Howard County has a strong com­mit­ment to address stormwa­ter runoff problems, yet there is a still great deal of work to be done; and it will take all of us work­ing together to reach our water qual­ity goals. This stormwa­ter management challenge provides opportunities for some valuable partnerships between gov­ern­ment, non-profits and the busi­ness community.

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Watershed Protection Fee




In 2012, the State of Maryland passed a law requir­ing each County to develop a pro­gram to bet­ter man­age stormwa­ter and to cre­ate a fund to pay for those projects. In 2013, Howard County adopted leg­is­la­tion to cre­ate a ded­i­cated Water­shed Pro­tec­tion Fee — also referred to as the stormwa­ter util­ity fund. This state-required fund is fun­da­men­tal in the County’s efforts to man­age this grow­ing source of pol­lu­tion to our streams and the Chesapeake Bay. The Watershed Protection Fee funds projects that treat stormwater runoff and improve the stormwater infrastructure in Howard County. These projects aim to improve the water quality of streams in your backyard, other local waterways, and the Chesapeake Bay. All property owners are charged a fee based on the size of their property (residential) or the amount of impervious area on their property (commercial & non-profits) that allows untreated stormwater to flow to the nearest stream.


Get Involved


What can I do to help pro­tect our water resources?

Con­sider installing a rain gar­den or native land­scap­ing to help absorb stormwa­ter before it reaches a paved sur­face or storm drain.

Also opt for per­me­able pave­ment where pos­si­ble to allow water to fil­ter into the ground rather than run off of tra­di­tional paved surfaces.

The major­ity of land in Howard County is pri­vately owned, so man­age­ment prac­tices at indi­vid­ual homes and busi­nesses are crit­i­cal to these efforts. The fol­low­ing links pro­vide more infor­ma­tion about local and regional water resources and ways for indi­vid­u­als and busi­nesses to help improve and pro­tect our water resources.

Howard EcoWorks (READY)

Since 2012 Howard EcoWorks (formerly the Chesapeake Bay Alliance's 'READY Program') has been installing small scale residential stormwater management practices including rain gardens, rain barrels, swales, and more. Over the years they have also taken on maintenance roles for County investments such as tree plantings, stream restorations, and larger stormwater facilities. Howard EcoWorks provides environmental skills training to youth and adults in Howard County through a number of initiatives and programs and is an important component of the County's stormwater outreach and education efforts.

howard ecoworks ready

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