Established in 2009, the Back River Restoration Committee, Inc. (BRRC)
is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to restoring the health of tidal the portion of the Back River watershed.
The Back River has been known for years as one of the most polluted rivers in Maryland, but we are out to change that reputation.
The river is naturally rebounding with a little help from Mother Nature and the continual upgrades of the Waste Water Treatment facility. In 2011, Back River was (1) of only (2) areas marked as “improved” by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s report card.
We believe the time for recovery is now. Our organization is built on a hands-on approach to tackling issues facing our river, and we follow that up with a strong volunteer base ready to join in this fight. We had over 800 volunteers participate in our first year of operation and the number continues to grow.
One of the main issues facing our organization is litter and we have met that challenge head on.
Herring Run, Red House Run and Stemmers Run empty into the Back River. Each of these streams travel through some of the most urbanized and industrialized sections of Baltimore City and County. We eventually see litter from each of these streams, carried by storm water generated by the vast expanse of impervious surface in the region.
In 2009, we were able to collect over 1,000 tires and countless 40-by-40 cubic yard dumpsters full of litter and organic debris. We were able to remove more litter from Back River than any other environmental organization in the state of Maryland since 2009. These numbers are impressive, but we have not yet solved the problem. Together with Baltimore County's Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (DEPS), formerly DEPRM, an 800’ trash boom was installed underneath the I-695 overpass at the exit of Herring Run. This boom collects all the litter, organic debris and whatever else floats down Herring Run which is then scooped up by the members and volunteers of the BRRC and is then properly disposed.
Each year, spring and fall clean-ups are coordinated targeting areas that need attention based on community input or areas identified by the BRRC. With the continuation of clean ups, community outreach programs and a variety of other actions identified by the newly developed Tidal Back River Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP), plans are put in place to take a comprehensive look at the communities surrounding the river and provide a variety of activities that can assist in reviving Back River. It will be our job to promote stewardship in these communities. It is our goal to engage the citizens of the region, local businesses operating in the watershed and county government in actively revitalizing this resource in our community. We continue to expand our organization and grow our membership during while keeping focus on our main objective of restoring Back River.