Agricultural Outreach and Pollution Remediation

Agricultural Outreach

A 2012 report from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources assessing the Choptank River basin concluded:

Agricultural sources were the largest contributor of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediments to the river as a whole . . .

Much of our watershed pollution comes from fertilizer. Farmers typically now apply many times as much fertilizer to their lands as they did in 1950. In years with unfavorable growing conditions, there is excess fertilizer, unused by crops, which eventually flows into the river. This can happen quickly, as when rain runoff carries the nutrients into streams, or slowly, as when nitrogen leaches into groundwater and then seeps into the river. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus in groundwater from past decades is seeping into the river only now. Our agricultural community must be encouraged and assisted to continue to advance conservation practices such as stream bank restoration, creating stream buffer zones, utilizing cover crops, and implementing precision farming to match the amount of fertilizer used to what crops will absorb.

Untreated poultry waste is also a significant contributor of nutrients and fecal coliform polluting our waterways. Poultry feeding operations must be required to responsibly dispose of untreated waste so that it does not end up in our rivers.

Stormwater is also a significant source of pollution, carrying with it sediments, debris, nutrients, heavy metals, and bacteria, which end up in our rivers.

Pollution Remediation

Our goal is to identify and prioritize key agricultural or stormwater pollution sources, obtain collaborative agreements with landowners, and design and begin implementation of remediation projects to resolve those pollution issues.

MRC periodically receives project grants to expand these efforts. In the last few years, MRC has brought millions of dollars to our communities to design, construct, and manage pollution-reduction projects.

Click here to see a list of projects.

Click here to see our PROJECTS BROCHURE.

Click here to read about our bioreactor collaboration with Oakland View farm and Land O’ Lakes (scroll to page 16)

Click below to play a BIOREACTOR VIDEO. Thank you to project grantor, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


Give us a call if you till ground or own a farm in our watersheds and are interested in learning more about these programs and how to reduce runoff on your property. This includes all or part of the following counties:

  • Caroline County
  • Dorchester County
  • Kent County – Delaware
  • Queen Anne’s County
  • Talbot County

Please contact Tim Rosen at 443.385.0511 or for more information.

Mason's Farm woodchip bioreactor installation

MRC has installed Maryland’s first WOODCHIP BIOREACTORS, a new conservation practice that mimics natural processes to reduce nitrogen coming off farm fields’ drainage systems. Learn more on our video blog.


Kristin at Cherry Lane streambank restoration Queen Anne MD horiz

MRC Director of Operations Kristin Junkin oversees STREAM BANK RESTORATION in Queen Anne, Maryland (Caroline County)



Watershed Scientist Tim Rosen

MRC Watershed Scientist Tim Rosen oversees installation of a WOODCHIP BIOREACTOR on a Caroline County farm.