University of Maryland Extension

Maryland Sea Grant

Improving water quality through stormwater management and watershed restoration techniques.

In 2014, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance convened a partnership of community groups to work toward cleaner water for Cambridge, MD. The result - the Cambridge Clean Water Action Plan - outlines a succinct plan of action. The goals are to:

1. Leverage available funding and organizational capacity to improve water quality in Cambridge through projects that can activate and energize the community, and
2. Create a framework for implementation that engages the full community on an ongoing basis.

The partners evaluated local capacity to undertake water quality improvement projects, and in the report recommend six actions for reducing pollution and six actions to create the organizing framework to get them accomplished.

The organizations represented on the CWAC are:

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • City of Cambridge
  • Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth
  • Eastern Shore Land Conservancy
  • Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy
  • Nanticoke Watershed Alliance
  • University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension 

Read the plan here: FINAL_Moving Toward Clean Water - Cambridge Report.pdf 

Are you interested in learning more about what you can do in your own backyard to improve the quality of local rivers and streams? The new “From My Backyard to the Bay” booklet is now available. Created through a partnership with Dorchester and Talbot County Master Gardeners, Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, the League of Women Voters, and UME Sea Grant Extension, this book is full of great tips for low cost and manageable practices to do on your own property. Access the electronic version here or pick up a hard copy at the Dorchester Extension office.

Watershed Restoration Specialists work with local and state governments, watershed organizations, and community groups in Maryland to build partnerships, identify funding sources, and advise/assist in the planning, implementation and monitoring of restoration projects. Specialists facilitate measurable reductions in water pollution in the following ways:

  • Classes and workshops teach homeowners how to improve water quality in their own backyard with practices like rain barrels, rain gardens, and tree planting
  • Technical Assistance Programs help communities address Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) regulations and requirements
  • Watershed Restoration Projects emerge from collaborative partnerships and effective funding techniques to reduce nutrient and sediment loads

Watershed Restoration Specialists also connect watershed science to policy makers and community leaders to make the most effective water quality decisions. 

For more information about Sea Grant or Water Quality please visit:

For access to the most recent Headwaters newsletter, click here: Headwaters Newsletters


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