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Monday, May 29, 2023

Check It to Protect It: Tax Time is for Conservation 

Donations made to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund through Maryland’s income tax check-off program support education, community stewardship and bay restoration efforts

Annapolis— Tax season is here, and Marylanders can help protect one of our state’s greatest natural treasures, the Chesapeake Bay and its wildlife, by making a tax-deductible contribution to line 35, the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund, on the Maryland tax form. 

The “Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund” was created to support Bay restoration and education programs and to protect Maryland’s rare, threatened, and endangered species. The fund is split evenly between the Chesapeake Bay Trust, a highly rated nonprofit organization, and the Wildlife and Heritage Division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Line 35 on the state income tax form, allows Marylanders to quickly and easily donate to help the Bay and conserve Maryland’s native wildlife and endangered species. Over $1 million was contributed through the 2021 tax check-off, which funded Bay restoration initiatives, community stewardship projects, and environmental education programs throughout the state.

Now more than ever, it is important to protect— and visit— our natural resources.  Many outdoor spaces, such as state parks, have seen a significant increase in visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.    

“Science shows us that people who spend time outdoors are healthier, physically and mentally,” said Dr. Jana Davis, president of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “All residents in our communities need access to clean, healthy, green, outdoor spaces and it is imperative that we work to solve any disparities in that access. Your 100 percent tax deductible contribution to this fund can directly help that need.”

Launched in 1990, the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund is one of the most successful voluntary tax check-off programs in the nation. Last year, more than 30,000 Maryland state income tax statements were returned with contributions to the fund. 

To make your contribution, simply complete line 35 on your Maryland state income tax form or ask your certified public accountant or tax preparer.  Donations of any dollar amount can be made and all are tax deductible. 

For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Trust, visit: www.cbtrust.org/taxdonation, or for details on the Department of Natural Resource’s Wildlife and Heritage Division, visit: www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife.

Additionally, Certified Public Accountants and tax preparers have joined in on restoration efforts to improve the health of the bay and to conserve at-risk species through the CPAs for a Healthy Bay Program led by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. If you would like to work with a bay-friendly CPA this tax season or if you are a CPA and would like to participate in this program, visit: www.cbtrust.org/cpas for more information.  

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