COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension, along with the Cecil County Government, are proud to announce that the fourth Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) class will be held this fall, based on the impressive results of the first three classes.
The WSA is a program that trains adult community leaders in ways to reduce polluted stormwater runoff, improve local water quality, and help Maryland to meet its requirements for reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment under the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. The program is based on a successful model that is also implemented in Anne Arundel, Harford, Howard, St. Mary’s counties and the National Capitol region.
To achieve the designation of Master Watershed Steward, participants will complete an intensive 16-course training program consisting of classroom and hands-on field work, a class project, and an individual capstone project in their community. Once trained, Master Watershed Stewards will work with other members of their communities to:
• Assess watersheds to help identify sources of pollution and restoration opportunities;
• Educate their community on pollution sources and how to reduce them;
• Implement small-scale stormwater management practices such as installing rain barrels or constructing rain gardens;
• Inspect and/or maintain small-scale stormwater management Best Management Practices (BMPs); and
• Connect communities with environmental resources and people who can help restore watersheds.
The fourth Cecil County WSA class is expected to start in late October 2019 and run thru Fall of 2020. Classes will be held one night per week, primarily at the Cecil County Administration Building, located at 200 Chesapeake Boulevard in Elkton, MD. Two additional Saturday sessions will be held as well. Classes will be taught by a team of experienced stormwater management professionals from the Cecil County Department of Public Works, University of Maryland Extension, and other organizations.
There will be an enrollment fee of $150 to help defray the cost of materials that will be used in the course. Scholarships may be available for applicants if the enrollment fee represents a financial hardship. Enrollment in the WSA class will be limited to 15 people. The program is offered on a non-discriminatory basis and anyone who is interested is welcome to apply, however, priority will be given to residents of Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties. Applications will be reviewed and class participants selected by the WSA Coordinators. A waiting list will be maintained if the demand exceeds the number of available slots. The deadline for applications to be submitted is October 4, 2019.
Master Watershed Stewards in Cecil and other counties have designed, obtained funding for, and installed water quality improvement projects within their communities. They have also assisted county government staff in tracking, registering, and monitoring stormwater management BMPs to ensure that those practices continue to function as intended to help improve the quality of local rivers and streams. Past Cecil County WSA class projects have included the installation of rain gardens and bioretentions at the Cecil County Administration Building, Fair Hill NRMA, and the Cecil County Public Library Rising Sun Branch.
Anyone interested in applying to participate in the fourth WSA class to become a Master Watershed Steward should contact Marshall McSorley of the Stormwater Management Division staff at (410) 996-5265 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,or Eric Buehl, University of Maryland Extension at (410) 827-8056 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
To learn more about Master Watershed Stewards in Cecil County, visit: http://www.ccgov.org/government/public-works/public-works-divisions/stormwater-management-division/watershed-stewards-academy.
–University of Maryland Extension