By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Much of Maryland’s beauty is more fragile than it looks. The delicate balance between land and water takes work to preserve, and in many cases, work to restore.

“We do a wide range of things like environmental education, water quality work,” says Tasha Royal, of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps.

“I spent the year setting up an SAV monitoring program, that’s submerged aquatic vegetation in the river” said participant Lindsey Hughes.

And that’s just some of what the corps does.

Those ending the year-long program gathered to catch up Tuesday, while those entering it were brought together.

Open to 18 to 25-year-olds, the corps came out of state law.

“Preserving and protecting our environment,” says Maryland Senate President Mike Miller. “Promoting conservation. Protecting the Chesapeake Bay.”

Even in the trash-strewn alleys of Baltimore.

“Last year, our Conservation Corps person helped with our alley make-over program working in Baltimore neighborhoods to help reduce the amount of trash that comes down into the harbor and ultimately get into the trash wheels,” says Adam Lindquist of the Waterfront Partnership.

“I want to stay in the Chesapeake Bay area and continue doing conservation environmental work,” Hughes says.

For corps members, helping the environment also brings opportunities for personal growth.

“I learned what I really wanted to do while working at MRC, so I really want to pursue environmental engineering” Royal says.

“Learning new things outside of my field, or things I considered to be outside of my field, and kind of broadening what my field is, I suppose, and visiting beautiful places in Maryland,” Kim Choi told WJZ.

Thirty people completed the year-long program, and 42 new members began their year today.

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