Winter 2022 ENews

Our Clean Water Legislative Priorities for the Region

Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s policy priorities for the 2022 Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania legislative sessions will focus on enforcement, climate, equity and justice, public access, participation and notification, and sustainable local agriculture. Our overarching priority is strengthening states’ implementation of the federal Clean Water Act, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year (read more about our CWA50 Campaign).

In Maryland, we are championing bills that will address the cumulative impacts of over-concentration of polluting facilities in certain communities, require greater enforcement of pollution violations, stop facilities from operating under expired (“zombie”) permits, capture fees from hydropower dams for use of public property, and reinstate the Patuxent Riverkeeper on the Patuxent River Commission. Our Fair Farm Campaign priorities include support for urban agriculture, on-farm composting, and agrivoltaics.

With the shift in political parties in the Virginia Governorship and the House, our main priority is preventing rollbacks in environmental, climate resiliency, equity and justice, and public participation policy, including opposing the nomination of Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of Natural Resources and defending citizen boards’ authority. Legislation we are supporting includes research and regulation of aboveground storage tanks of hazardous substance, PFAS and plastics, mitigation of harmful algal blooms, and improved regulation and public notice of pollution discharges.

In Pennsylvania, like Virginia, we are opposing attempts at rollbacks in environmental protections and public participation. One such effort we are opposing is a bill that would rollback spill reporting requirements and give full authority to the polluting facility to decide if they report a spill to DEP. Legislation that we are supporting include: The Clean Streams Fund bill that proposes dedicated funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to create new clean water programs, including the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, a bill that provides ARPA funds for Growing Greener, a watershed protection and restoration program, and a bill to reduce the over application of lawn fertilizers.

READ MORE about our legislative priorities and stay tuned on how you can take action to support these bills.

Fair Farms Hosts Webinar on Investing Recovery Funds for a Resilient Local Food System

Fair Farms is hosting an online discussion on Tuesday, February 15 from 4:30pm – 6:00pm to explore how American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds could be used to build infrastructure needed for a more resilient and flexible local food supply chain. ARPA provides funds to localities to aid public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fair Farms advocates for regenerative agricultural practices that build healthy soils that improve water quality, ecosystem health, and reduce farm risk from extreme weather events. Robust regional agricultural infrastructure is key to regenerative agriculture. Read more about our advocacy efforts. Register today to join this important discussion.

Local Clean Water Champions Recognized

We announced our 2021 awardees at our 5th annual In Defense of Water event on October 6th at Patagonia Old Town. Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips received the Waterkeeper Outstanding Win (WOW) Award for her work fighting for clean water and environmental justice for communities in the Lower Eastern Shore and coastal bays region. Natasza Bock-Singleton received the Water Warrior Award for her volunteer community activism to bring attention to and solutions for sewage backups in Baltimore homes.


Chesapeake Bay 2022 Ecoprint Calendar

The 2022 “Protecting The Natural Beauty Of The Chesapeake Bay” calendar created by Ecoprint celebrates the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and promotes several local environmental groups. Included in the calendar are our partners ShoreRivers and Bay Paddle, along with many other great organizations. Be sure to check out the month of January to learn about Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign.

You can purchase a calendar for just $10. We invite you to make a donation with your purchase. We will ship your calendar directly to you!

Sneak Peek at Our Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign!

Almost 50 years ago, the United States recognized that access to clean, safe water is a critical human right and passed the Clean Water Act.

This powerful law ended the culture of dumping raw sewage and untreated industrial waste into our waters and led to a dramatic improvement in the health and safety of waterways across the country. 2022 marks a monument year in which we can celebrate the power and promise of this revolutionary law to protect communities around the country and in our region.

Since 1972, community activists, including Waterkeepers across the nation, have used this powerful tool to build a legacy of protecting clean water. We are launching the Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign (CWA50) to use this anniversary to catalyze the past successes into a cleaner, more just future.

Working together in our communities, we will host local events, uplift stories to highlight clean water successes, advocate to fully implement the act at the state and local level, and address the challenges of today like climate change and communities unjustly burdened by pollution.

We invite your nonprofit, business, community group or town to join our CWA50 campaign! Sign up today! We launch the campaign on World Water Day March 22. CWA50 website coming soon! Questions? Email


Humon Heidarian joined your team in September as our Fair Farms Campaign Manager. He comes to us with experience in advocacy and urban farming and a curiosity to learn.

At the end of 2021, Kathy Phillips retired after 15 years as the Assateague Coastkeeper and Gabby Ross was named the new Coastkeeper. Gabby spent the last few years fighting the growing expansion of Industrial-scale poultry operations on the shore. In 2020 she received the Water Warrior Award from Waterkeepers Chesapeake.

We also welcome Grace Callahan as our Communications & Outreach Intern and Alex Villazon as our Legal & Policy Intern.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake in the News

Frequent Pollution Violations by Maryland’s Poultry Industry, But Few Penalties, Environmental Integrity podcast

Opinion: Does Hogan Care More About Wealthy Corporations Than the Bay?, by Lower Susequehanna Riverkeeper, Maryland Matters, August 9, 2021

River project improves previously at-risk hellbender populations,, Sept. 11, 2021

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!

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Waterkeepers Chesapeake fights for clean water and a healthy environment by supporting Waterkeepers throughout the Chesapeake and coastal regions as they protect their communities, rivers, and streams from pollution.

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