Press Release

Photo of Sec. Shari Wilson holding award plaqueBALTIMORE, MD (December 1, 2010) – Governor Martin O'Malley has designated outgoing Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson as "Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay" in recognition of her decades of work to protect and restore Maryland's environment. The Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay award is the highest honor the Governor can bestow on an individual for environmental contributions.

"Secretary Wilson has been an exceptional Secretary of the Environment, who led the Department in accelerating the Chesapeake Bay restoration, increasing enforcement of environmental laws, putting Maryland on a path to address climate change and promote renewable energy, among many other impressive achievements," said Governor O'Malley. "This Admiral of the Chesapeake award formally recognizes her extraordinary commitment to the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's environment. We will miss her insightful leadership and wish her the best in the future."

Governor O'Malley presented Secretary Wilson with the award at a BayStat Cabinet meeting on November 30, 2010.

Wilson's accomplishments as Secretary of MDE include: leading development of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan; implementing the State's first-ever regulations on coal combustion byproducts; overseeing the creation of Maryland's Climate Action Plan; forging consensus that led to the adoption of a statewide law to reduce of greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020; developing and implementing of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Country's first carbon cap-and-trade program; upgrading controls to reduce polluted stormwater runoff; restoring a consistent baseline of environmental enforcement; and securing the Agency's two largest environmental penalties.

Prior to serving as MDE's Secretary, Wilson worked for Baltimore City in the law and planning departments and previously worked for the Department of Environment in a number of capacities, including Policy Director and manager of the superfund and brownfield cleanup Programs. She also served as an assistant attorney general. Wilson recently announced she would not seek a second term as Secretary of the Department.

The Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay is awarded by Maryland's Governor to those who have demonstrated and extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, its surrounding landscapes, and the life that inhabits them.