What is a Master Watershed Steward?

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.

Certified Stewards maintain their certification annually by: 

  • Performing a minimum of 40 hours of community service in the form of Watershed Action

  • Completing an additional 8 Continuing Education Units

    Master Watershed Stewards are encouraged to attend networking events throughout the year.

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.

The Role of the Master Watershed Steward

The role of a Master Watershed Steward is to connect communities to resources for: 

  • Assessment/identification of pollution sources and restoration opportunities

  • Education of pollution sources and reduction opportunities.

  • Engage community in pollution reducing action

    • Small rainscaping projects

    • Reducing pollution sources through behavior changes 

  • Connect communities with environmental restoration resources and professionals. 

Unless otherwise trained, the Master Watershed Steward should not engage in the following: 

  • Design or construction management of rain gardens with any of the following characteristics:

    • A drainage area of greater than 600 sq feet

    • Greater than 10% slope

    • Type C soils or a failed perc test

    • Proximity to utilities or in the road right of way

  • Concentrating or redirecting the flow of water onto another property or toward any buildings.

  • Receive payment for any services rendered. 

*Stewards should refer to a qualified professional for projects with any of the conditions above, or for any project that is beyond the scope of Rain Gardens Across Maryland.