Fall 2020 ENews

Vote for Clean Water!

It’s the final countdown to the national election on Tuesday, Nov. 3. We urge you to get out to vote! One of the most important battlegrounds in the fight for clean water is in the halls of local, state, and federal government.

  • Make a list of five friends, family and neighbors and ask them to vote.
  • Vote in-person this election. Find your polling place here: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/
  • As of October 28, the USPS recommends NOT mailing your ballot given persistent delays. Several states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have deadlines to receive ballots. If you’re voting absentee this year, drop off your ballot!
  • Ballot drop off box locations: Maryland, Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania

Lawsuit Challenges New NEPA Regulations that Shield Factory Farms from Environmental Review

Waterkeepers Chesapeake joined a coalition of rural advocacy, environmental, and animal protection organizations, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, to file a lawsuit against the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for new regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that will shield federally-funded factory farms and slaughterhouses from environmental review and limit the ability of the public to know about and challenge the harms caused by these facilities. This is a giant step backwards in an already flawed process to strip rural communities the right to know when an industrial facility is being built or expanded in their backyards.


Atlantic Coast Pipeline Cancelled!

The cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a huge win for the residents of Virginia and a significant step in our region’s move away from fossil fuel dependence. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline was never a viable project. Dominion Energy and Duke Energy’s drive for profits threatened the health of frontline communities, endangered our waterways, and perpetuated climate change. Thanks to the 6-year fight against this pipeline by impacted communities, farmers, land owners, environmental attorneys, faith leaders, justice groups, and environmentalists, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will no longer be a threat and we can focus on clean energy solutions that protect public health, advance clean water and air, and combat climate change.


In Defense of Water Went Virtual!


Our 4th annual In Defense of Water went virtual this year to keep everyone safe and healthy during this global pandemic. Thank you to everyone who joined us on Thursday, September 24th to celebrate our work protecting clean water for everyone.

We thank Senators Ben Cardin and Tim Kaine, and actor Chad Lowe for their inspiring words about our clean water advocacy. And we thank MOMs Organic Market for sponsoring the event.

We were very pleased to honor Concerned Citizens Against Industrial CAFOs, a local community clean water champion, with our Water Warrior Award, and Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman with the Waterkeeper Outstanding Win (WOW) Award. We thank Michael Buckley for presenting the awards.

We thank Marc Steiner for facilitating our roundtable discussion on environmental justice, equity, diversity and inclusion with Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman, Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer, Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf.


Look for us in the Combined Federal Campaign & the Maryland Charity Campaign


We’re very excited to be a participating charity in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #31891) and the Maryland Charity Campaign (MCC #45-4381850). If you are a current or retired federal or Maryland state employee, please consider donating to us through these campaigns.

Rebuilding Equity into Our Local Food System – Nov. 19

Join our Fair Farms campaign online for Rebuilding Equity into our Local Food System on Thursday, November 19, 5:00 – 6:30pm

for a discussion with local farmers and policy experts on how the global COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the existing inequities in our local food systems. Along with challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to acknowledge the movement against racial inequality. We have an opportunity to re-engineer our food system to be more just, equitable, and resilient in the face of crises. We thank M&T Bank for sponsoring this event. RSVP today!

Waterkeepers Chesapeake in the News!


Mercury widespread in Chesapeake Bay headwaters fish, Bay Journal, Jeremy Cox, June 30, 2020

New report faults Maryland for failing to plan for stormwater pollution in Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore Sun, Hallie Miller, August 17, 2020

Clean Water Act rollbacks hurt rivers and drinking water | COMMENTARY, Betsy Nicholas, Baltimore Sun, October 27, 2020

Welcome, Morgan & Thank you, Gozi!

We welcome Morgan Johnson as our new Staff Attorney (Bar Admission pending). She is a 2020 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor and an Environmental Law Certificate. During law school Morgan served as a clinical law student and clinic fellow working on environmental justice issues, legislative legal analysis and water law matters. Morgan is passionate about leveraging her public policy skills and legal training to advocate for people, places and species. Her love for our region stems from trips to the Chesapeake Bay, and James, Potomac and Anacostia rivers while she was in D.C., interning for the Obama White House/OMB Community Solutions Team

We want to thank Gozi Egbuonu for managing our fundraising over the past 18 months and wish her well in her new role at Network for Good.

Thank you!






Betsy Nicholas
Executive Director


Take a Clear Choices Clean Water pledge to adopt water-friendly practices in your daily life like picking up pet waste, reducing lawn fertilizer, planting native plants, and more! Your actions can protect clean water! YOU can make a difference!

We have made it easier to find and report pollution — and to report the fun things you see and do on the river. Working with Chesapeake Commons, we developed the free Water Reporter App so you can send reports directly to your local Waterkeeper! Download it today!

Take Swim Guide with you – wherever you go! The free Swim Guide app makes it easy to know the water quality at your beach. Several of our Waterkeepers post water quality monitoring results every week — check it out before you head to your favorite river, bay and beach!

Follow us on social media!



Waterkeepers Chesapeake fights for clean water and a healthy environment by supporting Waterkeepers throughout the Chesapeake and coastal regions as they protect their communities, rivers, and streams from pollution.

For info: www.WaterkeepersChesapeake.org or email info@waterkeeperschesapeake.org.

©Copyright 2020 WATERKEEPERS® Chesapeake