Maryland Clean Water Captains


Members of CBF's Clean Water Captains set up a community letter-writing campaign.

CBF Staff

Clean Water Captains are ambassadors for clean water in their communities.

Maryland's Community Leaders for Clean Water

Clean Water Captains are ambassadors for clean water in their communities. CBF staff can't be in all 92 localities that drain to the Bay, so we rely on captains to help be the eyes, ears, and voice for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.

Clean Water Captains take action in support of clean water by sharing information with their neighbors, congregations, community, and elected officials to help raise awareness and help realize practical, effective, local solutions. Captains help find solutions that work to restore clean water in their communities.

Captains are also our first "go to" team when we need quick action to weigh-in on an important policy, write a letter to a local newspaper, join us to meet with an elected official, or help represent the interests of clean water at a meeting or public hearing. Most importantly, a Clean Water Captain has the passion and commitment to help CBF Save the Bay™.

Join our cadre of Captains who are amassing a tremendous amount of knowledge about the Bay and providing great leadership to help their communities and local waterways. There's no better time to climb aboard! Fill out and submit our volunteer survey below and someone from CBF's local office will get back to you soon. For questions contact Madeleine Beller, Maryland Engagement Coordinator at [email protected] or 240-205-6420.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Clean Water Captains?

  • Ambassadors for clean water in your community. Communities that protect and restore the health of local waterways reap the economic and quality of life benefits clean waters provide.
  • Eyes, ears and a voice for the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, the plan to restore the Bay by 2025 with interim milestones along the way. The Bay needs advocates to build awareness of the importance of cleaning up local waters and the Bay and to help ensure that threats to the Blueprint are addressed by concerned citizens (as well as CBF staff) who care about clean water.
  • An extension of (and supported by) CBF staff. CBF can't be in all Maryland localities that drain to the Bay. Solutions to local water quality issues need local water quality advocates.

How does CBF support Clean Water Captains?

  • CBF hosts an annual full-day workshop to connect Captains with each other, as well as the most up-to-date science and policy initiatives.
  • CBF provides Captains with an "advocacy toolkit" and online resource center that provide "how to" information, as well as other helpful resources.
  • CBF host periodic "Captains' Calls," where Captains share their successes and challenges with their peers and CBF briefs Captains on pending legislation, new research, and other relevant, timely issues.
  • Throughout the month, CBF shares news clippings, reports, webinars and other training opportunities to promote continual learning and skill building.

What does CBF ask of its Captains?

  • To attend and actively participate during regular captains calls.
  • To take at least six clean water actions throughout the year. These can include activities like writing a letter-to-the-editor or an OpEd in a local newspaper, speaking to groups, sending messages to or meeting with your elected officials, volunteering on a CBF restoration project, and many more. We have lots of options to suit everyone's interests and skills.
  • To be a courteous, open-minded, and collaborative partner within your community and with your elected officials to advance water quality initiatives.


A father and son work together to plant a tree seedling. Photo credit: Nikki Davis.

Volunteer With CBF

There are a variety of options available to help save the Bay. Submit your location and interests below and a staff member will be in touch.

By submitting this form you will be added to CBF's email list. You can change your email preference at any time.

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What Does a Clean Water Captain Do?

Ultimately, Captains will help:

  • educate members of their community, including
  • speak to garden clubs, watershed groups, civic, and faith-based organizations about the clean-up plan and how individuals can participate in restoring local watersheds,
  • engage volunteers in grassroots activities,
  • seek out opportunities to speak with elected officials,
  • build coalitions with like-minded organizations, and
  • use the media to ensure the EPA, our states, and our localities make good decisions that restore the Bay.

Why We Need Clean Water Captains

Localities across the Chesapeake Bay region are putting together local clean-up plans to reduce pollution now going into local creeks, streams, and rivers by 2025. This local pollution, of course, ultimately produces Chesapeake Bay pollution when it flows downstream. To clean up the Bay, the EPA and Maryland have devised a pollution blueprint that calls for dramatic reductions in pollution, statewide and at the local level. It's now up to localities to determine how best to reduce this local stream pollution to implement the blueprint in Maryland.

Some national, regional, and local interests are attacking the Bay clean-up plan; some seem intent on delaying or completely derailing it. That's where the leadership of Clean Water Captains comes in. Their voices are needed to bring balance to the discussions and to ensure that local clean water advocates are at the table pushing for practical but effective clean-up plans.

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Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

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