According to the EPA, "Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies."
As signatories to the Chesapeake Bay Program, the regional coalition of the Chesapeake States and the Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland and the Department of Natural Resources adopts the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Action Statement signed by the Bay Program Principals’ Staff Committee and aligns our efforts along the following focus areas.
- Advance DEIJ Internally: By increasing diversity and inclusion for staff, appointees and volunteer bodies; building a common understanding of, and expanded capacity for, DEIJ; and institutionalizing efforts to advance DEIJ values and practices internally.
- Advance DEIJ through Mission-Related Work: By building relationships with the federally recognized Tribes and underrepresented groups, including but not limited to communities of color and low income neighborhoods; incorporating community leaders’ input into decision-making and implementation; advancing DEIJ in management strategies and logic and action plans; implementation of restoration activities and grantmaking; and elevating and prioritizing DEIJ in watershed restoration outreach, materials, activities and events.
- Advance DEIJ Performance of Partners: By sharing the Chesapeake Bay Program’s DEIJ statement with all partners, including the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed community; increasing access to DEIJ training and capacity building; developing and distributing guidance on including DEIJ and environmental justice criteria in grant targeting and evaluations; developing and sharing DEIJ communication and distribution guidance; and developing and sharing tracking and reporting guidance.