

In response to the news, Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Hilary Harp Falk issued this statement:

“Josh Kurtz brings to his new position a broad and deep understanding of the issues facing Maryland’s natural resources.  An environmental policy expert by training and experience, Josh approaches natural resources issues with respect for science, compassion for the people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy environment, and a deep commitment to improving the lives of Marylanders.  

“We look forward to working with all of Governor-elect Moore’s appointees toward our common goals of clean water, strong economies, and healthy communities.”


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