Citizens organize to work towards clean water

Frederick County has the opportunity to chart a new course and develop a plan that will lead to clean local waterways and a healthy Chesapeake Bay.

These plans are needed to create cleaner safer, water in our communities, local jobs for residents, and a more robust economy.

photo courtesy of Monocacy River Board

Last fall, Frederick County submitted its preliminary reports and Watershed Implementation Plan to the Department of the Environment detailing how we intend to clean local waters.  This deadline was the first opportunity to show that our county is committed to meaningful, decisive action and to prove to citizens that we will aggressively pursue policies and practices that will achieve cleaner water.

Friends of Frederick County is a part of a coalition of citizen groups (Choose Clean Water Coalition) across the state that supports this restoration process.  This coalition has evaluated each county submission to determine if the local governments are on track to produce strong plans, and how much work remains to be done on those plans between now and the final deadlines in July.

The coalition developed a set of barometers ranking how well each county’s Watershed Implementation Plan achieves their goals.  These barometers are also being shared with state-wide and local media press. Sadly, Frederick County ranks in the lowest category.  The WIP was skeletal and lacking in detail.  Neighboring Montgomery County, Baltimore County and even Dorchester County ranked in the highest category with exemplary WIPs.

We believe that the Frederick County barometer will help build public support for real action and ensure that our final plan, due in July of 2012, will move us closer to clean water.