Stormwater Workgroup "Model Permit" 

The Coalition’s Stormwater Workgroup has developed a “model permit” for Phase I municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There is a public version of this model permit, as well as a more detailed version with internal explanatory notes only for Coalition members.  


FERC Database

The guide is only informational and not legal advice. Neither the coalition nor any of its members represents anyone who uses the guide or any individual intervenors, unless of course you have a separate written representation agreement. That said, because of the legal rights and responsibilities involved in FERC dockets, we strongly recommend seeking a lawyer's help as you consider and pursue participation options including intervention. Click here. 

Polluted Runoff materials

Maryland polluted runoff brochure - Maryland version is here.

Harrisonburg infographic


Increasing Diversity in Our Organizations

This toolkit provides information to member organizations on how to increase diversity in thier organizations.  It includes step-by-step guides that cover governance, hiring, as well as communications/programs.  Find the toolkit HERE.

Polluted Runoff 

This toolkit provides information to member organizations about stormwater communication.  It includes step-by-step guides, sample letters, definitions, and more: stormwater_toolkit_3.compressed_1.pdf

Webinar presentations

Polling Results Webinar for Maryland (February 21,2017)

Jonathan Voss of Lake Research presents on the polling results in Maryland from the Choose Clean Water Coalition's communications campaign.

Polling Results Webinar for Pennsylvania (February 16, 2017)

Jonathan Voss of Lake Research presents on the polling results in Pennsylvania from the Choose Clean Water Coalition's communications campaign.

Developing a Healthy Board for Your Organization (February 1, 2017)

Mary Ellen Olcese of River Newtork on what it takes to not only recruit skillful and engaged leaders to your Board of Directors, but maintain them.

Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative (November 22, 2016)

Lea Rubin of the Izaak Walton League of America, and Nissa Dean of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, talk about the new Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative.

Supporting Agriculture Conservation: Approaches & Funds For Watershed Organizations (October 25, 2016)

Kim Snell-Zarcone of Choose Clean Water Coalition, Kristen Saacke Blunk of Headwaters, LLC, and Jake Reilly of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation present on strategies for agriculture funding for smaller watershed organizations:  

River Network - Understanding the Fundraising Process (September 27, 2016)

Is your organization too reliant on one or two sources of funding? This webinar covers the principles of fundraising, statistics of philanthropy, reasons why donors give, the elements of fundraising readiness, a variety of fundraising strategies, and the value of developing a written annual fundraising plan.

International Sites of Conscience (June 28, 2016)

Sarah Pharaon leads this dynamic presentation on behalf of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake - Fair Farms Presentation (April 26,2016)

Mitchell Stephenson and Betsy Nicholas presents Fair Farms, a movement in Maryland working together for sustainable farming methods while restoring local rivers, streams, and creeks. 

The Hatcher Group - Social Media for Social Good (October 27, 2015)

Jeanne McCann of the Hatcher Group discusses tricks and tips to make your time most effective on social media.  See the webinar -   

Green 2.0 - The State of diversity in environmental organizations (October 17, 2014)

Danielle Deane of the Raben Group, and Vernice Miller-Travis of the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities, are both part of Green 2.0, Travis discuss "The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations," a new report that finds that although people of color now account for more than a third of the U.S. population, they have not broken the 16 percent “green ceiling” in mainstream environmental organizations. The report identifies potential reasons for this discrepancy and steps that groups can take to address the issue. See the webinar -

Chesapeake Bay and a Changing Climate (October 6, 2014)

Dr. Chris Pyke, Chesapeake Bay Program scientist, leader on climate change and water advocacy and science discusses the impacts of climate change on the Chesapeake region and the choices that need to be made about mitigation and resilience. His presentation is here

Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership’s Basinwide BMP Verification Framework: Building Confidence in Delivering on Pollution Reductions to Local Waters (September 9, 2014)

Rich Batiuk previewed the basinwide Best Management Practices verification framework currently under final review by the Bay Program partners' senior decision makers. His presentation is here.

Communicating About Polluted Runoff (June  2014)

Deb Kleiner describes ways to present runoff-related issues to the public so that the information is as accessible as possible: polluted runoff communications.

Cove Point: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (May 27, 2014)


Media Training (March 19, 2014)


Using the Research to Broaden Public Engagement

Michael Goldberg, ActionMedia, presents guidelines for crafting clear, broadly framed messages from a range of community members and how to recruit and equip strategic messengers.  His webinar can be found here

Milestone Analysis

Assessment Highlights


Of the nine practices evaluated, Virginia met six of their goals and missed the mark on three. Wastewater, septic system best management practices, and grass buffers all significantly exceeded the goals. Urban nutrient management, forest buffers, and cover crops fell short of the mark.

"Milestones represent a new level of government accountability and transparency for Chesapeake restoration, something we all agree citizens and taxpayers deserve, said Nathan Lott, Executive Director of the Virginia Conservation Network. "There is a lot to be learned from this first set of milestones. States need clearer guidance from EPA on what data to track and report. States then need to establish data tracking protocols and use them consistently. Over time, consistent and transparent reporting will demonstrate success and shortcomings. States and EPA can adjust their restoration plans accordingly to ensure results for citizens and taxpayers."

"Virginia has made considerable progress in meeting its first Bay milestones. Even in those areas where the state fell short—certain farm conservation practices and reducing lawn fertilizer—new or anticipated programs coming on line and ongoing policy "tweaks" can ensure greater progress," said CBF Virginia Executive Director Ann Jennings. "For example, Virginia's new "safe harbor" program for farmers can be tailored to increase cover crops, and actions of the past two General Assembly sessions should guarantee greater urban runoff reductions. Virginia has achieved six of nine milestone practices selected for analysis. This underscores the true significance of the Bay milestones: allowing for public review and critique of short-term progress and necessary program adjustments well in advance of the 2017 and 2025 deadlines to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams."

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Of the eight practices evaluated, Maryland exceeded its goals in five, came extremely close in one, and fell short in two practices. Wastewater nitrogen and phosphorus goals, forest buffers, and cover crops all exceeded the mark. Maryland came very close in septic system denitrification, and fell short on stream fencing and stormwater retrofits.

Maryland made significant mid-course changes in their milestones. While CBF and CCW agree that changes are acceptable, especially in light of new funding, technologies, and local input, there was little transparency during the process. Maryland has agreed to post implementation by county in FY 13, and also agreed to provide greater transparency going forward.

"We are proud of the progress Maryland has made and its commitment to restoring the Chesapeake Bay. But for us to reach our goals, there must be a higher standard of accountability and transparency as we enter the implementation phase," said 1000 Friends of Maryland Deputy Director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel. "The State must also continue to work closely with local governments to ensure they are active partners in this process."

"Governor O'Malley and the General Assembly have demonstrated their commitment to restoring the Bay. Not only did Maryland make significant progress in these two-year milestones, the groundwork has been laid for future success as well," said CBF Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost. "Policies and funding passed during this year's legislative session are now in place to begin to tackle the growing problem of urban and suburban stormwater runoff, as well as continuing to reduce pollution from agriculture and wastewater treatment."

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Of the 10 practices evaluated, Pennsylvania met or exceeded its goals in four, and fell short of the mark in six. Goals were met or exceeded in wastewater nitrogen and phosphorus, septic connections, and forest buffers. Areas where the goals were missed include stormwater management, agricultural nutrient management and conservation plans, and cover crops.

"Our state has made progress in meeting its milestone commitments, but we have also fallen short of some of our goals. Our successes are great but we cannot ignore the reality that we have much more to do. Our elected officials, decision makers, and citizens must commit to taking the steps necessary to meet all of our clean water goals. We must set clear, verifiable goals and implement the necessary practices and policies to meet the goal every Pennsylvanian supports—cleaner water here at home. We look forward to working together to make clean water a reality," said Brian Glass, General Counsel, Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture). 
"Pennsylvania has strong existing state laws and regulations governing agriculture, but while some farms are in compliance, many are not. Far too many have never even been made aware of the requirements. Since the milestone goals were set, the Commonwealth has implemented plans to reach out to farmers and help bring them into compliance, which will go a long way toward addressing these agricultural goals," said CBF Pennsylvania Executive Director Matt Ehrhart. "The challenge with stormwater is that the responsibility for implementation is in the hands of thousands of towns and municipalities, and many are struggling to understand and implement the new stormwater regulations."

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