Mud Busters

News Release: New Mud Busters Program to Document Pollution Problems, Propose Solutions HARRISBURG (Nov. 2) -- Citizens concerned that runoff of muddy, sediment-filled rainwater from construction sites is damaging local waterways can help solve the problem by joining the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Team Mud Busters. By volunteering to monitor neighborhood construction sites and photograph pollution problems they see, citizens will be able to provide valuable on-the-ground information to help address a major threat to both local water quality and the Chesapeake Bay.

How we develop land has everything to do with the health of local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. When virgin forests covered the Bay's watershed from what are now Cooperstown, NY to Norfolk, VA, the thick woodland soils caught rainwater, filtered it, and released it slowly to local streams, creeks, rivers, and the Bay without sending dirt along with it. That wooded watershed today. Instead, a gray funnel of pavement, rooftops, and storm drains has replaced it as more land is developed to accommodate growth.

As we build homes, roads, shopping malls, industrial parks, and parking lots, the construction disrupts the natural features of the landscape, often leaving soil unprotected from rainfall,” says CBF Lands Program Director Lee Epstein. “The result is that muddy water runs quickly across cleared land and into the local streams, creeks, and rivers that feed the Bay. The polluted runoff kills aquatic life, transports chemical pollutants, blocks sunlight essential to fish habitat, and muddies our drinking water supplies. Team Mud Busters members will:

  1. Bullet  Keep an eye on local construction projects in their community;

  2. Bullet  After a rain event, take digital photographs of on-the-ground controls that appear to be
         failing to keep muddy runoff out of storm drains, roadways, and streams; and

  3. Bullet  Send the photos to CBF. CBF will report significant violations to the proper authorities,
        and in 2007, plans to use the data collected to develop a region-wide report
        on construction site runoff.

The report will focus attention on areas where regulations are inadequate, or better enforcement is needed. Our goal is to document the problem of construction site pollution,” said Epstein, And then hold government accountable to stop it.” Anyone interested in joining Team Mud Busters should visit and click on the Join Team Mud Busters Section of the Home Page. The site also provides a guide to construction site erosion and sediment control practices, and tips for identifying violations.

The Antietam Watershed Association Board of Directors has endorsed local participation in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Mud Busters Program The AWA is offering to be a conduit to local agencies. Everyone is welcome to be a Mud Buster, whether or not one is a member of the AWA. No meetings will be held, no dues are required. all one needs to do is to have an interest in the environment and in protecting our streams.

If you see a construction site, or any other situation where land is disturbed and left unseeded, where soil is eroding because of wind or rain or melting snow, if you see wetlands or a body of water threatened, make a phone call or send an email to: or 717-762-9417. Please provide clear directions to the location, to include township, county, municipality, road number, nearby intersections or other landmarks to help identify the site. If you have digital photos, please send those along, too. Information will then be coordinated and provided to the appropriate local authorities first. The goal is to work with local authorities first, in the hope of a quick response to a problem area. The information will also be forwarded to the CBF for their information, records, and any further action needed.

To contact the Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Sign on to, click on Team Mud Busters, or call Mr. Bruce Gilmore, 410-558-2346/410-26-8816. In addition, people residing either locally or away from this area are encouraged to contact the elected officials in their community to express their concerns. You are also encouraged to send this information about the Mud Busters Program to anyone on your mailing list who would have an interest in preserving the land. This situation applies across the entire United States.

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