Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® acknowledges that we protect land, water, sensitive species, and communities in the traditional territory of many nations including the Algonquin, the Susquehannock and the Delaware peoples.
First and foremost, we wish all of you and your family members continued good health and peace during these challenging times. Thank you for supporting our efforts! Clean water is everyone’s right and a shared resource that must be protected for all. This year, we’re sending out our year end letter on #GivingTuesday. This global initiative shows the power of shared generosity, focusing on the core values of service.
Your support in 2022 resulted in:
Growing Our Staff: We have benefitted this year from the work of four interns studying environmental and life sciences on various fronts. This summer, we welcomed Isabel Ryen, our second intern from Skidmore. Emily Chase, also from Skidmore, returned to provide remote outreach support. Jenn Galler, from Johns Hopkins University on a master’s track in Environmental Sciences and Policy, joined our summer monitoring program with a focus on microplastics. Alex Worgo, a graduate student at Unity College, collaborated with us on his master’s project in invasive species management.
Four Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship Awards: College bound Nick Spigler, Dynasty Strickland, Anthony Miller, and Tristan McGregor each received one of the $1,000 awards: We greatly appreciate the time Dynasty, Nick and Tristan provided us this summer for E.Coli and PFAS monitoring.
Expanded Summer Monitoring Efforts on Bacteria and PFAS: We are proud to protect the Gunpowder and Bush Rivers, their watersheds, and surrounding communities by sampling E.Coli levels weekly during the summer swimming season. Our summer staff capacity allowed us to monitor through Labor Day weekend, informing our community on where it was safe to recreate along the River in Baltimore and Harford Counties.
In partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance, we contributed to the most extensive per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) monitoring effort in the United States. In all, 113 Waterkeeper groups sampled 114 waterways with 228 samples collected in 34 states and D.C. Nationwide. 35 out of 55 PFAS analyzed were detected in at least 1 waterway and PFAS were detected in 95 out of 114 watersheds and in 29 states and D.C. We undertook additional sampling this swimming season to capture information related to DNA source tracking of bacteria. We then began looking at source tracking (dog, geese, etc…) the bacteria and shared the information with the Harford County Health Department and the Secretaries of MDE and DNR.
Creating New Partnerships with SERC / NASA: Gunpowder Riverkeeper was honored to announce our partnership with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) for the Chesapeake Water Watch. The program, with partners including the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Gunpowder RIVERKEEEPER, City University of New York, NASA, and several Anne Arundel River Associations, is designed to ground truth satellite data by comparing information from samples obtained in the field to the satellite data to determine how precisely the space images capture water quality data.
You can help us do more in 2023 to address these environmental threats:
Provide more capacity: In our appeal with CLA representing us against the MDE Wetlands and Waterways permit to protect Otter Point Creek and the last stand of intact mature forest in the pollution impaired Bush River watershed from the clearing of Abingdon Woods.
Support our settlement negotiations: In our appeal with Georgetown Law’s Environmental Law & Justice Clinic (IPR) representing us against EPA on MDE’s “Pollution Diet” that violates the Clean Water Act and failed to set pollution limits for sediment, the major source of PCB’s in the Gunpowder and Bird Rivers.
Support our petitions for Judicial Review: We are appealing the MDE Wetlands and Waterways Permits to ensure that the permits protect Wetlands, Waterways and Sensitive Species impacted by the I-95 Extended Toll Lanes Project.
We need your financial support to maintain and enhance our River protection, monitoring, education and outreach efforts.
We are now accepting Terry Newendorp Environmental Scholarship applications for 2023 and your support could help us invest in more students passionate about the environment!
Our partnership with SERC and NASA for the Chesapeake Water Watch will continue to grow next year. We are looking for folks who are willing to add sampling for Chesapeake Water Watch to their weekly routine. All you need is access to the water, your phone, and a gray card! We also have virtual training modules that were created just for you. Sign up for training and consider supporting us to bolster this program!
In 2023, we are moving to the Sparks Banks Nature Center on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail. The Sparks Bank Nature Center is ideally located for education and outreach activities designed to increase public awareness about Gunpowder State Park and the importance of the River as the drinking water supply for 1.5 million residents. We plan on using the Center for environmental outreach, programming and planning, and to house our nonprofit headquarters and meetings.
We need your help in funding this move and our next steps to keep growing as an organization!
Please consider a year-end donation of support to amplify our advocacy in celebration of #GivingTuesday.
You may donate at: https://gunpowderriverkeeper.networkforgood.com/projects/130365-everyday-giving or by sending a check to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111 You may also donate to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER by shopping on Amazon Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/ Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER is a participating charity in the 2022 Maryland Charity Campaign. Search for us through our EIN #: 27-1517453 and give here: https://mcc.maryland.gov/
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.