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 are:

Pushing for greater transparency and accountability for the agricultural industry.

Insisting that states improve regulation of industrial factory farms known as CAFOs.

Keeping excess poultry manure from polluting our waterways.

Building a fair and just food system through our Fair Farms campaign, 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.


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

Fair Farms Pizza & Pint Night

Our Fair Farms campaign is hosting a Pizza & Pint Night April 30th at Union Craft Brewing! A dollar from every pint and Well Crafted Kitchen pizza sold will benefit Fair Farms. We’ll also be raffling off some fun items from our partner businesses and farmers in the area. See you there! When: Thursday, April … 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

Public Interest Groups Sue EPA to Curb Slaughterhouse Pollution

EPA’s Decision Not to Update Pollution Standards Allows Slaughterhouses to Continue Discharging Unhealthy Amounts of Pollution into the Nation’s Waterways EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 10 am, Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Media contacts: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org Nydia Gutierrez, Earthjustice, (212) 284-8030 or ngutierrez@earthjustice.org Washington, D.C.— Eleven conservation and community groups, representing … Read more

Act Now! Protect Communities from Pollution from Chicken Manure!

In Maryland, there are hundreds of large industrial poultry operations, sometimes called factory farms. Regulators call them concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs. Every five years, the state permit for these operations comes up for renewal. We need your help to submit comments on this permit by December 27, 2019. The Maryland General Permit for … Read more

Bay Cleanup Activists Praise Vote to Move Ahead with Poultry Manure Pollution Rules

MDA Committee Votes Against Proposed Delay for “Phosphorus Management Tool” Sought by Farmers Annapolis, Md. – A Maryland advisory committee voted today to recommend that Governor Hogan’s Administration move ahead with poultry manure regulations meant to stop the over-application of chicken litter to farm fields and reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of … Read more

Chesapeake Bay Advocates Oppose Delay for Poultry Pollution Rules

MD Gov. Hogan’s Administration Considering a One Year Delay for Phosphorus Regulations Annapolis, Md. – Maryland Governor Hogan’s administration is considering a delay in poultry manure regulations meant to stop the chronic over-application of chicken litter to farm fields and reduce phosphorus pollution runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Phosphorus Management … Read more

Ten Lessons from the Fair Farms Initiative

By Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake (first printed as a Waterkeeper Alliance blog) As an environmental lawyer, I was trained to see regulators and courts as the sole path to improvement. But I’ve found that going in with guns blazing and lawyers filing doesn’t get you everything you need, especially when dealing with … Read more

Public Interest Groups Launch Legal Action to Protect Waterways from Slaughterhouse Pollution

EPA’s Failure to Update Wastewater Guidelines is Allowing Contamination of Nation’s Waterways Media contact: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org Betsy Nicholas, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, (202) 423-0504 or betsy@waterkeeperschesapeake.org Washington, D.C.— Conservation groups today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to update slaughterhouse wastewater … Read more

Steps You Can Take for a More Sustainable Maryland

Fair Farms Blog From the beautiful rolling hills of Western Maryland to the Chesapeake Bay and the Coastal Bays of the Eastern Shore, here in the Old Line State we are lucky to have access to very diverse ecosystems. From our cities to farmlands to sandy beaches, we must all work together to preserve our … Read more