Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (January 11, 2001) -- Government and non-profit environmental officials are encouraging residents of Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties to attend the first public presentation of the recently completed Gunpowder Watershed Study.

The Gunpowder River basin and its tributaries cover a land mass that totals more than 260,000 acres encompassing the majority of northern, central and eastern Baltimore County and portions of northeastern Carroll and western Harford counties. The Gunpowder is of significance to the Baltimore metropolitan area since 61 percent of the region’s drinking water supply comes from reservoirs located within the watershed.

On Jan. 17 from 7-9 p.m., the Gunpowder Watershed Coalition will host a meeting at Dulaney High School’s satellite cafeteria (at 255 East Padonia Road in Timonium) to unveil the findings of the study. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) managed the study project, which included active involvement by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Baltimore County, the City of Baltimore, Carroll County, Harford County, the Maryland and U.S. Geological Surveys. EPA, MDE, and Baltimore City funded the study while Baltimore County provided extensive analysis and monitoring assistance.

The evening will have two main parts. First, state and local government representatives will report on the results of the comprehensive three-year study of the watershed. The second part will provide information on how individuals can assist in protecting the watershed and their water supply. Baltimore County representatives will provide a presentation on land/lawn management and appropriate use of home care products. Save Our Streams, an organization that educates citizen volunteers and community organizations to clean, monitor, and protect Maryland's waterways, will discuss the importance and need for citizen monitoring, and members of the Gunpowder Watershed Coalition will talk about its plans to involve residents in protecting the watershed.

The Gunpowder Watershed Study originated from a permit application to increase the flow to the Hampstead Wastewater Treatment Plant, but was expanded to meet many needs. Key issues included:

  • Storm flow management
  • Drinking water source protection and management
  • Nutrient and other contaminant levels
  • Public participation
  • Widespread monitoring
  • Technical assistance and better data/tools for program managers, and
  • A model for federal, state, and local cooperation on a major watershed study.
  • The study resulted in three computer models that will provide useful tools for governments’ environmental protection, restoration and conservation management strategies. The models will also help to refine Reservoir Watershed Protection Programs and Water Quality Management Plans.

For more information on the meeting call the Gunpowder Watershed Coalition at (410) 448-3679.

MDE's primary mission is to protect and restore the quality of the state’s air, water, and land resources. The department works to meet the state's environmental goals while fostering economic development, safe communities, and environmental education.