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

84% of MD Poultry Operations Failed Water Pollution Control Inspections from 2017-2020 But Only 2% Paid Fines

New Reports Connect Lax State Oversight to Continuing High Phosphorus and Algae Levels in Eastern Shore Rivers FOR RELEASE: Thursday, October 28, 2021 Media contact: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org Washington, D.C. – Eighty four percent of the 182 Maryland poultry operations inspected by the state between 2017 and 2020 had one or … Read more

Welcome to our new Fair Farms Campaign Manager!

Hello, my name is Humon and I’m excited to join the Fair Farms campaign team this month as the newest Campaign Manager. When I Iearned about Fair Farms, I thought this is great — a campaign that uplifts visionary farmers and works on policy to lead us to a system that protects our lands and … Read more

61 Groups Demand That EPA Update Industry Water Pollution Technology Standards, Many Dating to 1970s

Despite Legal Requirement for Annual Reviews, 66% of EPA Standards for Industry Date Back More Than 30 Years Washington, D.C. — Two thirds of EPA’s water pollution standards for industries are more than 30 years old, despite a Clean Water Act requirement that they be reviewed every year to keep pace with improving pollution control … Read more

In Response to Lawsuit, EPA Pledges to Strengthen Standards for Slaughterhouse Water Pollution

In a victory for clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on September 9, 2021, that it will update grossly outdated water-pollution control standards for the slaughterhouse industry. The announcement follows a December 2019 lawsuit Waterkeepers Chesapeake joined with several other community and conservation organizations challenging its prior decision not to do so. In … Read more

A Bittersweet Goodbye

Dear Fair Farms Community, I’m reaching out to share the bittersweet news that I’m transitioning out of my role as Fair Farms Campaign Manager. I started working with Fair Farms just after it’s launch almost six years ago. Since joining the team, I have had the chance to more deeply explore my interest in food … Read more