Social Media News Release

MDE Reminds Dog Owners to "Scoop the Poop" Every Stinkin' Time Pet Waste is Responsible for 24 Percent of Bacteria in Urban and Suburban Waterways

BALTIMORE, MD (August 27, 2013) - Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers encouraged pet owners to "scoop the poop," during an event held today at Patterson Park in Baltimore City.

An estimated 1.3 million dogs live, play and poop in Maryland. Picking up after your dog's waste is important for your health, the health of your pet and Maryland's environment. The simple act of picking up after your dog by “scooping the poop” can assist in removing harmful nutrients and bacteria from local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, keep our citizens healthy and our yards and shoes clean.

Secretary Summers presented Friends of Patterson Park Executive Director, Jennifer Arndt Robinson and the Fells Prospect Community Association with a proclamation from Governor O'Malley recognizing today as "Scoop the Poop Day in Maryland." Secretary Summers' dog, Max, along with other pooches and owners also took the "scoop the poop" pledge.​

More Information

Pet waste left on our lawns, sidewalks or paved surfaces is carried away by stormwater, ultimately entering our local waterways. Such waste is a significant source of pollution that contaminates our waters with disease-causing bacteria and parasites - potentially making the water unfit for swimming or other recreational activities. Pet waste also has other adverse effects on water quality, such as nutrient over-enrichment which results in oxygen depletion.

Help Stop Pointless Poo-llution

Below are some tips on what you can do to help keep our watershed clean and healthy: 

  • Always clean up after your dog on walks and remind your neighbors and friends to do the same.

  • Don't wait to scoop in your own yard - keep an eye out and scoop immediately.

  • Take multiple bags on walks, just in case.

  • Throw out dog waste using a bio-degradable bag OR flush waste down the toilet (where it will eventually end up in a wastewater treatment plant).

  • Do NOT throw dog waste in a compost bin.

  • Start a campaign to get your community involved, installing pet disposal facilities, poop scoopers and other convenient items to encourage locals to clean up after their pets.


"Dog waste accounts for 24 percent of the bacteria that pollutes our urban and suburban waterways.  MDE is commited to improving water quality and reclaiming the Chesapeake Bay. Dog owners can help us keep our waterways clean and safe for recreation by picking up after their pets 100 percent of the time."

- Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

The Friends of Patterson Park love dogs and their owners, and we work to make sure the Park can be enjoyed for generations to come. We believe a cleaner park is great for dogs, park users, our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. 

- Jennifer Arndt Robinson, Executive Director, Friends of Patterson Park

Additional Information

See additional photos on MDE's Flickr page.


Samantha Kappalman

Jay Apperson


MDE Mission
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.