As water quality advocates working with Clean Water Frederick, we support the newly released update to the Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan and we urge both Frederick County and Carroll County to adopt the plan and work to implement its recommendations.
Currently, the Monocacy River is in poor health. Polluted runoff carries sediment, phosphorus and fecal bacteria into the river each time it rains; the Maryland Department of the Environment has declared that the Monocacy River shows unhealthy levels of all three pollutants. This pollution threatens not only the rivers and streams where we swim, fish and play, but also our drinking water, as nearly one-third of Frederick city’s municipal water comes from the Monocacy River.
The draft plan, written by the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens’ Advisory Board (River Board), contains 77 recommendations for Frederick County, Carroll County, the city of Frederick and the town of Walkersville. These recommendations would prevent pollution from entering the Monocacy, restore its biodiversity, and protect it for both drinking water and recreation.
Perhaps the most important recommendation is the creation of a Monocacy River Resource Protection Area, which would restore and protect land immediately on the banks of the Monocacy. These protected areas would filter pollution, provide nesting habitats for animals and waterfowl and reduce flooding by slowing the water racing into our streams when it rains.
If fully implemented, the recommendations in this plan will help Frederick County reach its pollution reduction goals required under state and federal regulations, improve property values and protect our vital waterways for future generations.
On Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m., the River Board will hold a public meeting at Winchester Hall, 12 E. Church St. in Frederick, to share the plan and take public comments. Come to the meeting to stand up for the Monocacy River and join Clean Water Frederick as we work to ensure these recommendations are implemented. The safety and health of our streams and rivers depend on it.
Maryland program organizer, Clean Water Action
Maryland/D.C. policy director, Potomac Conservancy
Kunze and Wall write from Baltimore.