Chesapeake Bay Trust Blog & News

Introducing Our 21st Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration Silent Auction!

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From Baltimore City to the Eastern Shore, our Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration’s silent auction offers chances to wine, dine, play and stay throughout Maryland. We are thrilled to have so many area businesses supporting our event and our mission.  And there are more being added each day! There is something for everyone so be sure to attend the event on May 2nd and bid to take home a Treasure of the Chesapeake for your very own!

Don’t see your favorite organization listed? Let us know and we’ll reach out to them! mailto:info@cbtrust.org

 

Adkins Arboretum Mckay Jenkins
Alan Brown Advisory Market & Main
Annapolis Maritime Museum Gary Jobson Sailing
Association of Maryland Pilots Live! Casino Hotel Arundel Mills
Athleta Longwood Gardens
Baltimore Center Stage Ramon Matheu
Baltimore Orioles Mear’s Marina
Baltimore Ravens Merchandise O’Leary’s
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Patagonia
Blue Lotus Yoga Studio The Point Crab House
Boordy Vineyard Portside Custom Framing
Brooks Note Winery Running Hare Vineyards
Carl M. Freeman – Bayside Resort Golf Club Rustic Beautiful
The Chesapeake Bay Trust Sagamore Spirits
Chesapeake Bayhawks St. Michael’s Winery
Chesapeake Beach Waterpark Schooner Woodwind
Cooper’s Hawk Winery – Annapolis Southwest Airlines
East of Maui Sperry
Edgewater Acupuncture Strathmore
Extreme Signs and Graphics Sultana Education Foundation
Jay Flemming Sunrise SUP
Galway Bay Restaurant Margaret Thorn
Gaylord National Resort Three Stone Steps
Nancy Hammond Watermark Cruises
Hartcorn Studios Wades Point Inn
Here.a pop up shop The Westin Annapolis
Homestead Gardens WMAR2
Jeanneau Ginger Woolridge

Low Impact Development Center Partners with Behnke Nurseries for Stormwater Practice Demonstration Site

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Nonprofit organization partners with local nursery in Prince George’s County, Maryland to install a stormwater practice demonstration site and resource center. 

Communities all across the Chesapeake Bay watershed are doing their part to improve the health of our environment by installing practices to manage and reduce polluted stormwater runoff. Polluted stormwater runoff negatively impacts our streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay.

In Prince George’s County, Maryland, homeowners, businesses, and others have the opportunity to help reduce the impact of stormwater runoff through the Rain Check Rebate Program. This program offers property owners reimbursements for installing approved practices.

In 2014 and 2015, the Low Impact Development Center partnered with Behnke Nurseries to install a resource center and demonstration of the Rain Check Rebate practices on the nursery’s property. This demonstration project installed all seven of the approved practices: rain barrels, cisterns, urban tree canopy, rain gardens, pavement removal, permeable pavement, and green roofs. Each of the practices include signage that explains the practices’ function and importance. Since these seven stormwater practices were implemented, the site has hosted several outreach and educational events, as well as self-guided tours for visitors. This project was supported by two grant awards through the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program.

Earlier this month, Behnke Nurseries announced this spring season will be their last. Before they close their doors in June, we encourage you to go visit them. Go see the Rain Check Rebate practices in action, take a look at the resource center, and support Behnke Nurseries while you still can!

Learn more about the Rain Check Rebate Program, the approved practices, and how to participate at cbtrust.org/prince-georges-county-rain-check-rebate.

Cheers to the Brews of the Bay and Wines of the Watershed!

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As a part of this year’s Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration, we invited area breweries and wineries to toast us into our event’s 21st year.  Being based in Maryland is the obvious similarity of the group, but dig deeper and you can tell they all share the passion, drive and ingenuity to create; it’s the end result that sets them all apart.

And drink in all those results! Whether the outcome of a quest, a funny thing that happened on the way to the pursuit of another dream, a scientific experiment, or happy accident, we are inspired by the stories they tell, the obstacles they overcame and the ambition they never seem to shake.

Entrepreneurial practices and forward thinking stewards have created a “sip sustainable” trend where everything from product packaging to ingredient purity is poured over and there is just as much thought put into the environmental footprint as there is to the recipe.

So cheers to brews of the Bay and wines of the watershed! Join us on May 2nd to meet and sample selections from:

Flying Dog Brewery: Frederick, Maryland – “More than 30 years ago a group of amateur hikers convened in a Pakistan hotel room after summiting the world’s deadliest mountain”….

Monument City Brewing Company: Baltimore, Maryland – “Six thousand miles separated the founding brothers of Monument City Brewing, but good beer kept them close”…

Boordy Vineyards: Hydes, Maryland – Born from a farming tradition dating back to 1725, and the source of many modern day wines…

DuClaw Brewing Company: Baltimore, Maryland – From a home brewing operation in college to a cherished craft. “Rules be damned”…

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard: Dickerson, Maryland – “Shale, clay and sand, combined with a unique microclimate at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, provide an ideal setting for a vineyard,” writes industry reporter, Sally Colby…

Heavy Seas Brewery: Baltimore, Maryland – Founder Hugh stepped into running a new tavern while on his way to becoming a stage actor and director. But that’s just the start of the quest…

Burley Oak Brewing Company: Berlin, Maryland – What do you get when you mix Eastern shore land, a soil scientist, and indigenous plants and grains? Grain to glass and “Home Grown Ales”…

Charm City Meadworks: Baltimore, Maryland – No longer reserved for Renaissance festivals and born from a love of beekeeping, their dry (gluten free) mead is for more than those with dry humor…

Chesapeake Bay Trust Announces Awardees from February 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

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Annapolis, MD – The Chesapeake Bay Trust announced the approval of 12 grants totaling $417,823 to enable a wide range of organizations to implement on-the-ground restoration and education projects and programs. Four times each year the Trust’s board of trustees announces its grant approvals which help local nonprofit organizations, local governments, and schools improve water quality and better local communities through a variety of outreach and restoration techniques. In fiscal year 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Trust awarded more than $13 million in grants.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit, grant-making organization dedicated to improving the streams, rivers, and other natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay region through environmental education, community outreach, and local watershed restoration. In addition to private and public partnerships, the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s funding comes from two other major sources: the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate program and donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland state income tax form. Since 1985, the Trust has awarded more than $90 million in grants that have engaged hundreds of thousands of area residents in efforts designed to improve water quality and better local communities. For more information on the Trust’s grant programs and how to get involved, visit www.cbtrust.org.

About the Awards:
The Community Engagement and Restoration Small Grant program is designed to engage new applicants and organizations from a diverse array of communities in small-scale projects that enhance communities, engage residents, and, ultimately, improve natural resources. This program provides funding to groups that have traditionally been under-engaged with environmental issues and to provide to applicants who may not be experienced in applying for grants.

Four awards totaling $17,823 were made to:

Cedar Haven Civic Association on the Patuxent River, Inc.: for educational workshops regarding small-scale stormwater management practices in a coastal community.
Lead for Future Academy: for support of four community clean-up projects in Clarksburg, Maryland.
Project Bright Future: for the “Canvassing Water for Life” project.
ShoreRivers: for the production and distribution of the 2018 State of the Rivers Report Card and for support of the State of the Rivers presentations on the Eastern Shore.

The Environmental Education Grant Program (see lower half of page on-line) was designed to increase environmental stewardship though hands-on education and public involvement in the Bay and its rivers by providing grants that build and expand K through 12 environmental education programs and increase student access to Meaningful Watershed Experiences (MWEE).

Eight awards totaling $400,000 were made to:

Calvert County Public Schools: for a proposed project building on a long-standing fifth grade oyster program. Students will use what they have learned in the classroom and during field experiences to assist in the construction of sanctuary oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Students will work in partnership with local conservation organizations to complete this project.
Charles County Public Schools: for partnership with The Alice Ferguson Foundation to implement an environmental literacy program for 3rd grade students. CCPS and AFF will expand on existing curricula to develop an interdisciplinary full Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) for all 3rd grade students. The MWEE will be driven by the investigative question, “How can I impact my schoolyard ecosystem?” The systemic program will guide students through outdoor experiences and classroom learning resulting in action to address local environmental issues.
Parks and People: for the delivery of environmental educational lessons to 500 Baltimore elementary students created and led by 10 City high school students to improve academic performance and promote environmental stewardship. Youth will use their knowledge of Baltimore and lessons learned in a MWEE to form a claim using the scientific method; and, identify and undertake potential actions. Actions will connect to Baltimore’s streams and align with the P&P SuperKids Camp summer program.
ShoreRivers: for the implementation of our Students for Streams MWEE program in 7 public high schools across 4 counties in Maryland. ShoreRivers will work with Sassafras Environmental Education Center to develop and co-lead Kent County Public High School teachers through their first sustainable MWEE. ShoreRivers will continue to work with Dorchester, Queen Anne, and Talbot County Public Schools in order to provide professional development specifically designed to tackle obstacles that teachers identified in creating a completely sustainable MWEE.
Somerset County Public Schools: for a collaborative initiative between Somerset County Public Schools, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) to create systemic MWEEs in three grade levels, 5th, 7th and 9th, in order to address regional vulnerability to climate impacts and community resilience in the face of those impacts. Ensuing student inquiry into related topics will occur through a combination of classroom work and field experiences, collecting and analyzing data; and will culminate in student-led stewardship to address resiliency in various ways. The project will help students to make sense of the science behind these forces and what they can do to help “shore up” their community’s future. This project will enable the school system to meet its commitment under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement to provide MWEEs for elementary, middle and high school students.
Washington County Public Schools: for the continued implementation of a foundation MWEE and Environmental Literacy lessons in grades 4, 6, and high school. Cohorts were trained in the MWEEs and in designing lessons aimed at identifying environmental issues and developing solutions to related problems. Additional funding allows WCPS to continue to build strong experiences for K-12 students and teachers, create a sustainable program that incorporates the MWEES, and provide rich opportunities for ALL students to identify issues in their communities and practice service and good citizenship through vetted project and lessons.
Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Inc.: for a program led by Waterfront Partnership and the Towson University Center for STEM Excellence, aims to increase teacher capacity to provide high-quality MWEEs for fifth grade students in Baltimore City. During this grant period, we will provide up to 18 fifth grade teachers with a five-day professional learning workshop, an Inner Harbor field trip for their classes, and action project guidance and supplies. Specifically, the program will increase teacher capacity to: 1) lead students in implementing more integrated and impactful action projects, 2) foster student-centered inquiry, 3) teach the relevant science content, and 4) effectively engage students outdoors.
Wicomico County Board of Education/Public Schools: for a partnership with the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art at Salisbury University to plan and implement a systemic program of environmental education for kindergarten and ninth grade students; expanding the current pilot programs and allowing for a formalization into the WCPS curriculum as systemic MWEEs and help us to meet the expectation of having systemic E-Lit programs in each grade band.

For more information on any of these specific grant awards, email Cindy Edson at cedson@cbtrust.org.
For more information on all our grant programs and open grant application opportunities, please visit https://cbtrust.org/grants/
The next meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Trust Board of Trustees is scheduled for May 2019.

Four Ways You Can Help Keep Prince George’s County Healthy and Beautiful

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Everyone can make a difference in their communities and in the environment. Here we provide four ways you can help keep Prince George’s County, Maryland healthy and beautiful.

1. Plant a tree

Trees provide many benefits to communities and the environment. They help improve water quality, save energy, lower city temperatures, reduce air pollution, enhance property values, provide wildlife habitat for birds and other species, facilitate social and educational opportunities, and beautify lawns and other open spaces. Tree roots, specifically, help rain soak into the soil and increase the total amount of rain that the soil can absorb.

When planting a tree and other types of plants, it is important to choose natives. Native plants are those that naturally occur in the region in which they evolved. They are adapted to local soil and climate conditions and require less watering and fertilizing. The Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center is a wonderful resource to find native species that are suitable for your site conditions. When you’re ready to purchase, local plant nurseries can help you find what you’re looking for. A few plant nurseries in Prince George’s County that offer native plants include Behnke Nurseries, Chesapeake Natives, and Patuxent Nursery.

2. Participate in Earth Day Events and Activities

On Earth Day, Saturday, April 13th 2019, we encourage you to go green and show your appreciation for our environment! The Anacostia Watershed Earth Day Cleanup and the 31st Annual Potomac River Cleanup are two cleanup events that have several cleanup sites in Prince George’s County. Find one near you and get together with your neighbors to keep our neighborhoods and streams clean.

We encourage you to make every day Earth Day by taking small steps to reduce your environmental footprint. Take the What’s Your Bay Footprint? to find out how your lifestyle choices contributes to the health of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay and ways you can reduce your impact.

3. Participate in Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program

The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program offers incentives to homeowners, businesses, and others to install practices that reduce stormwater runoff and improve local streams and rivers. As an added benefit, homeowners that install these practices may receive a reduction on their Clean Water Act Fee. The seven eligible practices include rain barrels, cisterns, urban tree canopy, rain gardens, pavement removal, permeable pavement, and green roofs.

Learn More

4. Participate in Prince George’s County Litter Reduction Mini Grant Program

The Prince George’s County Litter Reduction and Citizen Engagement Mini Grant Program provides communities with resources to keep their neighborhoods clean and beautiful. Community organizations may request up to $2,500 to support litter reduction projects. Example projects include litter cleanups that engage students and businesses, “Adopt-a-Stream” projects to remove litter from a local stream, and storm drain stenciling projects where art is used to educate residents about the importance of keeping litter out of the storm drains. If you are a resident and want to get your neighborhood involved, we encourage you to contact your homeowner’s association, civic association, or other community group and share this opportunity.

Learn More

Rain Gardens Beautify Your Home and Benefit the Environment

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Rain gardens have numerous benefits to the environment and communities. They help reduce stormwater runoff and keep pollutants from entering our streams and rivers. In addition, they provide habitat and food sources for a variety of beneficial species like birds and butterflies. Rain gardens also provide homeowners and other property owners with an attractive alternative to traditional lawns and can reduce stormwater problems such as ponding water or erosion.

A rain garden is a planted shallow depression that contains water-tolerant native plants. Rain gardens are designed to capture stormwater runoff that flows across impervious surfaces such as roofs and parking lots. They slow down stormwater runoff and allow it to soak and infiltrate into the ground. This prevents polluted runoff from rushing down the street into storm drains and into our rivers. Though rain gardens capture stormwater runoff, they do not hold water for more than 48 hours and therefore do not breed mosquitoes, which is a common misconception. The native plants in rain gardens are adapted to local soil and climate conditions and require less watering and fertilizing. Butterfly milkweed is an example of a native plant in the Chesapeake Bay region. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed and as such, milkweed is critical for their survival. Planting milkweed in rain gardens help support monarch populations.

Click on this image to view a larger version and see how rain gardens work below the soil.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to install a rain garden on your property. Anyone can do it! If you are interested in installing a rain garden or other stormwater practices, many organizations and government agencies offer funding and technical assistance to help you get started. Here are some programs in Maryland that offer rebates or reimbursements for the installation of stormwater practices:

Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment on their Rain Check Rebate Program. For homeowners and other property owners in Prince George’s County, rain gardens are one of seven eligible stormwater practices that can be installed to receive reimbursement through this program. For this program, rain gardens should total at least 100 square feet, be placed at least 10 feet away from foundations, and be placed at the bottom of a sloped area where water naturally flows and collects. Refer to this rain garden fact sheet to learn more.

Homeowners may also be able to receive a reduction on their Clean Water Act Fee by directing a downspout into the rain garden. By directing the downspout into the rain garden, the runoff that flows off your rooftop will flow directly into the rain garden and be able to soak and filter into the ground, instead of flowing onto the street, into a storm drain, and into our streams.

In addition to rain gardens, other eligible practices include rain barrels, cisterns, urban tree canopy, pavement removal, permeable pavement, and green roofs. Homeowners, businesses, and other eligible applicants can install one or more of these stormwater practices to help reduce stormwater runoff and improve local waterways in the County. These stormwater practices also have the added benefit of beautifying the property.

The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program is currently open and accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Learn More and Apply

Centro de Apoyo Familiar Connects Latino and Immigrant Communities with Prince George’s County Resources and Programs

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Centro de Apoyo Familiar engages Latino and immigrant communities in Prince George’s County, Maryland, with educational workshops and resources to promote environmental stewardship. 

Centro de Apoyo Familiar, or Center for Assistance to Families (CAF), is a nonprofit organization in Prince George’s County, Maryland. CAF aims to revitalize and transform Latino and immigrant communities through economic, social, and educational empowerment in collaboration with faith-based organizations.

In 2017, CAF received a grant award through the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program to conduct their Aguas Sanas Familias Sanas (Healthy Waters Healthy Families) program. This program engages and trains Latino church promotoras (community health promoters) to be stormwater leaders in their community. After the promotoras receive training, they then lead workshops to educate residents on local environmental issues, ways to address these issues, and County resources and programs.

For this project, CAF recruited three churches in Prince George’s County to participate in the program and a member from each was selected as the promotora. The promotoras participated in two training sessions to learn about stormwater, how it impacts their communities, and how community members can reduce its impact by installing rain barrels and other practices through the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program.

The Rain Check Rebate Program provides an opportunity for homeowners, businesses, and others to help reduce stormwater runoff in the County and improve local waterways. Stormwater runoff is rain or melted snow that runs off impervious surfaces, such as parking lots and roofs, and flows across the land into storm drains and local waterways. As the runoff flows, it picks up and carries with it pollutants like pet waste and litter that negatively impacts our rivers and can have harmful effects on human health. Through the Rain Check Rebate Program, eligible applicants can receive a reimbursement for installing stormwater practices, like rain barrels, on their property. These stormwater practices help reduce stormwater runoff and its impacts.

To educate the promotoras and community members on this topic, CAF developed presentations and educational materials in Spanish for the training sessions and also provided these materials to the promotoras for distribution during workshops with community members. These workshops reached 141 Latino families and provided technical assistance to those interested in applying for the Rain Check Rebate Program.

Thank you to Centro de Apoyo Familiar for all you do to engage Latino and immigrant communities in environmental stewardship!

Project Highlight: National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred Grounds Program Engages Faith Communities

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National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred Grounds Program engages faith communities in environmental stewardship in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The Sacred Grounds™ program creates a unique space for praise and celebration of nature’s wonders and empowers congregations of all faiths to connect to the Earth by gardening for wildlife and studying the teachings and texts of their faiths. As a result, people, the planet, and spiritual foundations flourish.

National Wildlife Federation

We are impacted by our natural resources and our natural resources are impacted by us. The key to improving the health of our waterways and our environment is to engage all residents in environmental stewardship. In recent years, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and many of our funding partners have worked to involve audiences in our grant programs that have typically been under-engaged in the past. In 2015, the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee identified three audiences that the Trust should focus on incorporating in our grant programs. These audiences include communities of color, faith-based communities, and the human health sector.

The Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program (a partnership between the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment and the Chesapeake Bay Trust), for example, has encouraged applicants to submit proposals that embrace diverse communities in environmental action projects. In 2017, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) received a grant award through this program to engage faith communities in Prince George’s County in environmental stewardship and clean water efforts. For this project, NWF partnered with Interfaith Power and Light and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake to conduct their Sacred Grounds program in Prince George’s County.

NWF and their partners conducted three Sacred Grounds workshops with participants from 22 places of worship in Prince George’s County. The workshops educated residents about how faith doctrine of many denominations encourages environmental stewardship and local environmental issues, such as stormwater runoff and pollution. Community members also learned the benefits of creating wildlife habitat and implementing stormwater management practices on congregation grounds in order to address these issues.

NWF successfully recruited five congregations interested in achieving Sacred Grounds designation from the workshops. In order to be designated as a Sacred Ground, congregations must create wildlife habitat on their property, connect environmental stewardship to faith, and inspire community members to get involved with environmental action. In addition to achieving this designation, faith institutions in Prince George’s County are eligible to participate in the County’s Alternative Compliance Program. This program’s objective is to advance stormwater practices and increased citizen knowledge for cleaner, healthier congregations.

The inclusion of all residents in the ongoing effort to restore our natural resources and our communities impacts the success of this effort. Expanding the dialogue between diverse communities leads to new collaborations and identifies co-benefits of environmental and community projects.  All residents benefit from healthy natural resources, and, in turn, all residents have the opportunity to benefit natural resources.

Thank you to the National Wildlife Federation, Interfaith Power and Light, and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, for all you do to engage the faith community in environmental stewardship!

Meet the design team behind the new Chesapeake Bay license plate

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Creating the new Chesapeake Bay license plate was a true team effort, and one of the keys was the designer behind the process. TM Design is a Maryland-based graphic design firm who took the Bay Plate project to heart, going above and beyond the contract for the Trust. “It’s our Bay, and our state pride, and that was a big motivator,” says founder and president Tina Cardosi. Her firm creates branding materials, websites and marketing collateral and has worked with the American Forest Foundation, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, The Nature Conservancy, National 4-H Council, and more.

According to Executive Director Jana Davis, “the Trust was incredibly fortunate to have found TM Design. Tina and her group have a rare combination of creativity, artistry, responsiveness, customer insight, and collaborative spirit. It was wonderful to work with a group who cared as much, if not more, than we as the client did about the ultimate outcome of the project. They were incredibly tolerant of a long and unorthodox process to create the new design.”

Listen to Jana and Tina talk about the process and how the new license plate was born. Find out more about TM Design on their website and get to know Design Girl on Instagram.

Project Highlight: National Capital Region’s Watershed Stewards Academy

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Watershed Stewards Academy engages residents in watershed issues and solutions to improve communities and local waterways. 

The Watershed Stewards Academy empowers residents all across Maryland and the Washington metropolitan area to become environmental leaders in their community. The program equips participants with the knowledge, tools, and resources to improve their communities and improve local waterways.  

The Academy is offered in several counties in Maryland including Anne Arundel CountyCecil CountyHarford CountyHoward County, and St. Mary’s County. Specifically, the Anacostia Watershed Society leads the Academy for the National Capital Region. With support from a grant award through the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program, the Anacostia Watershed Society conducted the program for Prince George’s County during the spring and fall of 2018. During the program, participants learned about local environmental issues, specifically stormwater runoff and pollution, how to address these issues in their communities, and existing County resources and programs such as Rain Check Rebate.

The Stewards engage in a variety of service experiences, including the design and implementation of a capstone project that engages their community in reducing stormwater runoff. During the fall of 2018, the Prince George’s County Stewards participated in a replanting of two rain gardens at the Springhill Lake Recreation Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Rain gardens filter polluted runoff, protect streams from flooding and pollution, and attract and provide habitat for pollinators and birds.

Upon completion of the program, participants become certified Master Watershed Stewards. Stewards educate their community about local environmental issues and help reduce polluted runoff by coordinating the installation of rain gardens, rain barrels, and other practices in the community.

The Watershed Stewards Academy’s hands-on certification program provides Stewards with the tools to implement change in their communities. The Anacostia Watershed Society is currently looking for residents to join this year’s National Capital Region Watershed Stewards Academy. Apply today to become a certified Master Watershed Steward in your community!