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We interrupt this blog to bring you this public service announcement. Bear with us; we think it's worth it.

The problems confronting the Chesapeake Bay — most notably pollution and the resulting depletion of numerous species of fish, shellfish, crabs and oysters — are daunting and well documented.

Now, there's something all of us can do to help.

With a simple check-box donation on their state income tax return, Marylanders can help support the work of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, an organization that wants to bring positive change to the Bay and its tributaries via stewardship — specifically, through “grant programs, special initiatives, and partnerships that support environmental education, demonstration-based restoration, and community engagement activities.”

It's all pretty easy. If you or your clients would like to help, simply enter the amount of your donation on Line 35 of your Maryland income tax return. The tax return check-off donations go to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund and are split evenly between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Wildlife and Heritage Division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

According to the DNR, the donations will be used to promote:

  • Chesapeake Bay education and restoration projects for students.
  • Stream cleanups and tree plantings by community volunteers.
  • Habitat research, protection and enhancement for threatened plants and animals.
  • Protection of Maryland's endangered species.

And for you CPAs out there, this is a terrific opportunity to do your part by spreading the word to your clients, associates and friends. Sign up to join “CPAs for a Cleaner Bay,” then keep an eye out for further details from the Chesapeake Bay Trust later this fall.

Find out more in this brief video:

There's only one Chesapeake Bay. Here's our opportunity to make sure it gets well.

Find out more at the Chesapeake Tax Conference
Representatives from the Chesapeake Bay Trust will be on hand at the MACPA's annual Chesapeake Tax Conference, scheduled for Sept. 22 at Martin's West in Baltimore. They'll be handing out materials and offering details about how you can get involved in the program. Get details about the conference and register here.

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