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Why a Watershed Leader Became Active in Water Quality Issues

March 15, 2013 Green Blog No Comments
Paul Hlavinka, Muddy Branch Alliance

Paul Hlavinka, Muddy Branch Alliance









March 16, 2013

Gaithersburg, Md

Intro: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin

By: Paul Hlavinka

This is the second post in a series about the local Montgomery County Md. watershed groups that highlights those who are active participants in improving water quality in this county.

Paul Hlavinka, one of the founders of the Muddy Branch Alliance, a non-profit whose mission is to improve the water quality of the Muddy Branch, speaks about how he was motivated as a young child to love nature and water.

I became interested in the natural world as a young child.  I really don’t remember when.  I think it was always an intense interest.  I was fortunate to be able to enjoy days along the Goose River, in North Dakota, where we could bike on paths, find frogs, watch birds, and just generally explore and enjoy this world.  Moving to Maryland and raising a family here brought back these memories.

I wanted my family to also value nature.  There is no better way to connect with nature than through connections to local waters.  My girls both enjoyed hiking and exploring along the Muddy Branch.  They also felt a natural connection with this world.  We really have valued the park areas that have been left along the stream.

My curiousity about the health of this stream increased over the last 10 years.  We sail on the Chesapeake Bay and are aware of the environmental issues this area has experienced.  We observed first hand the large dead zones that are found there.  I realized that in order to try make a difference for the Bay, we need to act locally.  We started the Muddy Branch Alliance in 2010 with a number of other folks who were also interested in doing something about water quality.

I have since learned a lot about the stream and about the people who live near it.  I am inspired when I hear from friends and neighbors about their concerns and their willingness to do something about it.

Ultimately we all are part of the problem, and therefore can all be part of the solution.  Consider what you do in your own back yard and how it impacts runoff. Consider what you can do to reduce these impacts.  Help pickup trash when you see it so that it won’t wash down and end up in the stream.  There are many common sense things like this we all can do to make a difference.

I hope you feel this connection with your local stream and do what you can to make a difference.

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