Waterkeepers Chesapeake and our 17 Waterkeeper members work on legislation at the local, state and federal level. At the beginning of each year, the legislatures in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are in session. We introduce and push for bills that will clean and restore our local waterways – making them swimmable, drinkable, and fishable in the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays regions, once again.

Latest Posts

Fair Farms Campaign 2020 Legislative Wins!

Fair Farms blog. In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Maryland General Assembly decided to adjourn a few weeks early, on March 18th. We’re thankful that our elected officials acted quickly to protect public health, while also accomplishing a tremendous amount in a short period of time. Thanks to their steadfastness, and … Read more

Clean Water Wins in Virginia and Maryland – Despite Maryland’s Abrupt End of Session

Maryland Maryland’s legislative session unexpectedly ended a few weeks early on March 18th as a protective measure due to the coronavirus. The legislature will meet in the last week of May to finish up critical work, but many environmental bills will have to be revisited in 2021. Our Conowingo Dam Emergency bill was one of … Read more

Press Statement: Lawmakers, Watermen, and Advocates Support Legislation to Stop Maryland’s Conowingo Dam Settlement with Exelon

Bipartisan legislation would prevent Md. Dept of Environment from waiving Water Quality Certifications, including for proposed Conowingo Dam license renewal (Annapolis, MD) –Maryland watermen and clean water advocates joined Republican and Democratic lawmakers to call for the passage of legislation that would prevent Maryland from waiving a Water Quality Certification for the Conowingo Dam federal … Read more


Watermen, Federal and State Lawmakers Call for New Conowingo Dam Settlement with Exelon

Maryland’s federal lawmakers and Maryland watermen have joined clean water advocates and Maryland state lawmakers to call on Maryland to not waive a Water Quality Certification for the Conowingo Dam federal license, as the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has proposed to do in its recent settlement with Exelon. Maryland legislators are supporting a … Read more

Support Maryland’s Authority to Protect Local Waterways!

The single most powerful authority that states have under the Clean Water Act is under attack by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Section 401 of the Clean Water Act gives states the authority to issue water quality certifications for federally licensed projects like pipelines and dams. The EPA has proposed a new rule that … Read more

Don’t Let Maryland Waive its Right to Protect Local Waterways!

We ask you to send an email today to your Maryland state representatives urging them to support Conowingo Dam Emergency Legislation (SB955/HB1465). This bipartisan bill would prevent Maryland from waiving a Water Quality Certification for the Conowingo Dam 50-year federal license. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) waived its right to require the Water … Read more

Maryland Pushes Back Against EPA’s Attempt to Take Away States’ Rights

By Aaron Zoellick, WKC Legal Intern Long before President Trump was inaugurated, it was clear that unraveling environmental protections was going to be a key part of his agenda. With the initial appointment of Scott Pruitt, and now Andrew Wheeler, as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the administration set out to rollback … Read more

Fair Farms Campaign 2020 Legislative Priorities

With a new year comes new priorities for the Fair Farms campaign to focus on in the Maryland state legislature. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write and call your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends and encouraging them to … Read more

Our 2020 Clean Water Legislative Priorities in Maryland, Virginia & Pennsylvania

The General Assembly sessions in Maryland and Virginia started on January 8th with much excitement and optimism for passing strong bills to protect our water and environment. Waterkeepers Chesapeake has identified priority legislation in each state. We will be asking for your help to get these bills passed so stay tuned for news on how … Read more

Act Now! Maryland Should Override Veto of Oyster Management Bill

Last year, we had a very important victory when the Maryland General Assembly passed the Oyster Fishery Management Plan (HB720/SB830) that set up a scientifically driven, consensus-based stakeholder process to develop the Oyster Fishery Management Plan for the State of Maryland. But Governor Hogan decided that business as usual was OK and vetoed the bill. Business … Read more