Locations set for Watershed Implementation Plan workshops

Alex Mann
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

The Maryland Department of the Environment and Department of Agriculture, among other state agencies, established dates and locations for six regional workshops to help communities take on the next steps of a Chesapeake Bay cleaning measure.

A free workshop to jumpstart the third phase of the Watershed Implementation Plan is scheduled on Nov. 27 at Harford Community College for Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties, as well as Baltimore City.

According to MDE, the plan documents the steps that Maryland and its localities take to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load — sometimes called a “pollution diet” — established by the Environmental Protection Agency to improve water quality.

“The bay and its rivers are overweight with nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from agricultural operations, urban and suburban runoff, wastewater, airborne contaminants and other sources,” the EPA says. “The excess nutrients and sediment lead to murky water and algae blooms, which block sunlight from reaching and sustaining underwater bay grasses.

“Murky water and algae blooms also create low levels of oxygen for aquatic life, such as fish, crabs and oysters.”

There are five other workshops scattered about the state for different communities.

According to a press release from the state agencies, each free workshop will kickoff with state and region-specific overviews provided by the state agriculture and environment agencies.

The Chesapeake Bay watershed spans some 64,000 square miles and include parts of Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, according to the EPA. The efforts to reduce pollution watershed-wide.

All six workshops are sponsored by the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Maryland. Doors open for each meeting at 9:30 a.m.

Interested parties from Carroll County can register online.

alex.mann@carrollcountytimes.com

667-367-4291

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