About

Who We Are

We are mothers and fathers,

sons and daughters,

grandparents and teachers,

farmers, and healthcare providers.

We are old and young,

introverts and extroverts,

gardeners, and urbanites.

We are people like you

who know that to care for each other

we have to care for the earth.

Our Mission

We are seeking to create an amendment in the Declaration of Rights of Maryland’s state constitution that protects our right to a healthy environment. Along the way, we work with partners to support policies, bills, and initiatives that flesh out the three goals this amendment is designed to achieve: environmental health; public health; environmental justice.

Our Advisory Circle

We are guided by the passion and wisdom of a dedicated group of people.

Nick DiPasquale served as Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program Office from 2011-2017, overseeing the bay restoration efforts. Nick has had over 35 years of public policy and environmental management experience in both the public and private sectors, including serving as Deputy Secretary for Air, Waste and Radiation Protection in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. He currently serves as a Policy Advisor to ShoreRivers and on the Board of Advisors for the Chesapeake Legal Alliance.

Barry E. Hill is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vermont Law School, where he has taught an environmental justice and sustainable development course for over 20 years. Mr. Hill has served as the senior counsel for environmental governance of the Office of International and Tribal Affairs at the U.S. EPA. He also served as the director of the Office of Environmental Justice at the EPA. Prior to that, Mr. Hill was the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Associate Solicitor, Division of Conservation and Wildlife, and the Director, Office of Hearings and Appeals. In 2001, Mr. Hill was presented the “Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy” by the American Bar Association for teaching, research, and leadership in the areas of environmental justice, sustainable development, environmental law, and policy. Mr. Hill is the author of the textbook/handbook, “Environmental Justice: Legal Theory and Practice,” and he has authored/co-authored more than 25 articles.

Rev. Dellyne Hinton, Pastor of Gwynn Oak Arlington Lewin United Methodist Church in the Baltimore Metro District is the Facilitator for Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns for the Baltimore Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church. She chairs Central Maryland Ecumenical Council and currently is matriculating toward a Doctorate of Ministry at St. Mary’s Seminary and University with an emphasis on Eco-Womanism.

Rachel Hopp is an attorney who has worked on some of the world’s most challenging ecological issues, including climate change, natural resource damage, environmental justice and air, oil, and water pollution. Ms. Hopp served as enforcement attorney and program manager at the Environmental Protection Agency and Legislative and Regulatory Counsel for the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center. She also represented clients, public interest groups, and disadvantaged communities. Ms. Hopp was a lead architect of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the Acid Rain and Stratospheric Ozone Protection programs, and established joint implementation projects leading to the Kyoto Protocol. She also participated in responses to Deepwater Horizon, the Athos I Delaware River oil spill, and Hurricane Katrina. She is recipient of the Coast Guard’s Distinguished Career Service Award and EPA’s Gold Medal.

James May is the Distinguished Professor of Law and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Dignity Rights Project and the Environmental Rights Institute at Widener University Delaware Law School. He is the inaugural and immediate past Chief Sustainability Officer at Widener University, where he founded the Widener Sustainability Initiative. May is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 15 books, including Constitutional  Principles of Environmental Law; Global Environmental Constitutionalism; Environmental Constitutionalism; Judicial Handbook of Global Environmental Constitutionalism; New Frontiers in Global Environmental Constitutionalism; Environmental Rights; Encyclopedia of Human Rights and the Environment (forthcoming); Implementing Environmental Constitutionalism; The Advanced Introduction to Dignity Under Law; and, Dignity Law: Emergence, Constitutions, Courts, and Perspectives.

Aaron Mintzes joined Earthworks in August of 2011 after spending nearly five years as a professional environmentalist. First with Clean Water Action, and later as the Legislative and Political Manager for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Aaron has researched and lobbied at all levels of government on a variety of environmental issues. After tours with the green groups, Aaron joined the public affairs firm of Robert M. Brandon and Associates where he worked on health care and tax policy reform. Now pleased to rejoin the ranks of the conservation movement, Aaron assists the policy team with developing and advocating for more responsible hard rock mining as well as oil and gas issues. 

Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North America Director, 350.org Tamara is an environmentalist focused on equity, access, and community. She develops capacity building programs and creates multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic-free economy at the local, regional, and national levels. As the leader of 350’s programming in North America, she drives mission-critical work and organizational investments to build a multiracial, multi-generational climate movement that is capable of holding our leaders accountable to science and justice.

Martin Siegel is a member of Barley Snyder’s Real Estate and Environment & Energy practice groups who spent more than two decades as a litigator at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. In his time at the DEP, he litigated more than 250 appeals in state and federal courts and in front of the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board in cases involving litigation of solid waste, clean water, environmental remediation, and sewage planning. His cases resulted in tens of millions of dollars of environmental remediation and civil penalties throughout Pennsylvania. In addition to his time at the DEP, Marty has worked in federal government positions at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Atlanta and with the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Washington state. 

Our Staff

Nina Beth Cardin, a proud native of Maryland, is the co-founder and director of the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights (MDEHR). She has been involved in environmental advocacy for more than fifteen years during which time she served as director of the national Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life; founded and directed the Baltimore Orchard Project for five years; served as chair of the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural resources within the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and served as the Sustainability Consultant for the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council. Ordained as a rabbi in 1988 from the Jewish Theological Seminary in the first class of women to be ordained in that denomination, she served that institution in several capacities, including Assistant Dean of the Rabbinical School. She also is on the faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary’s Ecumenical Institute. Nina’s email is nina@mdehr.org.

Claire Miller is the co-founder, Communications Director, and website designer for the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights (MDEHR). Following a successful twenty-year career in healthcare product management, marketing, market research, and communications, she applied that experience to grassroots legislative advocacy and organizing at the state and county level supporting environmental health and justice issues. During the 2018 election cycle, Ms. Miller also earned political experience with a C4 non-profit, endorsing progressive candidates and organizing canvasses supporting their election to county and state office. As an Episcopalian, her work on this campaign combines the power of her faith with her passion for environmental advocacy and justice. Claire’s email is claire@mdehr.org.

Ethan McNary is a student organizer for the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights. This is his third year working on the Maryland Amendment for Environmental Human Rights. Ethan is also a state policy organizer for Sunrise Movement Baltimore. He is a freshman at Towson University’s Honors College pursuing a double major in Political Science and Environmental Studies. You can contact Ethan by email at mcnaryethan@gmail.com or find him on Twitter and Instagram @ethanbmcnary. 

Madeline Buscone is a Communications intern for the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights. She is currently a Senior at Loyola University Maryland majoring in Digital Media Communication and minoring in Environmental and Sustainability studies. You can contact Madeline by email at mebuscone@loyola.edu

Venus Okwuka is a senior at Loyola University Maryland majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental and Sustainability studies. She serves on the executive board of the Student Government Association as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion and a member of Loyola’s Student Health Advisory Council. She has a passion for all things social justice, especially environmental justice, public health, and racial equity. You can reach Venus at venusokwuka@gmail.com.

John Rukeyser is a legislative outreach intern with the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights. Growing up by the ocean, John developed a passion for protecting the environment. He is currently a senior at American University where he is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on government and economics, with a minor in History. You can contact John by email at jackrukey@gmail.com.