New Committee Focuses on Watershed Quality

With encouragement from Dipper Wettstein, a member of the Columbia Association’s Watershed Advisory Committee and River Hill’s Board of Directors, the Village Board recently chartered the River Hill Watershed Committee. The  purpose of this new committee is to enhance the well-being of the community by addressing issues related to storm water runoff, erosion and watershed quality in and near the village. Given the proximity to the Middle Patuxent
River and the number of local streams that traverse the village, our community is well positioned to make a difference.

Why is the health of our watershed important? Storm water runoff carries oil from roads, pesticides and fertilizers,
animal waste, topsoil and other substances into our streams, rivers, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Thus, what we
do upstream impacts the quality of the water and the ecosystems that lie downstream. The Committee will focus on education and seek to raise community awareness about storm water runoff and the impact it has on water quality. This information includes promoting the use of rain barrels, constructing rain gardens, and encouraging changes in fertilizing techniques to help improve water quality. The Committee will also advise the Board of Directors on initiatives and partner with the Columbia Association, Howard County, and other organizations to meet its objectives.

The charter members of the Committee are Dipper Wettstein, Elisabeth Hoffman, Sari Chapman, and Bruce Eberle. If you are interested in becoming involved or have concerns about storm water runoff or erosion in your neighborhood, please contact Dipper Wettstein at dipper@gmail.com. The Committee will meet next on Monday, January 14 at 7 p.m. at Claret Hall.

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