Awardees to be recognized on November 16 for their efforts to address environmental injustices
(Takoma Park, MD) Waterkeepers Chesapeake will host its 6th annual In Defense of Water awards event on Wednesday, November 16 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., at the Audubon Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. Attendees will celebrate regional clean water champions, toast recent clean water successes, commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and raise funds to “keep up the fight for clean water for all.”
Awards will be presented to two individuals who have contributed in multiple ways to protecting local water quality and communities.
The 2022 Water Warrior Award recipient is Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh who has a distinguished record of promoting environmental protection in his state and beyond. He has worked with a coalition of attorneys general to challenge the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and successfully led a multi-state coalition urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to abandon its position that groundwater pollution is subject to CWA regulation. Frosh has been tenacious in his pursuit of businesses whose violations of state law have caused polluted waterways and harm to communities. He has also been a watchdog of public agencies that have fallen short, potentially risking the safety of Maryland’s drinking water. You can read more about Frosh’s commitment to clean water here.
“The Attorney General has demonstrated unwavering support for maintaining and improving Maryland’s waterways throughout his seven years in office,” said Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “Brian Frosh is a true champion of local waterways and the Bay and has fiercely protected the Clean Water Act in the face of federal challenges. All Marylanders have benefited from his efforts to fight for safe and sustainable water.”
The 2022 Waterkeeper Outstanding Win (WOW) Award goes to Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Alice Volpitta. Volpitta became Waterkeeper in 2020 after serving six years as Blue Water Baltimore’s lead water quality scientist. In that time, she has used water quality monitoring tools to detect and report water pollution and currently tests water health at 49 locations across Baltimore City and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties. Blue Water Baltimore’s water quality monitoring program has achieved Tier III status, the highest, as recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program. Volpitta’s most impactful work is tackling pollution and violations from Baltimore’s stormwater and sewage treatment systems, including filing a lawsuit on the Clean Water Act violations at the Patapsco and Back River Wastewater Treatment plants, and getting the city to support residents experiencing sewage backups into their homes. Learn more about Volpitta’s work to protect Baltimore’s water here.
“Alice is a stalwart protector of Baltimore’s most vulnerable communities. She is an informed and powerful voice for clean water and community health,” said Jesse Iliff, Board Chair, Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “The hands-on water quality work she conducts in the Baltimore region and Patapsco River Watershed, her outreach to and rallying of the local community, and her use of Clean Water Act tools to solve violations are perfect examples of what it means to be a Waterkeeper.”
In Defense of Water is the finale of Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s year-long Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign that celebrated the power and promise of this revolutionary law to protect communities in our region. The campaign also addressed how we can use the Act to answer today’s challenges of climate change and environmental injustice, and demand equal justice and access to clean water in the next 50 years.
“As Waterkeepers, we are on the front lines of defending our precious resources, enforcing this critical legislation, and demanding equal justice and access to clean water,” Nicholas said. “Even 50 years after its signing, our work putting this revolutionary law into action is more important than ever.”
For more event information and tickets, please visit: https://waterkeeperschesapeake.org/indefenseofwater2022/
Media Contact: Robin Broder, 703-786-8172, robin(at)waterkeeperschesapeake.org