Healthy Waters Round Table Aims to Address Eastern Shore Water Quality Needs

Twenty-one representatives of Eastern Shore county and municipal officials participated in a Healthy Waters Round Table on September 10 aimed at identifying and addressing the needs of local governments in meeting their water quality and stormwater treatment goals under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and their local TMDLs.  Most Shore counties and larger municipalities sent representation.

The Round Table was sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, and University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension. The September 10 meeting was the second meeting of the group.  The initial Round Table discussion took place at the MACo 2015 Summer Conference in August.

Building on extensive prior input from town and county staff and elected officials, meeting participants identified five water quality issue areas in need of attention: (1) best management practices (BMP) tracking and reporting; (2) sewer extensions and upgrades; (3) funding; (4) creation of an Eastern Shore “circuit rider” and information clearinghouse; and (5) BMP maintenance. The participants also identified what actions and resources are needed to address the five identified priority items.

Based on participant input, the Round Table sponsors will draft an implementation plan, which will be reviewed by the Round Table’s participants in October. Participants will then work to achieve group consensus and will perform a final review in December or early January.  The plan is intended to serve as a guide for inter-jurisdictional collaboration and enhance communication among the Eastern Shore jurisdictions and the state.

For more information about the Healthy Waters Round Table, contact Alan Girard at 410-543-1999 or agirard@cbf.org.

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