Director of Advocacy and Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper

Blue Water Baltimore

Baltimore, MD, US

Blue Water Baltimore – the leading water quality nonprofit in Baltimore – seeks a Director of Advocacy and Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper to lead legal, policy and legislative advocacy and monitoring efforts needed to advance our clean water goals and programs. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with one of the most dynamic and effective environmental nonprofits in the region.

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. Blue Water Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that takes on and accomplishes a wide range of work, and partners with a variety of organizations to accomplish its restoration, greening, and advocacy goals. Blue Water Baltimore is an equal opportunity employer. Our office is a LEED Gold certified green building. Read more at

Position Overview:

The mission of the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Program is to protect and restore Baltimore Harbor, the greater Patapsco and Back Rivers and their tributaries through enforcement, fieldwork, and citizen action in order to make our waterways suitable for recreation, including fishing and swimming, to improve public health, and to improve the health of our river ecosystems. Our legislative and policy program works to pass strong laws that protect our waterways from sewage, stormwater and trash pollution both on a local, state and federal level.

The Director of Advocacy and Waterkeeper is a full-time director-level position that manages programmatic advocacy operations, including legal, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and supervises field operations, including compliance and ambient water monitoring. The Waterkeeper reports directly to the Executive Director, supervises Water Quality and Public Policy program staff, and staffs the Board of Directors’ Litigation & Advocacy Committee.


  • Manage and execute legal and regulatory advocacy projects, including reviewing enforcement of existing laws to protect Baltimore’s waterways and advocating for stronger laws to protect waterways
  • Review and provide organizational comment for water pollution regulatory actions and legislative matters, such as proposed Clean Water Act permits and 303(d) actions
  • Compile data to support citizen enforcement action and other legal action, where necessary, and manage enforcement and legal actions with outside counsel, Executive Director, and Board of Directors
  • Conduct field investigations, in coordination with Water Quality Manager, of Baltimore’s waterways and in response to waterway pollution reports
  • Recruit and manage pro-bono legal representation and legal and legislative interns to support advocacy programming
  • Fundraising and budget management for all Advocacy programs and projects.
  • Attend and represent Blue Water Baltimore and the Waterkeeper Program at public meetings, business meetings and presentations
  • Conduct outreach activities to public, including press communications and interviews, to raise awareness about the right to clean water, the work of the Waterkeeper Program, and what citizens can do to protect their rights and clean water for Baltimore
  • Undertake work to reduce pollution and support communities with partners in the social justice and public health sectors
  • Participate in national and regional affiliations, including as a member program of both Waterkeeper Alliance and Waterkeepers Chesapeake
  • Working with the Executive Director, and other Directors, contribute to the overall mission of the organization, including development, fundraising, staff management ,and external affairs


  • Juris Doctor or other advanced degree relevant to environment, law, or policy
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience and background with water-quality and advocacy
  • Strong understanding of legal and regulatory framework and relevant issues concerning water pollution and waterway protection
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to write and speak publicly on topics for diverse audiences
  • Demonstrated passion and commitment for preserving the environment, sustaining healthy communities, and promoting environmental justice
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with lawmakers, elected officials, agency staff, community groups and members of the public
  • High level of organization and ability to think creatively and strategically
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team; manage and supervise staff; and develop open communications with the Executive Director, staff, Board committees, donors, volunteers, partners, and citizens
  • Proficient in the use of MS Office including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Physical ability to perform essential duties of position, including ability to lift and move items weighing up to 25 pounds.
  • Live or relocate to the Baltimore region

Preferred experience:

  • Knowledge and experience with social justice and public health issues in Baltimore
  • Professional experience with water issues in an urban environment
  • Professional experience or knowledge of Baltimore and especially its waterways
  • Familiarity with the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Waterkeeper movement