Healthy Waters Round Table Continues Work on Eastern Shore Water Quality Needs

A Star Democrat article (2016-03-20) provided an update on the ongoing efforts of the Healthy Waters Initiative to work with Eastern Shore local governments to address their water quality and stormwater treatment goals under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and their local TMDLs. The Initiative is 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 group initially held a roundtable discussion at the MACo Summer Conference in August of 2015. After four subsequent meetings, the group released an action plan outlining several key areas that Eastern Shore jurisdictions should focus on to meet water quality goals.

The article stated that Alan Girard, the Eastern Shore Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, provided an update of the group’s work and action plan to the Cecil County Council on March 15. From the article:

[Girard] said the group, representing 15 jurisdictions on the Eastern Shore, came up with 130 ideas that they eventually whittled down to six top goals.

Those goals include:

• Identify and prioritize means to fill gaps in funding water quality control projects;

• Streamline the process for tracking and reporting of best management practices;

• Develop policies and procedures for expanding sewer service to appropriate areas currently utilizing septic systems;

• Create a circuit rider system to assist jurisdictions with specific contractor help;

• Establish a sharable clearinghouse of methods, approaches and resources for reducing pollution; and

• Improve the maintenance of existing devices and practices used to control polluted runoff. …

Kordell Wilen, chief of development services for the Cecil County Department of Public Works, has been involved in some of the healthy water initiative meetings.

“Networking with other counties has been helpful,” Wilen said.

The article provided further detail on several other issues discussed as part of the update, including pollution coming from the Conowingo Dam and Susquehanna River and the water quality efforts of Western Shore jurisdictions and Pennsylvania.

Useful Links

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of Healthy Waters Initiative

Healthy Waters Action Plan