The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has recently announced an initiative that will work toward eliminating single-use plastics at its Miles River campus in St. Michaels, Md.
The initiative is being implemented in collaboration with Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Ct., with a goal to provide a benchmark for other maritime museums and their communities to replicate.
CBMM’s Sustainability Committee began planning for the project in early 2018, when CBMM President Kristen Greenaway asked the committee to prioritize eliminating single-use plastics on CBMM’s campus.
“CBMM is committed to the stewardship of the environment, particularly that of the Chesapeake Bay,” commented Greenaway. “This is a ground-breaking initiative for maritime museums, and it positions CBMM and Mystic Seaport Museum in a national conversation around plastics and, particularly, our waterways.”
CBMM is hosting two informational sessions about the initiative on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. and Thurs. Jan. 17th at 3:00 p.m. in its Van Lennep Auditorium, with reservations taken at bit.ly/cbmmsustain.
Single-use plastic is any item that is meant to be disposed of or recycled after one use. Examples include drinking straws, water bottles, Styrofoam containers, and more.
“Awareness is the first step towards informed action,” said CBMM Director of Education Jill Ferris, who heads the Sustainability Committee. “We’ve spent a considerable amount of time assessing the current uses of plastics on campus and educating our employees and volunteers on ways to reduce plastic and overall waste.
“While our ultimate goal focuses on eliminating single-use plastics, alternatives should be as sustainable as possible—a wasteful alternative is not a better alternative to plastic.”
CBMM is maximizing its resources by using existing supplies before replacing with more sustainable alternatives, which means CBMM guests and members may still see plastic in use on campus as the museum transitions to single-use plastic free alternatives.
“We’ve offered tips for employees and volunteers that others can also implement very easily,” continued Ferris. “Is a plastic item necessary? What waste comes with this product? Can a plastic item be refused or replaced? If a plastic item cannot be eliminated, can it be repurposed, reused, or bought in bulk?”
CBMM will be presenting their initiative at the Small Museum Association Conference in College Park, Md. this February, and at the Council of American Maritime Museum’s Annual Conference in Manitowoc, Wis. this April.
“We see this as part of our commitment to be a vital community partner,” said Greenaway. “And it’s our hope for CBMM to be fully single-use plastic free.”
Frequently asked questions and more about the initiative are at cbmm.org/sustainability.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all.
Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916. or: firstname.lastname@example.org