The foundation supports programs that engage citizens in challenging and reversing the unsustainable use of natural resources and in protecting biological diversity. Strategies supported are grassroots activism, monitoring the enforcement of environmental laws, public policy advocacy, collaborative opportunities, media outreach, and model or demonstration projects fostering sustainable policies and practices. The foundation has restructured its focus to have a more in depth and targeted approach to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and transitioning Maryland to a low carbon economy. In order to attain this mission, the foundation has three programmatic focuses: Chesapeake Bay, Climate Change, and Sustainability.
In the fall of 2010 the foundation's board of trustees decided to "sunset"’ the foundation over a ten year period. With particular respect to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and transitioning Maryland to a low carbon economy, they believe that the urgency of the challenges and the promise of the opportunities is such as to warrant a full commitment from the foundation. Accordingly, the pace of the foundation's grantmaking will accelerate so as to exhaust its endowment sometime around 2021.
The foundation believes that Maryland’s efforts to restore the Bay and reduce greenhouse gas emissions have evolved to the point where a special window of opportunity has opened for substantial progress. In each area the State has established clear goals, an ambitious timetable, and robust planning processes. The foundation will be doing what it can to help ensure the success of these efforts.