Calvert County Times September 07, 2017 - Page 17

Thursday, September 7, 2017 The Calvert County Times In Our Community 17 Commission for Women Be Wary of Disaster Charity Scams Launches Series for Young People The Calvert County Commission for Women in partnership with the Calvert Library will launch a new series called “I CAN” that is aimed particularly at girls from grades 6-12. This program will encourage young women to con- sider careers that are still primarily held by men. Led by Commission member Kathryn Marsh, the four-part series will allow participants to meet successful women who will share their career ex- periences in such fields as math and sci- ence, military and law enforcement, fi- nance and accounting, and international relations and politics. The first forum focusing on math & science careers will be held on Wednes- day, September 20th from 6-8 pm at the Calvert Library Prince Frederick. A pharmacist, a cyber specialist, an elec- trical engineer, a radiation protection in- structor, and a mathematician will share their careers. The forum is open to the public. The program called ‘I CAN” Forum on Math and Science,” will be held at Calvert Coun ty Library, 850 Cost- ley Way Prince Frederick, MD 20678; 410-535-0291 From Calvert County Commission for Women Acidity Changes Could Threaten Oysters A research team has identified a zone of water that is increasing in acidity in the Chesapeake Bay. The team analyzed little studied factors that play a role in ocean acidification—changes in water chem- istry that threaten the ability of shellfish such as oysters, clams and scallops to create and maintain their shells, among other impacts. Changes in pH can tell scientists some- thing about how the water chemistry is  changing. “Given how widespread low-oxygen zones are in coastal waters worldwide, understanding these processes will allow us to predict the acidification of estuaries under expected increases in carbon diox- ide and ongoing mitigation of nutrient in- puts by management actions,” said Jeremy Testa, assistant professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “These results will allow us to identify where and when shell-forming organisms like oysters will thrive or suffer in the future.” Researchers discovered a “pH mini- mum zone” that occurs at a depth of ap- proximately 10-15 meters (~30-50 feet) in the Chesapeake Bay. The pH in this zone is roughly 7.4, nearly 10 times higher in acidity (or a unit lower in pH) than what is found in surface waters, which have an average pH of 8.2. This zone is suspected to be due to a combination of factors, most importantly, from acids produced when bottom water rich in toxic hydrogen sulfide gets mixed upward. The team reported the findings in a paper in Nature Communications on August 28, 2017. “This study shows for the first time that the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide and am- monia from the bottom waters could be a major contributor to lower pH in coastal oceans and may lead to more rapid acidi- fication in coastal waters compared to the open ocean,” said University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai, the paper’s lead author and an expert in marine chem- istry and carbon’s movement through coastal waters. Previous studies have shown that acidi- fication can be particularly serious in nu- trient-rich coastal waters which often con- tain areas with too little oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide near the bottom. However, scientists don’t know exactly how much OA is occurring in a large bay like the Chesapeake Bay, though it is well- documented that agricultural nutrients entering the water have had a progres- sive impact on the Bay’s bottom water’s becoming anoxic, or oxygen depleted, during the summer months over the past 50 years. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest es- tuary in the United States. In addition to providing a thriving marine environment for tourism and outdoor recreation along the East Coast, the Bay plays an important role in the nation’s economy through the harvesting of seafood including shellfish, like blue crab and oysters, and finfish such as striped bass. From University of MD Center for Environmental Science As the public demand for donations increase for Hurricane Harvey sur- vivors, many Marylanders may feel compelled to donate. For those that do choose to make a donation to support those in the impacted areas, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith advise consumers to be vigilant, and do- nate wisely. “Sometimes at the end of a storm, you get a rainbow; other times you get a scammer,” said Attorney General Frosh. “It is wise to research the charity first before donating, and consumers should avoid any charity or fundraiser that is reluctant to give information on how do- nations are used.” “During these times of unfortunate events, individuals will attempt to prey on your generosity and introduce all types of scams, frauds or deceptive acts to line their own pockets,” warns Sec- retary Wobensmith. “Be sure you know who you are giving to and it is best to give directly to well-established chari- table organizations.” The Office of the Secretary of State registers and regulates charitable orga- nizations that solicit charitable contri- butions in Maryland. Together with the Attorney General’s Office, the Secretary of State’s Office works to ensure that charitable contributions go to qualified charitable organizations and are used for their intended purpose. For more tips on how to give wisely, please visit the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division publication Consumer’s Edge Charitable Giving Tips. To find out whether a particular char- ity is authorized to solicit in Maryland, the Secretary of State’s Office maintains a public registry of charitable organiza- tions authorized to solicit in Maryland.  For more information and to search the registry, please visit the Secretary of State’s charity home page: http://sos. Charity.aspx. If you feel like you may have been a victim of a deceptive or illegal chari- table solicitation, you should contact the Charities and Legal Services Divi- sion of the Secretary of State’s Office at 410-974-5521 or 1-800-825-4510. From the Office of Maryland Attorney General. Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead, But You Can The Calvert County Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management reminds citizens Septem- ber is a good time to review your readi- ness for severe weather and other emer- gencies throughout the year. September is National Preparedness and Mary- land Preparedness Month and govern- ment agencies, businesses, community groups, schools and families are partici- pating in events under the theme “Disas- ters don’t plan ahead, but you can.” “As we saw in the last week of July when storms dropped nearly six inches of rain in a 24-hour period, disasters can strike in our very own backyards at any time,” said Division of Emergency Man- agement Director Al Jeffery. “Don’t wait for a disaster to be on your doorstep to start preparing.” Making preparations when threats are not imminent can make communi- ties more resilient. Hazards common to Maryland include flooding, high wind, severe thunderstorms and winter storms. Below are a few tips from www. to get you and your family on the right path to being prepared. Discuss these four questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emer- gency plan. • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? • What is my shelter plan? • What is my evacuation route? • What is my family/household com- munication plan? Be sure to fill out a Family Emergency Plan.  As you develop your plan, tailor it and your supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Dis- cuss roles and responsibilities with peo- ple in your network and cover topics like communication, care of children, pets or specific needs like the operation of du- rable medical equipment. Keep in mind these factors when developing a plan: • Different ages of members within your household • Responsibilities for assisting others • Locations frequented • Dietary needs • Medical needs including prescrip- tions and equipment • Disabilities or access and func- tional needs including devices and equipment • Languages spoken • Cultural and religious considerations • Pets or service animals • Households with school-aged children From Calvert County Government.