What is a Master Watershed Steward?
To become Certified, Stewards attend a 10 session Certification course, offered annually from October to April. Following the coursework, Stewards complete a capstone project including a community assessment, outreach and education and the installation of a small restoration project. Certified Stewards maintain their certification annually by:
- completing at least 8 hours of continuing education
- contributing a minimum 40 hours of community service on restoration efforts within their community
- attending 3 networking meetings.
Master Watershed Stewards are leaders who engage communities to reduce polluted runoff. To become certified, all Stewards complete an intensive, research based, hands on training including a capstone project in their community. Once trained, Master Watershed Stewards:
Assess Watersheds: Identify pollutant sources for local creeks and streams and create strategies for reducing these pollutants.
Educate Communities: Help neighbors understand the most pressing environmental problems in their area.
Reduce Pollutants: Work with communities to target pollution sources such as pet waste, fertilizer, erosion or pesticides.
Coordinate Action: Help communities reduce polluted runoff by coordinating the installation of rain gardens, rain barrels and other RainScaping techniques.
Since 2008, WSA has certified over 180 Stewards on Anne Arundel County and beyond. Annually, these Stewards engaged 1,578 community volunteers in restoration projects. With these volunteers, 651,152 square feet of new restoration went into the ground (equivalent to the size of 11 football fields). In addition to planting 15,251 native plants, trees, and shrubs, Stewards gave 4,578 volunteer hours towards engaging communities in stormwater education and restoration.
"While the challenges are great , the opportunities to conserve and preserve this precious gift of water are even greater. It takes each person doing their part."
- KIRVIN BONNER, MASTER WATERSHED STEWARD
Take a look at our list of Certified Master Watershed Stewards to find a Steward near you.