Maryland Public Television (MPT) will cap off a weeklong run of programmingdesigned to encourage public participation and discussion about the fragile health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed with its annual Chesapeake Bay Volunteer-a-thon on Sunday, April 17, at 6:00 p.m.The two-hour live broadcast connects interested individuals and organizations who want to help make a difference assisting with environmental improvement projects around the state.
“The volunteer-a-thon gives families, individuals, clubs and organizations the opportunity to come together to make a positive impact on the environmental health of our communities,” said Kristin Cook, MPT’s Volunteer Coordinator for Chesapeake Bay Week™ since 2008.
“MPT offers volunteers of all skill sets the opportunity to help a broad range of organizations, everything from trail and river cleanups to answering phones and assisting with mailings.”
Now in its 5th year, the telethon encourages volunteers to pledge hours, not dollars, to assist environmental groups in helping to preserve and restore areas of the sprawling 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake watershed. The broadcast also features profiles on organizations around the state that are already making a difference by lending their support.
Joe Krushinsky, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at MPT, believes the state’s current budget crunch makes programs like Sunday’s Volunteer-a-thon more important than ever.
“At a time when budgets are being slashed and state funding is down nearly across the board, environmental groups are depending more and more on the help of volunteers in the community to get the job done,” Krushinsky explained. “The Volunteer-a-thon allows us to connect concerned residents, who want to help, with organizations right in their own backyards.”
More than 500 groups and individuals participated in last year’s watershed restoration efforts, led by nearly 30 environmental nonprofits—a number Cook said is expected to grow in 2011.
“With the help of our volunteers, MPT raised nearly 15,000 hours of support across the region in 2010, the equivalent of 46 calendar days of cleanup efforts,” Cook said. “Each year Bay Week and theVolunteer-a-thon are gaining momentum in our communities as awareness for protecting and restoring the bay continues to grow,” Cook added. “We just want people to know how easy it is to make a difference.”
The Chesapeake Bay Week Volunteer-a-thon airs Sunday, April 17 at 6:00 p.m. Interested volunteers are also encouraged to visit mpt.org/bayweek/volunteer to print and return this form or call (410) 581-4035. WTMD (89.7FM NPR) is simulcasting the Volunteer-a-thon, and WTMD General Manager Steve Yasko makes a guest appearance.
Chesapeake Bay Volunteer-a-thon sponsor: Bank of America. The Bay Initiative, including theVolunteer-a-thon, is sponsored in 2011 in part by Irene and Edward H. Kaplan, The Bancroft Foundation, Bank of America, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Maritime Museum, Greenspring Energy, Ledo Pizza, Maryland Port Administration, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and South Moon Under.
For more information on MPT, visit mpt.org and the MPT pressroom.