Five Actions Your Local Elected Officials Should Take for Clean Water


  1. Stop polluted runoff.
    Adopt and fully fund a local watershed restoration plan. Stop polluted runoff at its source with stronger local forest conservation laws. Learn more about polluted runoff.
  2. Grow smart.
    Adopt comprehensive plans, zoning, and site development rules that protect forests, open space, and water resources, and invest in existing communities and water resources. Learn more about smart growth.
  3. Enforce environmental laws.
    Fully fund permitting and inspection activities. Use local authority to improve erosion controls at construction sites. Issue consequential penalties for violations.
  4. Address septic system pollution.
    Adopt a local septic stewardship plan. Consider where extending sewer service to correct septic system failures could reduce pollution without triggering additional development. Learn more about septic system pollution.
  5. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
    Provide leadership that motivates ommunities to finish the job of restoring the Bay. Publicly report actions taken and insist on transparent and verifiable results.


  1. Contact your representatives.
    Call, write, or sit down with your federal, state, and local representatives to learn where they stand on the issues that are important to you.
  2. Attend a local Town Hall and ask a clean-water question.
    Many representatives hold local Town Hall meetings. Watch your local paper or follow your reps on Facebook or Twitter to stay abreast of their schedule. And make sure to come prepared with questions.

For more information on clean-water priorities, browse this website or contact the Chesapeake Bay Foundation:

Headquarters and Maryland State Office
Philip Merrill Environmental Center
6 Herndon Avenue Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Mon-Fri

Maryland Eastern Shore Office
114 South Washington Street
Easton, Maryland 21601
Hours: Call for staff availability

Decades of Success: The 1970s

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Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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