Our 3rd annual In Defense of Water event was a showcase of the best clean water advocates in the region – our Waterkeepers! We were honored by guest speakers Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Jamie Raskin and thank them for their inspiring words about how our work on the local level informs policy work on the state and national levels. We were pleased to give our Water Warrior Award to Earthjustice. Earthjustice has been instrumental in protecting our waterways from pollution, having represented Waterkeepers Chesapeake and many of our member Waterkeepers for many years free of charge.
Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks and James Riverkeeper Jamie Brunkow received our first annual Waterkeeper Outstanding Win (WOW!) Award for their successful campaign to cleanup toxic coal ash stored on the banks of Virginia’s rivers. They worked for years in local communities and the courts, with other advocates, legislators and citizens, to find a common sense solution to a legacy of toxic coal ash stored on the banks of Virginia’s rivers. In 2019, this hard fought campaign resulted in the bipartisan Virginia Safe Disposal of Coal Ash bill (SB 1355) that mandates the safe disposal of 28 million tons of toxic coal ash Dominion Energy now has stored in leaking ponds on the banks of the Potomac, James and Elizabeth Rivers. This bill sets a national precedent for how to safely remove a legacy of toxic coal ash stored along our waterways in our region and across the nation.
At In Defense of Water, we highlighted our new campaign: Clear Choices Clean Water – Chesapeake Bay! We launched this campaign to increase awareness about choices residents make and their impact on our rivers and streams – and ultimately the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays. The campaign inspires people to pledge to implement water friendly practices to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and to volunteer with their local Waterkeeper. Take a pledge today!
We thank all of our sponsors listed below and want to give a special shout of thanks to Mom’s Organic Market for supporting our event and programs. We thank Audubon Naturalist Society for providing a great venue for our event. We thank all of our silent auction item donors and thank all of our guests who enthusiastically support our work. Our guests enjoyed fresh, local food from La Prima Catering and beer from Sweetwater, and music by the Wendy Steve Jazz Band.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Robin & Mike Broder * Mike Davis * Ed & Angie Hatcher
Nina Beth Cardin * Sally Davidson * Robert Eisinger * Tim & Bree Hill * John Holmes * Jeff & Beth Horstman * James Nicholas