Spring 2022 ENews

Clean Water Bills Pass in Maryland, Backtrack in Virginia

In a victory for protecting clean water and preventing environmental injustices, the Maryland legislature passed several bills championed by Waterkeepers Chesapeake that significantly improve the monitoring and enforcement of pollution permits, require an evaluation of environmental justice impacts for new permits, ensure public participation, and limit toxic pollutants. Unfortunately, Virginia backtracked on progress made and passed several bills that will harm public health and the environment, and decrease public access to information.

The Clean Water Act, which turns 50 this year, is a powerful law, but only if states make the investments necessary to ensure equitable protections and enforcement. States have the responsibility under the federal Clean Water Act to protect public health and the environment by limiting pollution discharged into our waterways, and ensuring transparency and public participation in the regulation of polluting facilities. In the year of its 50th anniversary, it’s critical to remember that the Clean Water Act gives every person the power to reclaim their right to clean water when the government fails to do so.


Chesapeake Bay Week Films Feature Local Waterkeepers

Immerse yourself in the history, science and culture of our nation’s largest estuary as part of Maryland Public Television’s 18th annual Chesapeake Bay Week April 17 – 23, 2022. Check out the Chesapeake Bay Week listings. A film on our good friend Chris Hopkinson’s 2020 solo paddle down the Bay is scheduled on Tuesday, April 19 at 9:00pm. On Wednesday, April 20 several local Waterkeepers are featured in three films, including the premiere of “Troubled Tributary: Maryland’s Patuxent River.” This is the most in-depth documentary in years about the citizen movement to save the Patuxent River that sparked a Bay-wide environmental movement to save the Chesapeake Bay.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a proud sponsor of MPT’s Chesapeake Bay Week!

On Earth Day, Celebrate our Water Planet

On Earth Day, celebrate our Water Planet and reclaim our right to clean water! Visit the Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign website

at https://cwa50.org/ and find Earth Day events near you and submit a story about your favorite creek, river, bay or shore.

Our Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign celebrates the power and promise of this revolutionary law to protect communities and demand equal justice and access to clean water. But there is still work to do. Join us to help shape the next 50 years of clean water for our communities. Running through the anniversary on October 18 (and beyond), we are partnering with local groups and communities to host events, share success stories, and organize and advocate for clean water. If your group would like to become a Partner, visit https://cwa50.org/partners/ or email CWA50@waterkeeperschesapeake.org.

Chesapeake Conversations: Clean Water Policy

On Wednesday, April 27th at 6:30pm, join Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake’s One Water Partnership, Chesapeake Bay Commission,

Center for Progressive Reform, and Waterkeepers Chesapeake for a special presentation and panel discussion in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and the Chesapeake Bay’s most important “clean water policy”.

Together through film, presentations, and discussion, learn about some of the Bay’s most important pieces of clean water legislation, and the 50 year legacy of the Clean Water Act, and what its future looks like.

Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Event Alert!

Stay tuned for “Water is Life” Open Mic Poetry nights at Busboys & Poets starting in May! Details and registration coming soon!

Bay Paddle 2022


It’s not too early to start planning to participate in the Bay Paddle. The best part is Waterkeepers Chesapeake is now a beneficiary of the paddle

along with Oyster Recovery Partnership and Chesapeake Conservancy. This year there are two paddle options: a 2-day, 45 mile paddle from Rock Hall to Cambridge, and a 5-day, 150 mile paddle from Rock Hall, MD to Cape Charles, VA. If you register by the end of the month, you will be entered to win a one of two kayak paddles from Epic Kayaks North America. You also have the option to make a donation to the Waterkeeper Team.

Thanks & Best Wishes!

We send best wishes to Jesse Iliff in his new role as Executive Director of the Severn River Association. Jesse served as the South, West & Rhode Riverkeeper at Arundel Rivers Federation and on our Board for many years. We’re happy he isn’t going far and will continue as Chair of our board. We welcome Matt Johnston when he starts in May as the new Executive Director at Arundel Rivers Federation.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake in the News

EPA says it has ‘no confidence’ in plan to address sediment pollution coming from behind Conowingo Dam, Baltimore Sun, February 4, 2022

Md. Lawmakers, Boaters Fight FERC License For Hydro Dam, Law360.com, February 7, 2022

Dam Suit Tests States’ CWA 401 Waivers As EPA Raises Bay Concerns, InsideEPA.com, February 8, 2022

Lawmakers Introduce a Bill to Target More Than 200 “Zombie” Water Permits, Maryland Matters, February 24, 2022

MD. Bill Will Reinstate Longtime Patuxent Riverkeeper to State Commission, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, March 1, 2022

Support Us While You Shop!

Amabile Designs Use code CHESAPEAKE for 15% off your purchase and Waterkeepers Chesapeake will receive 10% of the sale. The code is per order, unlimited uses, and never expires. SHOP TODAY!

Go Play Outside donates 4% of online purchases to us! Go Play Outside’s awesome outdoor wear is sourced responsibly. SHOP TODAY!

Designate Waterkeepers Chesapeake as your Amazon Smile Charity and your shopping dollars will help support our work!

You Can Make a Difference!

We have made it easier to find and report pollution — and to report the fun things you see and do on the river. Working with Chesapeake Commons, we developed the free Water Reporter App so you can send reports directly to your local Waterkeeper! Download it today!

Take Swim Guide with you – wherever you go! The free Swim Guide app makes it easy to know the water quality at your beach. Several of our Waterkeepers post water quality monitoring results every week — check it out before you head to your favorite river, bay or beach!