Development encroaches on farmland in rural Maryland. Photo courtesty NRCS/Ron NicholsDecisions about development can have a profound impact on local waters and quality of life. Photo courtesty NRCS/Ron Nichols

How Citizens Can Engage in Local Development Decisions Affecting Clean Water

Growth can have a profound impact on local waters and quality of life. It's important to speak out when decisions about development are on the table. But for many citizens, participating in the development review process can be a confusing, frustrating, and even costly experience.

In August 2015, CBF's Maryland office held a webinar, "Dive In! How Citizens Can Engage in Local Development Decisions Affecting Clean Water," to de-mystify the rules governing growth and highlight the best opportunities for citizens to influence development decisions.  [The presentation, plus a suite of helpful resources, are available on this page.]

Use these resources to get insights from CBF's Maryland scientist, attorney, and land use planner that help answer questions including:

  • How does development affect water quality?
  • Where can I find the information I need to be an effective advocate?
  • When and how should I engage?

Then, get involved!  CBF is grateful for our members and partners who speak out for the Bay’s rivers and streams.  To join our network of eyes, ears and voices in Maryland, please contact Jennifer Herzog at 410-268-8816.


  • A PDF of the "How Citizens Can Engage" webinar slide show with presenter notes
  • Recording of the webinar audio
    • 3:17     Impact of Development on Water Quality, Doug Myers, CBF Maryland Senior Scientist
    • 15.42   Land Use & Planning Perspective, Erik Fisher, CBF Maryland Land Use Planner
    • 21:22   Knowing the Process, Erik Fisher
    • 31:31    Knowing the Laws that Govern the Development Process, Elaine Lutz, CBF Maryland Staff Attorney
    • 48:34   Tips for How to Engage Successfully

Guides (PDF)

Contact Information

Greater Baltimore Mud Pollution Survey

  • Initial findings of a new study of compliance rates in five Maryland counties and Baltimore City. The complete report should be available very soon at this same link. The Greater Baltimore Mud Pollution Survey 2015 found that while compliance with requirements to stabilize soils on construction sites has improved during the past year, we still have a long way to go to reach full compliance in every jurisdiction.
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