GRASSROOTS CLEARINGHOUSE

OUR VALUES: We serve and hold ourselves accountable to the grassroots communities in the watershed. We try to work and improve where the most intractable and difficult pollution and environmental disparities are to be found. We not accept funding support from known illicit polluters in the watershed and we honor the call for a freestanding citizen’s oriented movement that can speak truth to power because it draws its own power ultimately from local communities, volunteers and unpaid (unconflicted) sources.

Mentoring activism:  We believe strongly in mentoring leadership among the most talented and strident activists and organizers we can find and nurture in the watershed. It is in every respect what will allow the important work done by Patuxent Riverkeeper far and beyond what we can fund, initiate or manage ourselves. We strive to keep the “pilot light” lit for a new and ongoing generation of water advocates on the Patuxent River. We have provided many sorts of assistance to fledgling, incipient and youth-based activism for the environment.

PrK Members compare notes after a meeting at Maryland Department of the Environment
A tour of wetlands and stormwater remediation sites in Howard County

Technical support to communities: We have provided practical knowledge, experience, equipment and other aid to communities grappling with restoration projects and needs, sustainability, resilience planning and other endeavors for communities seeking to live in deeper harmony with the river resource.We have also participated in and partnered with research institutions and citizens groups to author health assessment studies for environmental health burdens that exist in communities. 

Community members and researchers develop their approach to a local environmental health study
Consulting Planner Ivy Lewis and Mayor Crudup review waterfront mapping for a collaborative project with Patuxent Riverkeeper
Riverkeeper members participate at “Teach-IN” at the conference room at Patuxent Riverkeeper Center

Teach-Ins & Boot camps: We are constantly looking for ways to improve the river related skill sets of our partners, members and the general public. We like to offer short affordable courses, workshops and symposia that help people learn more about the river, civic activism and civic skills and connect with their river and the environment.

An outdoor gathering to convene watershed leaders


Complaint ombudsman: Our Riverkeeper is a trained mediator with three years of law school training as well. We work with parties to conservation complaints and problems to broker a solution good for the parties and ideal for the water resource.

A mysterious discharge pipe found on the river

Citizen Science: Over the years we have offered many different opportunities for citizens to test water and track local water quality in order to add a deeper science basis and persuasive power to their own local water protecting efforts.

Researchers collecting invasive species on the river in one of the PrK workboats.
Riverkeeper members form a delegation to meet with government officials to discuss a conservation issue

Commissions and Boards: Our staff represents a citizen voice on scores of task forces, appointed Commissions and panels in order to advance better policies on the river and ensure a Patuxent voice is included in conversations statewide that could impact on the river and its present and future health.

Service Projects: We offer year round opportunities that help locals folks organize, and equip and insure trash cleanups, remove or tire dumps, tree plantings and other service related activities that enhance the river experience for others and help heal its ecology.   

A local scout troop works on a planting project at Patuxent Riverkeeper Center

River patrols/citizen vigilance: We work with and often coordinate with citizens who keep a watchful eye out for pollution and compliance problems on the river.

Citizens on the river investigating complaints and issues of concern
A Volunteer Maryland worker operates one of our river work boats.
PrK Patrols the river from the air at least twice a year.