Environmental Human RightsEnvironmental Rights Amendment

Thank YOU And Onward to 2022!

The Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights (MDEHR) is energized by the support and advocacy of our sponsors, organizations, and fellow Marylanders for the right to a healthful environment. The wording of this year’s amendment reflected the language codified in the Maryland Environmental Policy Act of 1973 which recognized our “fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful environment”. Our mission is to place that language and that right in our state constitution to assure that this right is enforceable and accessible to all Marylanders. On the way towards achieving our mission, we are affirming that the values of clean air, water, land and a stable climate are essential for life and for the lives of future generations. 

“There are some things worth fighting for to the end.” – Paulo Coelho

Thank YOU to all of our fellow advocates

The Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights (MDEHR) thanks our lead sponsors, Delegate Wanika Fisher and Senator Obie Patterson for their leadership and testimony in support of the environmental rights amendment. We also appreciate co-sponsors Delegate Vaughn Stewart and Delegate Erek Barron for their support and advocacy of the amendment this year.  

MDEHR is grateful for the many supporters who testified on behalf of the environmental rights amendment for the House and Senate hearings. We would especially like to thank members of our advisory circle who testified – Barry Hill, Nick DiPasquale, and Martin Siegel. Your voices and professional experience brought important perspectives to the conversation this year. We also are indebted to Rosa Hance for her  testimony on behalf of the 70,000 members of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club; Monica Brooks, representing the communities fighting air and water pollution caused by CAFOs in Somerset and Wicomico Counties; and Jaylah Bryant, a student at West Nottingham Academy, for sharing the concerns of youth for the climate and their future.   

The Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights (MDEHR) is extremely thankful to   all of the organizations, associations, and community groups who have stood with us in this effort to champion everyone’s right to a healthful environment in Maryland this year.  With your help, we showed a stronger level of support for a state constitutional amendment for environmental rights with 69 organizations representing environmental advocacy, faith communities, youth leaders, grassroots groups, public health associations, and businesses standing with us and submitting significant written testimony. 

MDEHR is also grateful for individuals in 15 of Maryland’s 23 counties (Allegheny, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington, Wicomico, Worcester) who wrote 578 letters of support for the amendment to delegates and senators in the Maryland General Assembly.

Last but not least, MDEHR is very thankful for our college interns, Ethan McNary, Madeline Buscone, Venus Okwuka, and John Rukeyser. A wonderful by-product of this advocacy work is the opportunity to work across generations for a common purpose and to be inspired by the youth who get the urgency of protecting environmental human rights. We look forward to continuing to work with students and the Sunrise Movement Maryland in advocating for protecting the right to a healthful environment and a stable climate.

Onward to 2022

Now that the legislative session is ended for 2021, it is time to look onward to 2022. Next year is a critical election year and an opportunity to put the environmental rights amendment on the ballot for Maryland voters. MDEHR will be gathering in May to discuss the strategy for the next legislative session and will be meeting with advocacy teams in other states who are actively working to pass environmental rights legislation. 

Environmental rights are recognized in 100+ countries and in the constitution of 6 states. It is only a matter of time that our government in Maryland will recognize the importance and value of protecting our right to a healthful environment and Maryland’s natural resources in our state constitution. 

You can help shorten that time by helping to spread the word.