Polluted Runoff from Agricultural Lands

Our Waterkeepers are working to reduce agricultural pollution in the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal watersheds. As the largest source of pollution, reducing agricultural pollution is essential to meeting the pollution reduction goals of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan (TMDL).

Our priorities:

Our campaigns:

Our  Fair Farms campaign is building a fair and just food system through a movement of Marylanders of all stripes, working together for a new food system — one that’s fair to farmers, invests in homegrown, healthy food, and restores our waterways instead of polluting them.

The Million Acre Challenge helps Maryland farmers build soil health, increase farm profitability, and improve water quality — while making farms resilient and active in the face of climate change. This farmer-focused collaborative uses soil health science, economics, education, and incentives to achieve no fewer than one million acres of healthy soil in Maryland by 2030.

The Enforcement, Engagement, and Empowerment for Change on the Eastern Shore (E3) Initiative seeks to defend and implement pollution-reducing policies; pressure government and industry to meet community-led demands for accountability and solutions; accurately track agricultural pollution impacts on water and people; and create a level playing field for small and sustainable farmers. E3’s work focuses on enforcement of environmental laws, advocacy for policy reform, community organizing, and operation of new citizen air and water monitoring networks. E3 aims to ensure that any expansion of the poultry industry on Maryland’s Eastern Shore does not harm the health of local residents or pollute waterways.

Latest Posts

Take Action – Ensure that All Marylanders Have a Right to Safe Drinking Water

The Safe Drinking Water Act is the primary federal law governing the health of the nation’s drinking water, but its protections do not extend to private drinking wells and smaller community-based water systems. Roughly 2 million Marylanders rely on well water as their primary drinking source and are expected to take the safety of their … Read more

Take Action: Urge Pennsylvania’s RGGI to Include Ag Practices that Reduce CO2 Emissions and Sequester Carbon

Pennsylvania is set to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce climate change pollution from electric power plants. Pennsylvania’s power sector, currently the fifth dirtiest in the nation, could achieve significant emission reductions through RGGI while creating value in myriad ways by driving investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate … Read more

Rebuilding Equity into our Local Food System

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

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Lawsuit Challenges New NEPA Regulations that Shield CAFOs from Environmental Review

Extreme changes to the regulations have widespread consequences for animals, surrounding communities, and the environment. Contact: Mike Andrade-Heymsfield, media@aldf.org, 707-364-8387 Betsy Nicholas, betsy@waterkeeperschespeake.org, 202-423-0504 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today a coalition of rural advocacy, environmental, and animal protection organizations, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit against the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) … Read more

Opening Briefs Filed in EPA Lawsuit on Slaughterhouse Regulations

Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice on August 3 filed the opening brief in our challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s final agency decision not to revise the effluent limitation guidelines for slaughterhouses and associated effluent limitations and not to publish pretreatment standards to control pollution discharges into the nation’s waters under the … Read more