The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors (MSBR), which is comprised of Realtors and affiliate members on the Eastern Shore, recently announced the creation of an exciting new Clean Water Committee. The idea for the Committee was born during a Critical Area workshop entitled “Water Quality and Property Values” conducted for local REALTORS by the ShoreRivers organization based in Easton. The featured speaker in this class was Cory McCloskey, a REALTOR from Naples, Florida, who spoke about the red tide/algae blooms in her area’s rivers and how this has negatively impacted property values and, more importantly, the health and daily life of residents in the area.
Counted among the many in attendance at the class were Judy Germain-Dinges, the newly installed President of the MSBR, local Realtor Janet Larson and MSBR Executive Director Debbie Leber. Judy had witnessed the red tide while visiting family on the Caloosahatchee River–precisely the case Cory discussed during her presentation. The thought that this could happen in our Chesapeake Bay watershed was highly disturbing to Judy. Germain-Dinges recalls, “I thought of the great opportunity for the MSBR members to continue in their community stewardship role to do something meaningful to address this vital concern.”
At the same time Janet Larson was impressed with Cory and her committee’s accomplishments in Florida and thought a similar Realtor-based group here on the Mid-Shore could contribute a great deal to our local clean water efforts. Janet’s pre-real estate background included legislative responsibility for environmental issues for two US Senators during the 1980s. “The issues covered in this class took me back to my work on the hill and rekindled a fire to take more responsibility as someone who not only enjoys our waterways but is able to make a living here on the Mid-Shore in large part because of our incredible natural resources” said Larson.
During a break Germain-Dinges, Larson and Leber talked about forming a group that would provide information and resources to the MSBR REALTOR membership to help them educate and inform their clients on clean water topics from septic system maintenance to Bay Friendly yard practices.
MSBR quickly established the Clean Water Committee and is building its’ membership to include Realtor and affiliate members as well as creating an Advisory Committee filled with experts in the field. Germain-Dinges announced the formation of this committee during her installation in September. Easton Mayor Bob Willey was present and arranged a meeting with Germain-Dinges, Larson, Leber and Rick Van Emburgh, Town of Easton Engineer to discuss the progress Easton has taken in stream restoration. Leber noted the meeting with the Mayor and Town Engineer “was the committee’s initial outreach; it is exciting to see the work done in Easton and the thought and planning that is required.”
For more information on the MSBR Clean Water Committee please feel free to email Janet at Jlarson@BensonandMangold.com.