The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) joined in the global initiative to celebrate Earth Day with a variety of activities across its campuses focused on raising awareness about pollution, sustainable food practices and changing weather patterns.
“CSM is committed to improving our environmental sustainability through campus-wide initiatives to not only reduce our environmental footprint but to bring overall sustainable awareness to students, faculty, and staff,” said CSM Vice President of Financial Services Tony Jernigan.
Jernigan started this year’s sustainability awareness campaign by leading a group of volunteer CSM faculty, staff and students around the La Plata Campus on Earth Day, April 22, to clean up the grounds, where necessary.
“There wasn’t much to collect,” he said of the clean-up effort. “It’s obvious our students and grounds crews are becoming more environmentally aware and are taking pride in putting trash in the proper receptacles.”
“Eating Local and Sustainable: How what we eat can save or break the planet” kicked off a day of activities Tuesday, April 23, and involved presentations by local farmers, farm-to-table restaurants and Mom’s Organic Market who demonstrated sustainable food practices and promoted their farms, products and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. The participants also shared food samples and students were invited to a free buffet representing Southern Maryland cuisine.
CSM Professor and Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA) member Dr. Richard Siciliano gave a talk on “Oysters and the Future of the Chesapeake Bay,” to explain the role oysters play in the health of the Chesapeake Bay. During the discussion, Siciliano explained oyster gardening (a how-to guide) and shared stories about oyster farming in Maryland and Virginia – including the environmental benefits of oysters for cleaning the Chesapeake Bay.
Guest speaker Dr. Susan Langley presented “Adapting Maritime Archaeology to Climate Change.” Langley discussed how climate change, rising sea levels, increased water temperatures and more frequent storm events with related flooding is forcing maritime archaeologists to find creative ways to adapt resource management methodologies.
Learn more about CSM’s commitment to the environment and its Environmental Sustainability Committee by visiting https://www.csmd.edu/about/environmental-sustainability/.