ABOUT ASSATEAGUE COASTAL TRUST
Assateague Coastal Trust, a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance movement, hosts the Assateague COASTKEEPER, working to assure our communities have access to swimmable, fishable and drinkable water. For over 50 years ACT has been working arm in arm with diverse community partners to protect and defend the health of Delmarva’s coastal waters through advocacy, education, science and the enforcement of just and equitable clean water laws.
Whether ACT is on the water tracking down polluters, in courtrooms enforcing environmental laws, advocating in town meetings or teaching in classrooms, ACT speaks for the waters it defends – with the collective strength of our local community partners.
Our Assateague COASTKEEPER is the voice for our local waterways, holding polluters accountable and working for clean water, clean air and healthy communities for the benefit of the public.
Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) is a citizen based 501(c)3 environmental advocacy/conservation organization supported by memberships, donations and grant funding from private institutions.
Our coastal waters and natural areas are clean, valued and protected by the people who live, work and play in the coastal watershed.
Working arm in arm with diverse community partners, we protect and defend the health of Delmarva’s coastal waters through advocacy, education, science and the enforcement of just and equitable clean water laws.
ACT is a fearless advocate for our diverse communities and ecosystems. Our board, staff, volunteers and partners are:
We believe every community in our watershed has both a right to clean water and an equitable seat at the table to protect that right.
The waters cannot speak when threatened or protest when polluted. Citizens can speak out, but often lack the knowledge to navigate the system or organize their voices into a compelling chorus. That’s where ACT comes in.
The Coastkeeper employs the full spectrum of advocacy activities on issues relevant to our mission. We are most effective as the conductor for grassroots campaigns where our role is to help focus and amplify the voices of the people directly affected by an issue or environmental threat.
The issues may vary, the forums may shift, and the tactics may change, but the underlying goals of ACT’s advocacy efforts stay the same: to protect our waters and the people, plants and animals that depend on them, and to hold polluters and policymakers accountable for their actions…or inaction.
Education is the key to all that we do at Assateague Coastal Trust. It is only by sharing our understanding of the challenges we face in our coastal region that we will be able to engage others to help protect it.
Our Coast Kids program is all about experiential education – exposing our next generation of environmental stewards to the majesty, and fragility, of our coastal ecosystems, and teaching them the skills and behaviors through which they can best enjoy and protect the natural world that surrounds and sustains us.
The Assateague Coastkeeper spends most of the time as an educator, both to raise public awareness about the threats we face in the watershed, and to guide the public and policymakers toward policies and practices necessary to effectively meet these challenges.
At ACT, conservation is both an ethic we espouse and a practice we promote. We encourage and facilitate efforts to practice what we preach, and we advocate for policies that support people and organizations to become active environmental stewards. We don’t engage directly in large-scale restoration or resiliency projects, but we do what we can to fill critical gaps, promote the work of others, and provide demonstration-scale models for others to replicate.
The Swim Guide water quality monitoring program is an example of stepping in to fill a gap. It provides information to the public on the safety of recreating in popular sites around our bays where other entities are unable to provide that service. Our Water Reporter program enables the public to join us as vigilant monitors of our watershed.
One of the oldest environmental organizations on Delmarva, ACT has grown to include over 1,000 members and community partners. Our operating area is focused on the Coastal Bays watershed, and extends into the surrounding Lower Eastern Shore region as necessary to meet evolving challenges and opportunities.
In recent years, the region has experienced challenges stemming from increased development and industrial-scale agriculture that threaten the area’s environmental and public health, rural character, and high quality of life. As one of the only advocacy organizations working to protect the coastal watershed, ACT is uniquely suited to address these challenges. With the help of its volunteers and supporters, ACT is committed to keep working for clean water and healthy communities in the coastal region.