March 9, 2016
CONTACT: Ellen Kobler
410-887-3835 (o), 410-365-2834 (c)
Community Asked to Participate in Environmental Protection Plan for Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed and Chesapeake
Watershed Includes Monkton, Jacksonville, Baldwin, Fork, Kingsville areas
Towson, MD – Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) is encouraging participation from communities within the Little Gunpowder Falls watershed at an upcoming public meeting to be held the evening of March 31. The Little Gunpowder Falls watershed includes parts of Monkton, Jacksonville, Baldwin, Fork, and Kingsville neighborhoods.
This is the first of two public meetings regarding the creation of the Little Gunpowder Falls Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP). The meeting offers a chance for interested people and organizations to learn about the project methods, and provide input to define the community’s goals and vision for clean water. Once finalized, a committee will take responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the SWAP report.
The community meeting will take place at St. James Academy’s Susan Tucker Moore Theatre, located at 3100 Monkton Rd, Monkton, MD 21111, on Thursday, March 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
For more information on Baltimore County’s Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs), please call Wesley Schmidt at 410-887-5683 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/environment/watersheds/swap.html.
Importance of Public Participation
Public participation is very important in taking actions to improve stream and river health through the SWAP process. “This area is of particular importance, as the Little Gunpowder Falls is home to some of the County’s higher quality waters, and we need a solid plan in place to protect them,” said Director of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Vince Gardina. “This meeting is a great opportunity for the community to take part in the planning process, and provide their input on the project goals.”
Background on Small Watershed Action Plans in Maryland
In the late 1990s, national stormwater permits required major counties in Maryland to reduce pollution from roads and neighborhoods that drain to local streams. Counties created monitoring programs and prepared watershed plans to identify projects and programs that could reduce pollution from these non-point sources. Many projects were completed and reductions tallied in annual reports.
Despite significant progress, additional reductions are needed to have clean waterways that meet water quality standards. To reach these additional reductions, Baltimore County is developing Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) to focus on communities as a smaller group and to identify specific solutions that are tailored to local areas. They are implemented by Baltimore County in conjunction with citizen groups to help create and maintain healthy watersheds.
The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability is responsible for the protection of the environment and the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Baltimore County. This is accomplished through programs that manage and enhance natural and man-made resources, and that provide environmental guidelines to our constituents.