University of Maryland Extension

Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy Marks Third Graduating Class

Newly graduated Master Watershed Stewards stand holding their certificates of completion
Standing Left to Right: Richard Braco, Chrystal Caleb, Lisa Lane, Diana Marsteller, Anne Polakovic, Kim Righi, Al Salisbury Kneeling Left to Right: Dannon Wilson, Brie Tulowitzky. Not pictured: Katie Stevens & Lisa Torres
Image Credit: 
Image courtesy of Cecil Co WSA

ELKTON, MD. -- Cecil County Government and the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension are pleased to announce the graduation of the third Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) class. A graduation ceremony was held on December 12, 2018 at the County Administration Building, at which time the following participants were recognized and awarded the title of "Master Watershed Steward": Richard Braco, Chrystal Caleb, Lisa Lane, Diana Marsteller, Anne Polakovic, Kim Righi, Alan Salisbury, Katie Stevens, Lisa Torres, Brie Tulowitzky and Dannon Wilson.

In order to obtain the Master Watershed Steward certification, participants were required to complete 50 hours of class instruction; participate in the planning, design and construction of a class project; and to undertake individual or small team capstone projects. The class project consisted of the construction of a rain garden at the Cecil County Rising Sun Branch Library. The rain garden was the practical application of what the aspiring watershed stewards had learned as part of their training and will treat stormwater runoff from the library's rooftop. Click here to see a time lapse video of the rain garden being constructed:

The individual and small team capstone projects planned or completed by the class members include:

  • Installation of native plants and signage in a recently constructed bioretention facility at Elk Neck Elementary School;
  • Conservation landscaping near the Foxcatcher Arena at Fair Hill NRMA;
  • Providing maintenance and education on an existing rain garden at Cecilton Elementary School;
  • Installation of a rain garden at the Stone Wharf in Charlestown;
  • Installation of a rain garden planter box at Bohemia Manor Middle & High School.

The Cecil County WSA is operated through a partnership between the Stormwater Management Division of the Cecil County Department of Public Works and the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension. The program trains and supports community leaders to serve as Master Watershed Stewards in their neighborhoods and communities who can identify and assess areas to implement small scale stormwater management practices, educate local citizens, and assist Cecil County in reaching its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals.

"The skills I learned really deepened my understanding of the issues facing our rivers and streams while providing affordable solutions the average citizen can implement to help mitigate stormwater runoff. The Master Watershed Steward designation will help me be a better resource for my community and organization," said Kim Righi who is also the Sassafras Program Manager for ShoreRivers.

To date there have been a total of 27 individuals who have successfully obtained the title of Master Watershed Steward in Cecil County.

Planning is underway for the fourth WSA class. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the program or in participating in the next class can obtain additional information at or by contacting Marshall McSorley of the Cecil County Stormwater Management Division staff at (410) 996-5265 or by e-mail at

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