2019 Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Year End Review and Appeal

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Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! We could not have been successful without your generous support. Our work links and protects the forests, the fish and the faucet. Riverkeeper respects the varied economic, recreational and biological aspects of the River. Clean water in the Gunpowder watershed is everyone’s right and as a shared resource must be protected for all.

Unfortunately, we are faced with many environmental threats that harm people’s ability to enjoy the River. The organization works collaboratively and proactively to find solutions to pollution problems and represent member’s interests in protecting the Gunpowder River and its watershed.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! We could not be successful without your generous support.

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We are asking for your support again in 2020 to address these environmental threats:

In the upper Gunpowder, we are investigating Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ (DPW) management of the Prettyboy Reservoir. We feel that the management of the reservoir is creating a spillover risk during summer months and hurricane season. Spillover may result in water temperatures in downstream sections of the Gunpowder to be above the state water quality standard of 68 degrees. This cold-water standard must be maintained to protect the high-quality trout habitat immediately downstream of the reservoir. Spillover will also degrade water quality by causing erosion, high turbidity levels and degradation of the stream corridor. We are seeking documents and information from various levels of government involved in this issue. 

Your donation and support will allow us to cover expenses and expert review associated with this project.

In the lower Gunpowder, we are tracking a Decision by the Maryland Boat Act Advisory Committee (BAAC) that recommended a change to the speed limit at Days Cove and Middle River from 6 Knots to 35 Knots. This recommendation was made despite public testimony and comment letters relating public safety and environmental concerns. 

Your support will allow us to focus more time and resources into investigating this important safety and environmental issue.   

In the Bush River, we asked for a public hearing and gave testimony opposing a proposed Wetlands and Waterways permit that would allow the conversion of a 330-acre forested parcel in Abingdon to a business park with over 2.5 million square feet of warehouse space and associated buildings. The site currently contains many sensitive environmental features, including significant forested wetland, many specimen trees and part of a stream catchment draining to Otter Point Creek, a High-Quality Tier II waterway located upstream of the vibrant Bush River Tidal Largemouth Bass Fishery. This forested area also provides vital stormwater and flood controls to adjacent and downstream residential areas. It must be protected. 

Your support will help us maintain our efforts in reviewing the plans and application for this project, enhancing public participation, and writing public comments to the State in opposition

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A few highlights of our work in 2019 include:

Our advocacy led to a resolution and unanimous vote by the Baltimore County Council to oppose a MDE discharge permit in Harford County that had the potential to impact water quality downstream in Baltimore County.

We saw the withdrawal of a MDE discharge permit that would have allowed an average of 5,000 gallons per day of treated wastewater to enter Indian Grave Run, an ephemeral stream in Harford County that empties into the Little Gunpowder Falls at the Jericho covered bridge in Kingsville.

We appealed a decision by the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve the conversion of the C.P. Crane Plant from Coal to Natural Gas. The Commission had not considered that the plant could become a stranded asset in the face of climate change and sea level rise because the siting of Plant was on a peninsula in the tidal gunpowder at one foot above sea level. 

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We took part in a Maryland Outdoors segment to promote hiking, boating, fishing and responsible recreational use along the river corridor and the tidal Gunpowder and Bird Rivers. 

We distributed five Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship awards at $1000 each towards college costs for students with strong connections to the Gunpowder River Watershed from York, Adams, Carroll and Harford Counties. Founded in 2018, by Terry Newendorp, an avid fisherman and conservationist, the Award’s purpose is to assist college-bound high school seniors who excel in their studies and who plan to use their talents and expertise in the service of environmental protection. The 2020 application is open until March 1, 2020 and information is on our website.

The Gunpowder River supports varied recreational interests, habitat for native and wild trout, drinking water for 1.5 million Baltimore-Metro Area residents and important tidal habitat for Rockfish, Perch and crabs. Riverkeeper protects drinking water, property interests, sensitive species, recreational and aesthetic values.

We need your financial support to maintain and enhance our River protection efforts. Please consider a year-end donation of support to amplify our outreach and advocacy.

You may donate at: https://gunpowderriverkeeper.org/support/ or by sending a check to:

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111

Thank you for your support,

Theaux M. Le Gardeur

GRK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit categorized by the IRS under Natural Resource Conservation and Protection. Your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of the current financial statement of GRK is available by writing P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111 or calling 410-967-3526. Documents submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from: The MD Sec. of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401 (410) 974-5534