Mary-Dulany James on the Environment


Delegate James grew up on a farm on the Chesapeake Bay, where she has remained to raise her three children.  With a past deeply rooted in the tradition of her family farm, Mary-Dulany has a passion for the conservation and protection of our precious natural resources, such as the Chesapeake Bay, found here in Maryland. 

Mary-Dulany’s passion for the environment and the preservation of Maryland’s agricultural heritage has been on display since she first set foot in Annapolis.  In her very first year in office, Mary-Dulany sponsored a bill that made it easier for landowners to submit applications to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, a program started by her late father, Senator William S. James.  The purpose of the Foundation is to preserve productive agricultural lands and limit the extent and impact of urban development.

In 2002, Delegate James spearheaded an effort to increase land preservation by sponsoring a bill that authorized local governments to adopt and implement their own local land preservation programs.  The goal of this legislation was to conserve and improve the quality of the waters throughout the State, as well as to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and aid in the protection of the Bay’s watershed and ecosystem.

In 2007, Delegate James helped pass a bill establishing the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund.  The Trust fund is intended to maximize the efficiency of the Bay restoration process by focusing the funds on the most effective means of pollution control.  Additionally, the Fund has helped the economy by creating numerous green jobs associated with the Bay restoration project.  The Fund also provides financial assistance in the development of new, more efficient technologies that can be used to accelerate the restoration effort.

In addition to the Bay Trust Fund, Delegate James also supported legislation in 2007 to help increase the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster population.  The legislation was aimed at increasing funding for the Oyster Farm at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.  In addition to increasing funding, the bill also contained sufficient oversight provisions to ensure that the program is effective in improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Mary-Dulany James furthered the Oyster Restoration Program in 2013 by supporting a bill which provided tax credits intended to help grow the oyster population by recycling oyster shells.  These recycled oyster shells will then be used to help restore the oyster population of the Bay, which in turn improves the health of the Bay, as oysters act as a natural filter.

In 2009, Mary-Dulany submitted and successfully passed legislation that allowed for the sale of State bonds to protect and sustain the nationally recognized Program Open Space, another program created by her father.  Funds from Program Open Space go towards the purchase of land to prevent the development of protected areas.   These areas are then used for recreational purposes, as well as the conservation and preservation of wildlife and land resources. 

Delegate James also made monumental strides for the environmental health of the Bay in 2009 by supporting the passage of legislation requiring the installation of new or replacement septic systems throughout locally designated Priority Funding Areas in critical condition to include new nitrogen removal systems.  In conjunction with the $130 million designated for nutrient removal through the Bay Restoration Fund, the accomplishments of 2009 alone show a serious commitment to maintaining the beauty and integrity of the Maryland landscape.

Delegate James also helped many constituents as they navigate the process of ensuring their family farms are protected from future development and she is proud to have assisted in the preservation of thousands of acres across Harford and Cecil Counties.

Below is a partial list of additional preservation and environmental protection bills that Mary-Dulany James has supported;