2011 Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Year End Review and Appeal

Whale Rock in the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park

By now many of you have heard that I am now serving as the Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®,(GRK). If you’ve visited the shop this season you’ve likely become familiar with some of the issues and resulting GRK project areas that we are focusing on along the 217 miles of tributaries and 53 miles of the mainstem that comprise the Gunpowder River Watershed. As a new nonprofit charged with protecting the Gunpowder River, we feel that the RIVERKEEPER®, model is an effective, grassroots advocacy tool which safeguards tributary and river health. GRK champions the compliance of existing environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act to protect downstream waters including the Chesapeake Bay and assures that public waterways in the Gunpowder Watershed remain swimmable, drinkable and fishable. For those Gunpowder River users interested in our work I’ve provided a year end wrap up:

In 2011, Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®:

Filed formal complaints with Baltimore County, Maryland Department of the Environment, (MDE) and the Office of the Attorney General related to alleged agricultural compliance violations of a conservation easement along a Brook Trout tributary of the Gunpowder.

Gave testimony before the Sport Fish Advisory Commission and asked the Maryland Park Service to regulate recreational tubing and enforce no alcohol laws throughout Gunpowder State Park to address community concerns about public safety and habit degradation.

Formally asked MDE to reopen a federal discharge permit and provided comments with the Environmental Integrity Project that asked for a reduction in the discharge of heavy metals from a coal fired power plant located along the Lower Gunpowder River.

Lead a panel discussion on Invasive Species at the Waterkeeper Alliance Annual Conference at Northwestern University, near Chicago, IL and at Trout Unlimited’s Coldwater Summit at the USFWS NCTC in Shepardstown, WV.

Commented on a Water Quality Assessment of the Lower Gunpowder River and asked MDE to include a compliance record of waste water treatment plants that discharge into the Lower Gunpowder River to better typify the water body prior to reclassification and removal from the 303(d) impaired waters list.

Attended Regional, (Baltimore, Harford and Carroll County) Watershed Implementation Plan and Total Maximum Daily Load meetings to discuss implementation of the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Pollution Diet.

Maryland Stream Waders Program

Gave testimony before MDE on Stormwater and Sediment and Erosion Control Regulations and asked the Department to strengthen regulations to protect water quality in streams along and downstream of construction sites.

Supported three three fertilizer bills that resulted in a prohibition of quick release phosphorous in residential lawn fertilizers sold in Maryland in 2012.

Sampled the watershed with 13 volunteers for MDDNR Stream Waders Program. Hosted an American Rivers Gunpowder River wide cleanup. Recruited volunteers and took part in a stream planting project to stabilize the Little Falls, an important tributary of the River.

2011 Awards: Maryland Department of Natural Resources Conservation Award,
Baltimore County Executive Citation, Baltimore County Council Resolution, Mid-Atlantic Council Trout Unlimited’s Elliot Donnelly Award.

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® is recognized by the IRS as a 501 c(3) non-profit classified under natural resource conservation and protection and your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

If you feel that the work of Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® described above has value, please consider an end of the year donation and become a member to further the cause of protecting the Gunpowder River for future generations.

Your continuing support is vital to our efforts,

Theaux M. Le Gardeur

Great Blue Heron at Marshy Point Nature Center

Related Posts:
Spillover leads to another Gunpowder River Flood: From Unfishable to Unfathomable

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® call for Volunteers

Felt Sole Ban and a Membership to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®

The Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill One Year Later

Aldo Leopold’s Birthday and the Launch of the Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Website

Theaux Le Gardeur Widely Quoted in an Acid Mine Remediation Economic Impact Study

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® Call for Volunteers

MD DNR MPS Dump Truck


After back to back storms from Hurricane Irene and the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, the foot trails in the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park and the TCB trail could use a few helping hands. Staff from Backwater Angler and volunteers from Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® will be conducting cleanups along the river and in the park throughout the rest of September and October.

Thanks to Ranger Sarah Witcher from Gunpowder State Park for the kind words and support in prioritizing areas for the post-storm cleanups.

Theaux, Thank you so much for the offer of help! After discussion with the staff up North, we have a few ideas for you and your volunteers… We are so grateful for your help! As I’m sure you can imagine, we are just swamped with projects that resulted from flooding and winds in the recent storms. Let us know what dates you plan and if any staff is available, we will certainly do our best to meet your volunteers and cheer them on! Also, please ask any volunteers to register on our volunteer database at https://ec.volunteernow.com/custom/1289/ Thanks, Ranger Sarah Witcher Northern Area Manager Gunpowder Falls State Park

As Ranger Witcher suggests, please register with the volunteer database prior to helping the cause and follow Leave No Trace principles. For a list of areas that are high priority, and guidelines for the work at hand, please contact us at keeper@gunpowderriverkeeper.org.

Felt Sole Ban and a Membership to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®

Maryland Felt Sole Wading Boot Ban

The Maryland felt soled wading shoe ban wasn’t the only reason that prompted Gunpowder and Chesapeake Bay Light Tackle Fly Fishing Guide Capt. Jeff Lewatowski to pony up for some new kicks. Clear water, great flows and lots of rising fish and hatching insects certainly played a part and allowed him to run some fun, fish-filled trips on the Gunpowder river this past week.

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Bumper Sticker

After purchasing a pair of Simms Streamtread Vibram Rubber Guide Boots, Capt. Jeff joined Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, (GRK) as a member at the Protector level and proudly slapped a GRK bumper sticker on his ride! Join Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, (GRK) today and let everyone on the beltway know you are riding for the brand and as a member, are protecting the resources of the Gunpowder River Watershed.

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Membership

Aldo Leopold’s Birthday and the Launch of the Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® Website

Celebrate Aldo Leopold’s birthday by picking up a copy of the Sand County Almanac. A quick Bio from the Wikipedia:

Influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation, his ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement, with his biocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. He emphasized biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management.


In other news, and in the spirit of Leopold’s lifetime of work creating a strong environmental ethic, Backwater Angler’s Theaux Le Gardeur was just accredited as the 18th WATERKEEPER® in the Chesapeake Bay Region by the WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE® and is RIVERKEEPER® and executive director of Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, a grassroots, advocacy based, non-profit, tax-exempt organization charged with protecting, conserving and restoring the Gunpowder river watershed. And yes we’re on Blip.tv and Flickr. You may also find us on facebook and follow us on twitter…

Are you interested in doing your part to protect your River?
Membership, volunteer and internship opportunities await.


Do you have a skill, service hours or personal time to give to the cause?
If you’d like to contribute to the mission of GRK, call us at 410-967-3526 or drop us a line at keeper@gunpowderriverkeeper.org. We’ll see you on the river…