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Center for

Environment & Society

Our vision is a Chesapeake Bay and watershed that is healthy and thriving; one in which natural systems and human communities are in balance. Interdisciplinary academic programs promote the integration of environmental issues, social values, and good old river mud.

The ShorePower Project

With funding support from the Town Creek Foundation, the Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College is initiating the ShorePower Project to help Eastern Shore municipalities significantly reduce their energy expenditures at no cost to the towns.

Since 2008, CES has helped the Chestertown municipal government achieve significant reductions of energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2008 and 2011 Chestertown’s electricity consumption dropped by more than 300,000-kilowatt hours per year. This amounted to a greater than 10% decrease and an avoidance of almost $150,000 annually in costs. It also constituted an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 200 tons per year.

With CES’ help Chestertown municipal staff were also able to function as agents for change in the wider community, helping to support the Kent County government’s installation of four ground-mounted solar power arrays which are expected to account for nearly 75% of the County’s municipal electricity requirements, reduce annual expenses for electricity by roughly $120,000, and drop greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.

The ShorePower Project aims to replicate these results in the eight remaining County seats on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, four municipalities in Year 1 of the project and four more in Year 2. In each municipality ShorePower staff will work with agencies and vendors to inventory energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions; develop recommendations for achieving energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and build capacity for ongoing tracking and evaluation.

An advisory board oversees the project; and, project staff have consulted closely with officials from the Maryland Energy Administration, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Maryland Municipal League.

Our hope is that the project will result not only in energy savings for Maryland’s Eastern Shore but also in meaningful discussions and actions toward a clean energy future for the region.

For more information, visit the ShorePower Project website.

Campus Energy Dashboard

In an effort to reduce energy use on campus, Briggs Cunningham, Energy Programs Manager at the Center for Environment & Society is working to install meters on 16 campus buildings, including dorms. CES and the Student Environmental Alliance are working to develop an electricity use contest among the students to see whose dorm can be the most energy efficient.

President’s Climate Action Committee

The President’s Climate Action Committee at Washington College is composed of staff from the Center for Environment & Society (CES), as well as other college staff, faculty, students, and also residents of Chestertown. The Committee’s mission is to help the College meet its obligation to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. (ACUPCC).

Community Greening

The Community Greening Tool Kit is a “box” of resources designed to assist municipal governments and other organizations in setting up their own community greening programs.

Sustainability at WC