Assateague COASTKEEPER is an on-the-water advocate who patrols and protects the Maryland and Northern Virginia Eastern Shore coastal bays, standing up to polluters, and granting everyone’s right to clean water. Working arm in arm with diverse community partners, our Coastkeeper protects and defends the health of Delmarva’s coastal waters through advocacy, education, science and the enforcement of just and equitable clean water laws.
The Assateague COASTKEEPER, a program licensed by WATERKEEPER Alliance and hosted by Assateague Coastal Trust, began in 2002. Whether on the water tracking down polluters, in courtrooms enforcing environmental laws, advocating in town meetings or teaching in classrooms, our Assateague Coastkeeper speaks for the waters they defend—with the collective strength of Waterkeeper Alliance and ACT, and the backing of our local communities.
The Coastkeeper is an in-the-trenches advocate for the health of the coastal bays and the communities who depend on them; making sure existing laws to protect water quality are fully enforced, pressing for the enactment of stronger measures to safeguard our marshes, creeks and bays, and standing up to polluters and policymakers to hold them accountable for their actions.
A Voice for the Waters
Our waters make lots of beautiful sounds: from the rhythmic rumble of our ocean to the gentle lapping of our bays, to the hypnotic current of our rivers and creeks. These soothing sounds speak to our heart and to our soul with the wordless poetry of nature in balance.
But the eloquence of the waters is silenced in times of trouble. They cannot speak to us when threatened, or protest when polluted.
That is where the Assateague Coastkeeper comes in. The Coastkeeper is here to provide a voice for our waterways when they cannot speak for themselves…to defend their right to be clean and healthy, swimmable and fishable.
The COASTKEEPER® is an on-the-water monitor who patrols the watershed by boat in search of evidence of pollution or other water quality problems such as dredging, illegal buffer clearing, or illicit discharges to our water. Regular aerial monitoring of the coastal watershed complements the COASTKEEPER® boat patrol program. The COASTKEEPER® also reaches out to and engages citizens to provide additional eyes, ears and even noses to identify and report pollution sources.