Assateague Coastal Trust – Keeping Sediment Out of Local Watersheds

Assateague Coastal Trust pic

Assateague Coastal Trust

J. Christopher Llinas lives and works in Maryland, where he is an attorney in private practice. Outside of his professional life, Christopher Llinas spends his time running triathlons and supporting environmental causes. He was able to raise $2,000 for the Assateague Coastal Trust in 2014, thanks to his success in the Louisville Ironman that year.

The Assateague Coastal Trust exists to protect and care for the coastal watersheds in the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia areas. The region, known locally as Delmarva, is delicate and prone to change. Protecting the coastal watershed is critical to the region’s overall health.

One of the organization’s projects, the Get the Dirt Out campaign, fights against contaminant-laden runoff. Construction and development in the area often adds sediment to local water, which presents a significant environmental concern. To keep dirt, sediment, and toxic chemicals out of local waterways, the trust trains volunteers to monitor water quality in their area. These volunteers act as watchdogs, helping to ensure that major construction sites are operating within the law and not polluting the water.


Prayer Vigil for the Earth in Washington, DC


Assateague Coastal Trust Keeps an Eye on Stormwater Runoff

Assateague Coastal Trust pic

Assateague Coastal Trust

J. Christopher Llinas (Chris) serves as corporate counsel at Royal Plus, Inc., a company dealing in disaster restoration based in Snow Hill, Maryland. Outside of work, Chis Llinas is an avid philanthropist and spends much of his time supporting local charities and foundations such as the Assateague Coastal Trust.

The Assateague Coastal Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and health of Delmarva, a coastal area spanning Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) has been in place since the 1970s and has since looked to preserve the state of the coastal bays in the Delmarva area for the animals there and for future generations through a mixture of advocacy and fundraising.

One way in which ACT works to accomplish its mission is through its Get the Dirt Out program, an effort let by the COASTKEEPER (focused on advocacy and education) branch of the organization. Get the Dirt Out focuses on monitoring construction companies around the protected bays to make sure that their regulations are on par with requirements regarding stormwater runoff. If the companies are not complying fully, toxic runoff could easily get into the bays and damage them extensively. Get the Dirt Out relies on volunteers to check up on these companies periodically.

Assateague Coastal Trust Advocates for Delmarva Peninsula

Assateague Coastal Trust pic

Assateague Coastal Trust

Attorney J. Christopher Llinas owns a solo practice in Ocean Pines, Maryland. Christopher Llinas’ career focus has included strategic planning and crisis management. As part of his charitable giving, he has contributed some $2,000 to the Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT).

ACT’s mission is to improve and preserve the coastal environment of the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) Peninsula. The agency concerns itself with protecting waterways, encouraging wildlife health, and promoting sustainable economic expansion.

To help meet these goals, ACT employs a coastkeeper, who inspects by boat the area’s coastal bays to detect problems with unclean water and uphold existing watershed laws and regulations. The coastkeeper reports any instances of illegal chemical releases, dredging, or disallowed buffer clearing.

From May through September, the coastkeeper measures for oxygen content, acidity, salt levels, and clarity of the water. The official also tests for bacteria that threaten human health and places the results on the ACT website between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Public information is vital to the ACT’s mission. The coastkeeper educates people about environmentally beneficial practices and alerts them to changes in legislation and policy-making.

Diakonia, Inc. Provides Aid to the Ocean City, Maryland Area

Diakonia, Inc. pic

Diakonia, Inc.

Attorney J. Christopher “Chris” Llinas focuses on criminal and traffic defense work at his solo practice in Ocean Pines, Maryland, and has some 20 years’ legal experience. An avid marathoner, Chris Llinas supports several philanthropic organizations, among them Diakonia, Inc., for which he collected $5,000 from charity road races.

Serving Worcester County and the Lower Shore of the Delmarva Peninsula, Diakonia opened in 1972 and is now a non-denominational nonprofit agency. It provides transitional and emergency housing for the homeless and various counseling services for them at two locations. Diakonia goes beyond putting a roof over its clients’ heads to work on the basic causes of homelessness.

Volunteers use a case management system to address basic issues, including problems that may result in homelessness. For persons about to make the transition to independent living, they build bridges with other support organizations.

A member of the United Way, Diakonia sponsors fund-raising events for these expensive services. Donation opportunities have included the Empty Bowl Project; givers paid $20 to buy a bowl of soup, bread, and soft drinks. The proceeds helped stock Diakonia’s food pantry.

Diakonia’s Used to Be Mine thrift store benefited from a first-time event in 2015, a fashion show and luncheon. Models wore clothing gleaned from the store, and gift baskets were raffled to further aid Used to Be Mine.

The First Annual Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon pic

Marine Corps Marathon

An experienced attorney, J. Christopher (Chris) Llinas currently operates his own private practice in Ocean Pines, Maryland. When he isn’t working, he regularly participates in marathons across the United States. Chris Llinas most recently completed the Marine Corps Marathon on October 25, 2015.

Founded by retired U.S. Marine Colonel Jim Fowler, the Marine Corps Marathon had four specific goals: to showcase the abilities of the Marine Corps, to serve as a recruiting tool, to promote goodwill in the community, and to help Marines qualify for the Boston Marathon. The first Marine Corps Marathon took place in Washington, D.C., on November 7, 1976. At the time, the U.S. military looked to the event as a way to garner positive public attention in the wake of the Vietnam War.

Each of the event’s 994 runners paid $2 to compete on the route through the U.S. capital. Olympian Kenneth Moore became the first winner of the Marine Corps Marathon when he crossed the finish line with a time of 2:21:14. The first woman to finish was Susan Mallery of Arlington, Virginia.

How Diakonia Provides Hope for Those in Need

Mennonite Church, Diakonia pic

Mennonite Church, Diakonia

When not serving as an attorney at his private practice in Ocean Pines, Maryland, J. Christopher “Chris” Llinas volunteers his time at charities such as Diakonia. In 2012, Chris Llinas was able to raise over $5,000 for the organization.

Founded in 1972 by the Mennonite Church, Diakonia is now a separate entity and acts as a nondenominational organization. Diakonia’s headquarters in West Ocean City, Maryland, comprises two buildings that offer shelter and transitional housing for people in need. It also provides emergency food services for its residents.

However, Diakonia aims to provide more than shelter—it also counsels and assists those on the verge of losing their homes, availing them of programs that can provide financial assistance. For those who have already lost their homes, these counseling sessions center in on the issues that precipitated their circumstances.

Now over 40 years in existence, Diakonia continues to provide hope for individuals and families around Worcester County and on the Lower Shore by providing them with the necessary assistance to get back on track.