Our Waters

Public Drainage Task Force Report

In July 1998, the Choptank River Tributary Team wrote the DNR Secretary raising a potential conflict between non-point nutrient and sediment controls that slow down water movement and the need for adequate land drainage through established public drainage systems. The letter recommended development of best management practices through interagency consultation between DNR, Departments of the Environment and Agriculture, the State Highway Administration, and local jurisdictions.

After endorsement by the Governor's Chesapeake Bay Cabinet, the Cabinet Chair convened the Public Drainage Task Force. The Task Force comprised a broad based group, including representatives of the agricultural, legally-established, Public Drainage Associations as well as local environmental groups to allow a greater exchange of information and ideas, greater buy-in of proposed solutions, and better consideration of issues beyond those associated with Public Drainage Association operations and maintenance. The Task Force was charged with creating a 'win-win' solution for the agricultural community and the environment of our Eastern Shore.

The report was completed in October 2000, endorsed by the Governor's Chesapeake Bay Workgroup, and forwarded to the Chesapeake Bay Cabinet for implementation. This entire effort exemplifies the important role the Tributary Teams are playing in identifying and bringing significant local and regional watershed issues to the attention of Maryland state agencies. Beyond the role the Choptank Tributary Team played in raising the original matter, representatives from all Eastern Shore Tributary Teams were active members of the Task Force. This commitment and participation is itself a "win-win" solution for Maryland.

Moving Water: A Report to the Chesapeake Bay Cabinet
by the Public Drainage Task Force - October 2000
(3.14 MB PDF File)

For more information, contact:

Claudia Donegan
DNR Habitat Restoration and Conservation - Community Partnerships Program


Carrie Decker
DNR Watershed Specialist

Eyes on the Bay

Eyes on the Bay

DNR performs continuous monitoring at many locations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Get real time information for your area.

Growing Oysters

Growing Oysters

The Marylanders Grow Oysters Program links private pier owners with oyster reef restoration. Oysters are grown, then placed on protected reefs.

Tributary Teams Legacy

Tributary Teams Legacy

DNR honors the Legacy of Maryland's Tributary Teams. Though program funding ended many teams continue their important work,

Thanks Stream Waders

Stream Waders

DNR thanks all our great volunteers working to help us gather data about the rivers and streams of the State. Get involved with the Maryland Stream Waders!

Column right

How Big is the Bay?

The Chesapeake Bay is about 200 miles long. At the Bay Bridge near Annapolis, it is only 4 miles across, but it is 30 miles across at the widest point near the mouth of the Potomac River.

Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229

to report any of the following

  • Boating accident or reckless activity
  • Fish kill or algal bloom
  • Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
  • Illegal fishing activity
  • Public sewer leak or overflow
  • Oil or hazardous material spill
  • Critical area or wetlands violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity