Mission & History


Blue Water Baltimore’s mission is to restore the quality of Baltimore’s rivers, streams and harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy, and thriving communities.

We work towards a future when our neighborhood streams are safe for fishing and swimming and our clean harbor is the pride of our city. To achieve our mission, we mobilize volunteers to monitor our streams for pollution. We organize trash cleanups, plant trees on public land and provide a helping hand to property owners who want to do their part to reduce polluted runoff from their properties. We advocate for stronger laws for clean water, both locally and state-wide.

We run educational and community programs out of our headquarters, the Blue Water Baltimore Watershed Center. We are the home for the Baltimore Harbor WATERKEEPER, who patrols the harbor, takes your calls on the pollution hotline, and holds polluters accountable under the law.

We also run the Herring Run Nursery, selling native plants and providing landscaping and design services.

Blue Water Baltimore is a not-for-profit organization and your charitable donations are tax-deductible. When you contribute your time, effort, and leadership, you will be rewarded with a warm feeling for making a difference for the very things that tie our city together — our network of streams and the harbor they flow into.

History of Blue Water Baltimore:  Five Organizations Become One!

We began as five separate Baltimore organizations doing something about their neighborhood stream or water body. Although individually successful, we realized that to continue growing and be even more effective, we needed to work together toward our shared mission. Two years ago, we started that process, and on September 8, 2010, the Jones Falls Watershed Association, Herring Run Watershed Association, Gwynns Falls Watershed Association, Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association, and Baltimore Harbor WATERKEEPER legally merged.

In November 2009, board members from all five organizations participated in a retreat at the Irvine Nature Center. At that time, the groups officially agreed to merge together for a greater impact in Baltimore. An exciting day for all!

This merger is the story of working through financial, legal and emotional hurdles, coming together around a shared vision, and moving forward for the common good of Baltimore’s waterways. You can read more about the challenges and rewards of the process to create Baltimore’s strongest voice for making our waterways cleaner, safer and more enjoyable in MERGER – the story of five Baltimore watershed organizations that became one (February 2011). We deeply appreciate the work of The Rauch Foundation for making the document a reality.

Our Supporters

The organizations that make up Blue Water Baltimore rely on and deeply appreciate the ongoing financial support of local donors. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, government grants, and special events that enable us to do our work.  Click here to learn more about our supporters.

Watershed Councils

Blue Water Baltimore is committed to working with our grassroots base — the people who care from every Baltimore neighborhood. We know we need help to make a lasting difference, and that’s why we’ve created Watershed Councils in Gywnns Falls, Jones Falls, Herring Run, and Baltimore Harbor to help organize local action. We rely on Council volunteers to keep their ears to the ground in their neighborhoods and let us know what is happening – good and bad – that affects our waterways. We also ask for your help in attending local events (fairs, etc.) and spreading the word about Blue Water Baltimore in your community.

Learn more here about the many ways you can Get Involved with your local Watershed Council.

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