New Videos Debut: Marylanders Share Stories of Climate Disasters, Call for Passage of RENEW Act

Powerful two-minute videos spotlight personal costs of extreme weather and urge legislators to pass landmark bill that would make polluters pay.

Annapolis, MD — Today marks the official debut of a hard-hitting new video series that shows how climate disasters are directly impacting Maryland residents and calls for passage of a landmark bill that would invest $9 billion in new revenue into disaster relief and preparedness. The Responding to Emergency Needs from Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act would save taxpayers from the skyrocketing costs of unprecedented flooding, wildfires and other hazards by making the largest global fossil fuel companies pay a one-time fee for their historical emissions.

The new 2-minute videos spotlight the heavy toll that extreme weather events are already taking on communities all across Maryland. A recent Gonzales poll found that 48% of Maryland residents have been personally harmed financially by climate change within the past three years.

Three new videos, produced by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund, make clear that the impacts and costs of extreme weather events can be catastrophic for many Marylanders. Their way of life is at stake.

VIDEO 1: Saltwater Intrusion < Click to view

On the Eastern Shore, climate change is causing sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion that is devastating for agriculture. While the effect on the local economy is substantial, the fear from longtime residents who worry that the land will soon be uninhabitable is even more palpable. 

“We used to rent out this field to farmers, and it was very productive at first. But then last year, it was nothing,” said Betty Shulz of Crisfield, MD. “I know when you live far away from it; you don’t think about it. But when you see water come up under your porch, you think, ‘What’s going on here? What can we do to help it, and keep it so that my granddaughter can have it.” 

VIDEO 2: Flooding < Click to view

Ellicott City has been forced to deal with extensive property damage and threats to public safety due to repeated flooding in the historic downtown. Residents and businesses are growing increasingly anxious as the forecasts for stronger storms become more and more frequent.  

“This town can’t roll back the effects of climate change. All we can do is be prepared for what might happen. We’ve already built multiple retaining pods. All of that takes phenomenal sums. That funding is critical to getting those projects completed and saving a town, saving business and saving lives. We need the RENEW Act to go through,” explains
Nick Johnson, owner of Su Casa in downtown Ellicott City. 

VIDEO 3 –  Resilience Center  ***COMING SOON*** 

In Rockville, the historic Mt. Calvary Baptist Church has long served the local community during all kinds of local disasters. Now church leaders are taking proactive steps to make the building infrastructure stronger and more sustainable with funding.  

“The RENEW Act will allow us to operate more efficiently and become more self-sufficient. Having this as a resiliency center is what our purpose is all about so that we can do the work: the ministries that we want, the activities, and the community outreach that is really going to make a difference,” said Alma Wiggins, Board Trustee of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.  

As the RENEW Act continues to gain popular support, CCAN Action Fund and its allies are urging Maryland residents to contact their state legislators and encourage them to pass the RENEW Act during the current legislative session. 


Chesapeake Climate Action Network, is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with climate change in the Chesapeake Bay region. For more than 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and beyond.