Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® Year End Wrap Up for 2012

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In 2012, Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act….The RIVERKEEPER® movement was started on the Hudson by commercial fisherman that successfully used The River and Harbors Act to to fight industrial pollution and to protect their right to fish and their livelihood. The movement has gained legs since The Clean Water Act, a document whose goals mandated fishable, swimmable and drinkable water was enacted in 1972.

In 2012, GRK has been working on several fronts to protect the Gunpowder River and keep it fishable, swimmable and drinkable for all users and future generations.

GRK Projects:
Eagle Scout project by GRK volunteer Tyler Gee who built 8 wader wash stations and placed them at fishing access points along the Gunpowder River; GRK volunteers and Chesapeake Women Anglers members posted catch and release and “no bait” signs throughout the catch and release section of the River in Gunpowder State Park; Reported to Cockeysville Precinct and Baltimore City Watershed Police on community impacts of commercial tubing; Sampled the watershed with 11 volunteers for MDDNR Stream Waders Program.

GRK Outreach:
Gave testimony before Baltimore County Circuit Court on impacts of widespread commercial tubing traffic to the Gunpowder River and the surrounding community; Attended Regional, (Baltimore, Harford and Carroll County) Watershed Implementation Plan and Total Maximum Daily Load meetings to discuss implementation of the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Pollution Diet; GRK was approved by the Secretary of Natural Resources and Secretary of the Environment as a member of the State Water Quality Advisory Committee; Lead a panel discussion on the Invasive Species Didymo at the Joint River Network Waterkeeper Alliance Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon.

GRK on TV:
Appeared in a Maryland Public Television Nightly Business Report feature; Appeared on Fox 45 expressing concerns about the Columbia Pipeline Project; Appeared on WJZ 13 at Lefty Kreh Trail Fishing Trail Ceremony segment.

GRK on the Radio:
Interviewed on the Marc Steiner Show on 88.9 FM and Mary Beth Marsden show on 1090 AM about environmental impacts of commercial tubing on the Gunpowder River. Interviewed by Michael Buckley on WRNR 103.1 for Voices of the Chesapeake Bay.
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GRK also signed on to important regulatory comment letters related to pesticides;manure and fertilizer application on farm fields; MS4 (Stormwater) permits; a Department of Energy application for the Cove Point Terminal to export LNG; a public interest letter regarding disposal of coal ash, and a letter to the editor of Baltimore Sun regarding the environmental impacts of the export of “Fracked” natural gas.

GRK Letters:
GRK sent in Scientific Comments to EPA on the Recreational Water Quality Guidelines siting that;

“in the past year four public swimming beaches and many private beaches in the tidal Gunpowder River, Bird River and Middle River area have been adversely impacted by high bacteria counts. The beach at Hammerman State Park, part of the Gunpowder State Park System was closed for nearly two months in the fall of 2011 owing to high bacteria counts. Beach closures, while widely unpopular with municipalities, parks and patrons serve a vital function in protecting participants of water-based activities from exposure to bacteria and pathogens that can cause serious human health risks.

GRK requested a public hearing on Maryland Department of the Environments 2012 Integrated Report and formally asked MDE to consider stakeholder input and expand public notice requirements in the 2012 Integrated report mass recharacterization of 139 water segments on the federal 303(d) impaired list. Fourteen other WATERKEEPERS in the Chesapeake Bay region signed on to GRK’s comment letter to MDE.

GRK Advocacy in the Press:

On the Proposed Columbia Gas Transmission Mb-line Project…

“The Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER, Theaux M. Le Gardeur, told the FERC in a five page letter that ‘pipeline failure…poses a significant risk to the water resources in this environmentally sensitive area’ and called on the agency to conduct a thorough environmental review. Le Gardeur-whose organization is devoted to protecting the Gunpowder River and the watershed-wrote that digging trenches for the pipeline could cause sediment to run into streams harming trout.”

–Arthur Hirsch, Baltimore Sun, Gas Pipeline Raises concerns about safety, environment. Page 2, May 21, 2012

“Theaux Le Gardeur…Gunpowder Riverkeeper, a member of the Nonprofit Waterkeeper Alliance, has filed a Motion to Intervene with the Federal Regulatory Commission. “the projects size is overwhelming…some 300 acres along the pipeline will be used for the new pipeline. They [Columbia Gas] fail to recognize the Gunpowder contributes 100 percent of local drinking water by wells or Loch Raven Reservoir.”

—Pat van den Beemt, North County News, Natural gas pipeline to cut swath through Monkton, Page 4, December 20, 2012

On Unregulated Commercial Tubing impacts on the Gunpowder…

“Other state parks have gates, and when the parks reach capacity, they close the gates to protect the resource and the people,” says Theaux Le Gardeur, the Gunpowder Riverkeeper…”But there is no gate on the Gunpowder, there is no way to protect it now.”

—Candus Thompson, Baltimore Sun, As Gunpowder tubing grows, so do the conflicts. Page 2, July 8, 2012

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Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, (GRK) a grassroots, advocacy based, 501(c)3 non-profit,
tax-exempt organization charged with protecting, conserving and restoring the Gunpowder River watershed. If you’d like to contribute to the mission of GRK, please visit www.gunpowderriverkeeper.org

Our projects, outreach and advocacy is strengthened by your support. Please consider an end of the year donation via PAYPAL to become a member and further the cause of protecting the Gunpowder River for future generations.

Your continuing support is vital to our efforts,

Theaux M. Le Gardeur

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