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Attendees Travis Loop – Chesapeake Bay Program Jessica Blackburn by JarrellRoot

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									                                   Meeting Minutes
                               Communication Workgroup
                                  August 17th, 2009
                                 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Attendees
Travis Loop – Chesapeake Bay Program
Jessica Blackburn – Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay & Citizens Advisory Committee
Josh Davidsburg, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Krissy Hopkins – Chesapeake Bay Program
Rick Keister – Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay & Local Government Advisory
Committee
Peter Marx – Environmental Protection Agency
Alicia Pimentel – Chesapeake Bay Program
Dawn Soltzfus, Maryland Department of the Environment


Roll Call and Opening
Travis Loop welcomed everyone to the meeting.

News and Updates
Travis Loop thought it would be more valuable to move the news and updates part of the
meeting first. So he asked the group for updates from their agency. Travis explained
that things at the Bay Program are fairly quiet. There will be a Congressional staff boat
trip on Tuesday, August 25th. The group will leave from Mason Neck State Park with a
land and water-based component. Also, on September 14th there will be an event for
small watershed grants in Annapolis, Md. Senator Cardin asked to be a part of the
event and will be in attendance. On Thursday, August 20th the EPA will host a local
government listening session for the Executive Order. This meeting will take place at
EPA offices in Crystal City, Va.

Rick Keister and Jessica Blackburn reported for LGAC and CAC. They will be holding a
joint meeting September 17-18 in Lancaster, Pa. The meeting agenda is still being
finalized, but Thursday each group will hold a separate meeting. CAC will most likely
discuss how the stimulus money is being spent at the local level. And Friday’s meeting
will be joint between CAC & LGAC with a focus on Pennsylvania and the TMDL.

No more updated were provided.

Legislative Update
Peter Marx updated the group on current legislation in the House and Senate. He began
by describing Section 117 of the Clean Water Act and Bay Program reauthorization.
The Senate held two meetings, one in April and one of August 3rd, to discuss this issue.
The House also had a round table, not open to the public, with representatives from all
jurisdictions. They committed to infusing some innovative changes into Section 117,
using the clean air act as a model. In the House, we might see a bill or hearing in
September or October.

There is also a third bill introduced by Rep. Rob Wittman, the Chesapeake Bay
Accountability and Recovery Act of 2009 HR 1053, which would reauthorize Section 117
with a focus on adaptive management. This billed passed the House.

Rep. Connolly (Va.) introduced Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act of 2009 HR 3265 into
the House. This bill focuses on stormwater pollution with watershed-wide standards and
tags on an additional $1.5 billion to help local government deal with this issue.

Peter Marx then turned to the issue of appropriations. For fiscal year 2009 the Bay
Program was authorized a $31 million, the President’s budget for FY 2010 suggests
appropriations of $35 million. The House passed appropriations of $50 million and the
Senate passed $35 million. So negotiations will be necessary to resolve the
discrepancies in amounts. Along with the Bay Program authorization, there is also
conflict over the Army Corps appropriations for oyster restoration, with the House
appropriating $11 million and the Senate only $2 million.

Jessica Blackburn asked if Peter thinks they will reauthorize Section 117 within the year
or two. Peter remarked yes, but he is not sure how far reaching it will be. Jessica also
wondered if there was any talk about what the increase in CBP appropriations will go
towards. Peter says there is talk but nothing official and any changes must pass through
the Office of Management and Budget for approval.


Executive Order Status
Travis Loop then provided an update on the Executive Order. The Bay Program
launched a new website, where the most current information about meetings and
documents will be housed. There is also a communications team set up to work on
keeping the website up-to-date and handling any other communication needs related to
the Executive Order.

There were also a series of town hall meetings held to get public input, one in Annapolis,
Md. and the other in Frederick, Md. Other agencies have also held outreach events
including the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks Service.

September 9th is the date that the seven draft reports will be released to the public.
These reports will be available on the Executive Order website and a media briefing will
occur as well. After September 9th there will be a 60 days to weave these reports into a
new draft strategy.

Social Networking and Media Discussion
Noting the lack of participation on the call, Travis wanted to briefly go over people’s
thoughts on social media; what works, what you use and what’s new. We will have a
more in depth discussion on this topic at our next meeting.

Josh Davidsburg responded DNR gets the word out about Diamond Jim through twitter
and facebook. They post tweets as if Diamond Jim is scripting entries. DNR thinks
these are the most appropriate tools to use because of the nature of the three month
fishing challenge. They are trying to build a buzz as opposed to getting information out
there. They are also doing something similar with the black bear lottery on twitter.

Dawn reported Maryland Department of the Environment is not really engaged in using
social networking because they lack resources. Although, they don’t specifically use
these tools Dawn sees facebook as a good way to get information out about meetings
and invite people to attend.

Alicia Pimental added the Bay Program has been experimenting with using Twitter,
YouTube, and Flickr. The Bay Program uses these tools to post its news stories. They
haven’t used facebook much because the Bay Program doesn’t host that many events.

Travis Loop added he’s using social networking tools to get information about the
Executive Order out. The EO has a facebook group, Youtube channel and Twitter
account.

That concluded the discussion on social networking. Travis added he will add this topic
to the agenda next month and asks participants to send him agenda items for next
month’s meeting.


                      -- Next meeting September 10th at 10am --

								
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