Stormwater pollution occurs when rainwater runs off of impervious surfaces, such as rooftops and streets, picking up trash and pollutants. This runoff washes down the drain and is carried untreated directly to our nearby streams.

Areas with forests and meadows allow rainfall to be absorbed into the ground or evaporate into the atmosphere. Pavement, roofs, and other impervious surfaces prevent the rainfall from being absorbed. When stormwater does not soak into the ground, the untreated, contaminated runoff flows into our streams, rivers and Baltimore Harbor, adversely affecting water quality and aquatic life.

Polluting Our Waterways

The impervious surface associated with increasing development across the watershed has made stormwater runoff the fastest growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay because the impervious surfaces prevent rainfall from soaking into the ground.

Rain and snow storms generate large amounts of stormwater which carries nutrients, toxic chemicals, sediment, and trash into our waterways.

Reducing Stormwater Runoff

Many of Blue Water Baltimore’s efforts, from organizing community tree plantings to installing rain gardens, are aimed at reducing the impact of stormwater runoff.

Our programs focus on ways to use community-based restoration, advocacy, and education to achieve clean water in the Baltimore watersheds.

  • One Water Partnership helps religious groups identify and implement stormwater reduction practices.
  • Several of our Ecoliteracy programs build awareness of the impact stormwater pollution has on our waterways, and how people of all ages can help reduce and filter stormwater to protect our rivers and streams. Register for a program today!

You Can Make a Difference