BRONZE2024

Blue Water Baltimore

Clean Water. Strong Communities.

Baltimore, MD   |  http://www.bluewaterbaltimore.org

Mission

Blue Water Baltimore's mission is to restore the quality of Baltimore's rivers, streams
and Harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy, and thriving
communities.

Ruling year info

1994

Executive Director

Mrs. Sydnee Wilson Ruff

Main address

1801 E. Oliver St

Baltimore, MD 21213 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Herring Run Watershed Association

Baltimore Water Alliance

EIN

52-1420138

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For too long, Baltimore’s waterways have been plagued by trash, toxins, sewage, and polluted storm water. These problems do more than harm our environment; they and threaten the health and well-being of our residents, communities, and local businesses.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper

Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper advocates for better clean water laws and regulations, and stronger enforcement of existing laws; monitors water quality; trains volunteers to report pollution; conducts stream cleanups; patrols our waterways; and takes legal action when necessary.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Blue Alleys and Neighborhoods helps neighborhoods replace conventional concrete and asphalt with pervious materials and green space that reduce polluted runoff, calm traffic, and increase neighborhood aesthetics.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Herring Run Nursery grows and sells native plants for restoration efforts and retail customers. We offer easy access to hundreds of species of plants native to the Chesapeake Bay region to help reduce polluted stormwater runoff and to support biodiversity.

Population(s) Served
Adults

School Restoration efforts focus on transforming unused or underutilized school parking lots and hardscapes into living, vibrant, engaging outdoor gardens that dramatically reduce stormwater runoff while providing urban youth positive experiences in natural settings.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Public Policy and Legislative Advocacy monitors how federal, state, and local governments enforce clean water laws, fund cleanup and habitat restoration efforts, ensure responsible development, and make sure the citizen voice is heard.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Urban Forestry program improves the City’s forest canopy, air quality, and quality of life one neighborhood at a time by planting trees in our parks, schoolyards and along our streets and streams.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Waterkeeper Alliance 2010

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total pounds of debris collected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Blue Alleys and Neighborhoods

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Litter is collected by volunteers before it can enter our waterways.

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Urban Forestry

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of native plants sold

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Herring Run Nursery

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

(from our 2019-2023 strategic plan):
A. Demonstrate hands-on leadership by monitoring water quality challenges and directly implementing solutions
B. Advocate for leadership on water quality from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors
C. Educate people on the threats to our waterways and how they can help.
D. Strengthen our organization to fulfill its mission

Providing reliable, scientifically accurate information about the health of our waterways and effective actions for improvement.

Reducing pollution by combatting illegal activity and implementing new green infrastructure to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff.

Advocating for the adoption of policies that protect water quality and use of proven best practices by public authorities, businesses, institutions, land owners, and residents to restore it.

Educating residents and other stakeholders about the unique challenges facing our waterways and water-based infrastructure of Baltimore City and County and the roles they can personally play on addressing them.

Our work is grounded in Science. We take our lead from the scientific evidence and regard it as the last word on whether something is healthy or unhealthy, working or not, for the watershed.

We focus our efforts in Baltimore. We are about the Baltimore region and its water quality.

We strive for visible change. We have a bias to tangible, visible projects that educate and engage people.

We rely on partnership. We collaborate with community-based and other partners to understand their priorities and ensure that the plans, work, and results have local approval and stewardship.

We prioritize respect. We respect the diversity of experience and identity among the people who live in the Baltimore region and work to be aware of and responsive to the practices and beliefs of all cultures and traditions.

We are always learning. We strive to better understand our waterways, our partners, and our communities, and to better serve and fulfill our mission.

In the past 10 years since our founding, we have planted thousands of trees with the help of thousands of volunteer hands; collected seven years of scientifically rigorous water data; launched a real-time public website to access that data; installed dozens of rain gardens, bio-retention facilities, permeable pavements, and cisterns for local congregations and businesses; and educated hundreds of children and adults about their waterways. We have contributed to significant policy wins on behalf of our neighbors and our environment, including a ban on plastic bags and expanded polystyrene foam containers in Baltimore City and parallel legislation at the state level. We intervened on behalf of Baltimore City's environment in the sewer consent decree renegotiation to ensure action and accountability. And we've taken that accountability directly to the source by bringing lawsuits against industrial polluters.

Now, we are striving to deepen our connections to the people who live in our watersheds, to shift power to residents and community members, and to strengthen the coalitions that will protect and restore our waterways for the next decade.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

Blue Water Baltimore
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Blue Water Baltimore

Board of directors
as of 02/26/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. William Howard

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/7/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/07/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.