Assateague Coastal Trust
ACT To Protect Our Coastal Bays
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Report A Problem

The Coastkeeper is an on-the-water monitor who patrols the watershed by boat in search of evidence of pollution or other water quality problems. The Coastkeeper also reaches out to and engages citizens to provide additional eyes, ears and even noses to identify and report pollution sources. You have a natural and legal right to water that is swimmable, fish-able and drinkable. If you see pollution, please report it to the Coastkeeper at 443-235-2014.

Water Pollution

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.

The CWA made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.

It is also illegal for anyone to dump or discharge pollutants into roadside ditches, canals, or the woods. If you observe this activity, please call the Coastkeeper immediately.Construction Site storm runoff

Please report an issue by contacting Kathy Phillips, the Assateague COASTKEEPER at 443-235-2014.

Construction Site Runoff

Get the Dirt Out (GTDO) is a project being implemented by local Waterkeeper programs across the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays watersheds to protect our waterways from damage caused by sediment-laden runoff from construction sites and land development.

The Assateague COASTKEEPER®, the education and advocacy arm of Assateague Coastal Trust, is leading the GTDO effort for the Coastal Bays region.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long recognized stormwater runoff as one of the leading causes of impairment to our nation’s waters. In response, the EPA developed stormwater regulations. These regulations require that that all construction sites one acre or larger must comply with the terms and conditions in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Please report an issue by contacting Kathy Phillips, the Assateague COASTKEEPER at 443-235-2014.

Critical Area Deforestation and Wetland Destruction

The State of Maryland, and Worcester County, have special regulations and permitting requirements for anyone to remove trees, shrubs and undergrowth along the banks of waterways and areas noted as ‘The Critical Area.’ These important vegetative buffers are necessary to help filter sediment, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants carried by stormwater runoff from lawns, parking areas, farm fields, etc.

Our marshes and wetlands are also protected and should not be disturbed. These areas are important breeding grounds for fish, habitat for turtles, and act like ‘sponges’ to clean stormwater runoff before it enters the open water. It is unlawful to dump lawn cuttings, shrub cuttings, etc onto wetlands and shoreline marshes. Permits are necessary to put any type of walkway over a marsh.

If you suspect that a shoreline is being cleared improperly, or wetlands are being disturbed, please contact the Coastkeeper at 443-235-2014.

Marine Mammal Strandings or Sea Turtle Strandings

Please call the Department of Natural Resources Hotline at 1-800-628-9944.


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