St. Mary's County Seeks Volunteers for New Watershed Stewards Academy
The Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) of St. Mary’s County has started taking applications for its first group of trainees. The program, a partnership between the St. Mary's County Government and University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension, marks the fifth WSA in Maryland.
The application deadline for the first group of trainees in St. Mary’s County is April 22, 2016.
The program trains and supports local leaders to serve as Master Watershed Stewards. The stewards work to protect, restore, and conserve Maryland watersheds by setting up rain gardens and other practices that reduce the negative impacts of stormwater runoff into local rivers and streams.
Academy trainees must attend weekly classes for about five months to earn their master watershed steward certification. The training prepares stewards to identify and assess areas to implement stormwater management practices, educate local citizens, and assist their home county in reaching its goals as part of the multi-state Bay cleanup effort. Stewards complete 45 to 60 hours of classroom and field training and carry out a capstone project within a short time after graduation.
The St. Mary’s County WSA joins four others in Anne Arundel, Cecil, and Howard Counties and in the National Capital Region (the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties). To date, more than 300 Marylanders have been certified as Master Watershed Stewards. To find out more about the St. Mary’s County WSA and how to apply, go to the program's information page or contact UMD Extension Program Assistant Nicole Basenback or Maryland Sea Grant Watershed Extension Specialist Jackie Takacs.