Record Observer

Shoreriver­s is the Shore’s voice for clean water

- By JEFF HORTSMAN Jef f Horstman is the executive director of ShoreRiver­s.

In just three years, ShoreRiver­s has brought nearly $10 million of taxpayer money back to the Delmarva to reduce pollution in our waterways.

Shoreriver­s works for cleaner rivers by stopping pollution at the source — before it enters the water — and by engaging individual­s to make small, compoundin­g changes to create a landscape of collective action for a healthier environmen­t.

At this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, we can clearly see the power an individual can add to a movement through their vote.

At Shoreriver­s, it is evident that we — and you — are part of something greater: Each Riverkeepe­r is a member of the global Waterkeepe­r Alliance; your single home yard is part of a conservati­on corridor creating climate resilience; your sustainabl­e farm is a piece of the 2 million farmed acres in Maryland; each child is part of the next generation of profession­als prioritizi­ng green choices across all sectors; and your gift is one of thousands for cleaner, more accessible water.

With your help, ShoreRiver­s has grown its impact from limited to limitless.

We set a goal to become the clean water voice for the Eastern Shore, and we have done it.

We are a multistate technical provider with the expertise and passion to design, fund and execute pollution-reducing projects on the micro and macro scale.

We are not only “boots on the ground” specialist­s meeting with farmers to find ways to reduce pollution and increase yield; we are also influencin­g federal farm policy on behalf of clean water. We are not only teaching in the classroom; we are at the table with the superinten­dent. We are not only on patrol as Riverkeepe­rs; we are leveraging our credibilit­y to bring in well over $250,000 in pro bono legal and expert support to defend our waterways from polluters. We are not only committed to greater inclusion, access and justice for diverse communitie­s in the environmen­tal movement, we are emerging as a leader on the Eastern Shore in this work.

With federal, state, local and individual support, Shoreriver­s has taken action against this area’s most destructiv­e pollutants by installing 162 projects — the majority on farmland — that prevent 110,000 pounds of nitrogen; 14,600 pounds of phosphorus; and more than 4 tons of sediment from washing into our waterways every single year.

But the work is not over. On the contrary, in many ways, it is just beginning.

This year marks my retirement as well as the retirement of two influentia­l Shoreriver­s board members. John Vail and Tim Junkin founded two of our legacy organizati­ons and planted the seeds for Shoreriver­s’ success today.

To nourish and sustain this momentum, we look forward to fresh, talented and energetic leadership with Isabel Hardesty at the helm.

I will enthusiast­ically continue to support ShoreRiver­s and I truly hope you will as well. Our communitie­s deserve it.

And remember: We will clean these rivers.


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