Know Your Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay watershed and major river watersheds.

The Sanctuary is about mid-way along the Patuxent River watershed, within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Wherever you are, at any time, you are in a watershed. All of the land on the entire planet "sheds" its rain and snow melt to a stream, lake, river or ocean. The actions we take on land have an effect on the quality of our water, good or bad. 

Looking out for Jug Bay and the whole watershed is the Patuxent Riverkeeper; Fred Tutman. Fred is part of the Waterkeepers Alliance, a network of riverkeepers across the country helping to protect and restore the quality of our nation's rivers.

Locally, Anne Arundel County is empowering citizens to take action in their own back yards to improve the health of our rivers and streams. For those who want to become activists in the fight for clean water, theAnne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy may be for you. The WSA began training citizens to become Master Watershed Stewards in the spring of 2009. Whatever problems your neighborhood waterway has, Master Watershed Stewards are trained to tackle them head-on.

Anne Arundel County Environmental Hotline for Reporting Environmental Violations - 410-222-7777

Anne Arundel County also maintains a 24/7 Environmental Hotline (410-222-7777) for reporting suspected environmental violations. If you have to leave a message, do so, and you may do so anonymously. Calls are monitored and there will be follow up. 

Muddy runoff from any activity is a dead giveaway that there is illegal activity going on. If a permit has been issued but the terms are being ignored, Anne Arundel County inspectors will issue stop work orders, demand remediation and when necessary, seek fines and court orders against violators. With each step, enforcement gets more stringent against the violator, and the county claims a 98% success rate when push comes to shove.

The inspectors monitor a wide variety of permit issues:

  • Housing developments
  • Clearing and grading properties
  • Increasing impervious pavement (such as expanding driveways and enlarging houses,sheds and garages),
  • Tree removals, especially within the 1,000 ft. critical area and the 100 ft. buffer along the waterfront, and
  • Clearcutting vegetation down to the waterline.

Inspectors also check up on operations where permits have been issued to make sure that exposed soil is kept to the minimum during the entire construction phase, the area is revegetated ASAP, and that stormwater is properly managed after construction is completed.