By now many of you have heard that I am now serving as the Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®,(GRK). If you’ve visited the shop this season you’ve likely become familiar with some of the issues and resulting GRK project areas that we are focusing on along the 217 miles of tributaries and 53 miles of the mainstem that comprise the Gunpowder River Watershed. As a new nonprofit charged with protecting the Gunpowder River, we feel that the RIVERKEEPER®, model is an effective, grassroots advocacy tool which safeguards tributary and river health. GRK champions the compliance of existing environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act to protect downstream waters including the Chesapeake Bay and assures that public waterways in the Gunpowder Watershed remain swimmable, drinkable and fishable. For those Gunpowder River users interested in our work I’ve provided a year end wrap up:
In 2011, Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®:
Filed formal complaints with Baltimore County, Maryland Department of the
Environment, (MDE) and the Office of the Attorney General related to alleged agricultural compliance violations of a conservation easement along a Brook Trout tributary of the Gunpowder.
Gave testimony before the Sport Fish Advisory Commission and asked the Maryland Park Service to regulate recreational tubing and enforce no alcohol laws throughout Gunpowder State Park to address community concerns about public safety and habit degradation.
Formally asked MDE to reopen a federal discharge permit and provided comments with the Environmental Integrity Project that asked for a reduction in the discharge of heavy metals from a coal fired power plant located along the Lower Gunpowder River.
Lead a panel discussion on Invasive Species at the Waterkeeper Alliance Annual
Conference at Northwestern University, near Chicago, IL and at Trout Unlimited’s
Coldwater Summit at the USFWS NCTC in Shepardstown, WV.
Commented on a Water Quality Assessment of the Lower Gunpowder River and asked MDE to include a compliance record of waste water treatment plants that discharge into the Lower Gunpowder River to better typify the water body prior to reclassification and removal from the 303(d) impaired waters list.
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.
Gave testimony before MDE on Stormwater and Sediment and Erosion Control
Regulations and asked the Department to strengthen regulations to protect water quality in streams along and downstream of construction sites.
Supported three three fertilizer bills that resulted in a prohibition of quick release
phosphorous in residential lawn fertilizers sold in Maryland in 2012.
Sampled the watershed with 13 volunteers for MDDNR Stream Waders Program.
Hosted an American Rivers Gunpowder River wide cleanup. Recruited volunteers and took part in a stream planting project to stabilize the Little Falls, an important tributary of the River.
2011 Awards: Maryland Department of Natural Resources Conservation Award,
Baltimore County Executive Citation, Baltimore County Council Resolution, Mid
Atlantic Council Trout Unlimited’s Elliot Donnelly Award.
Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® is recognized by the IRS as a 501 c(3) non-profit classified under natural resource conservation and protection and your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
If you feel that the work of Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® described above has value, please consider an end of the year donation and become a member to further the cause of protecting the Gunpowder River for future generations.
Your continuing support is vital to our efforts,
Theaux M. Le Gardeur