Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Alice Volpitta

Baltimore Harbor WATERKEEPER® Alice Volpitta became the Waterkeeper in 2020 after serving as Blue Water Baltimore’s lead water quality scientist for nearly six years. Her areas of expertise include water quality monitoring, data management, and enforcement, and she has spent hundreds of hours patrolling and surveying Baltimore’s streams, rivers, and harbor. The Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper is a program of Blue Water Baltimore.

Alice Volpitta directs Blue Water Baltimore’s water quality monitoring program, which tests water health at 49 locations across Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County. Through her leadership, key components of the organization’s monitoring program have achieved Tier III status – the highest level of rigor – as recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Volpitta credits her work with former Waterkeepers at Blue Water Baltimore for sparking her passion for clean water and holding polluters accountable. “They showed me what it truly means to be a Waterkeeper,” said Volpitta. “The Patapsco and Back Rivers and the streams that flow into them are living entities, a vital resource for millions of people.  These waterways and the communities who depend upon them deserve to have their voices heard.” Volpitta holds a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She previously worked with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as a natural resources biologist before joining Blue Water Baltimore in 2014.

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The Baltimore Harbor WATERKEEPER® has an organizational jurisdiction that includes the tidal Patapsco River, also known as the Baltimore Harbor, and the tidal Back River as well as all of their tidal and non-tidal tributary rivers and streams. Their watersheds include the entire spectrum of land use activities, from the ultra-urban Baltimore City community to the rural, agricultural communities in outlying counties.

Water Quality Monitoring

The Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper program recognizes the biological, recreational, and economic benefits of our waterways. That is why they are committed to collecting and analyzing local water quality data for our neighborhood streams, rivers and the Baltimore Harbor and using the results to advocate for better enforcement and compliance with water pollution laws that protect the health of Baltimore’s waterways.

They monitor the Tidal Patapsco and its major tributaries, the Jones Falls and the Gwynns Falls watersheds, for water quality and pollution on a weekly basis and utilize the resulting data to produce the Healthy Harbor Report Card and the Baltimore Harbor Water Alert.

Legal Advocacy & Restoration

They use the data to detect major incidents of water pollution, to inform legal advocacy priorities, and to identify restoration opportunities within watersheds.