White Marsh Run Cleanup Efforts Stall, Amount Litter Is "Overwhelming"


Credit: White Marsh-Cowenton Community Association/ Facebook

PERRY HALL - White Marsh Run, the long-neglected stream flowing through Carney, Perry Hall, and White Marsh, has a problem: it’s disgusting.

Thankfully, White Marsh-Cowenton Community Association members are bringing the issue to the county’s attention.

The group has reached out to the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection & Sustainability (DEPS), asking if the department can look into the issue.

Association president Heather Patti says the group initially went to clean up a section of the stream near Bird River Grove Road on their own, only to find out that the damage was worse than expected.

“Our community association had a few volunteers go to the site and attempt to remove some of the trash, Patti wrote in an email to DEPS. “Unfortunately, what they encountered was overwhelming.”

The run has been subject to litter accumulation due to storm runoff and illegal dumping for years. Trees have fallen into the stream, causing debris to back up.

The Bird River Grove Road section of White Marsh run receives the combined drainage from serval roadways, including White Marsh Boulevard, I-95, Philadelphia Road, and Route US 40. Extensive commercial facilities, such as White Marsh Mall, The Avenue, and Nottingham Square, are also nearby.

Despite their best efforts, several factors are impeding the White Marsh-Cowenton Community Association from continuing the cleanup.

One of the primary impediments is the need for heavy machinery. Patti said the area’s banks are swamped with car parts and other heavy debris.

“At the very least, a mini excavator, trucks, trailers, chainsaws, and several workers will be needed.” Patti wrote.

The area’s topography compounds the need for equipment. Steep banks make moving large debris difficult, and removing the trees would likely require cutting a pathway to the river.

Another issue is property ownership. The area is privately owned, preventing the county from being held accountable for the disastrous state of the river. In her email, Patti expressed concerns over volunteer liability should anyone get injured during the cleanup. Volunteers could also be reported for trespassing by the property owner.

The Avenue News spoke with Baltimore County Natural Resource Specialist Wesley Schmidt, who said it is unlikely that the county will solve the issue in the near future.

“What this means for the trash getting cleaned up is that it is not likely the County can require anyone to clean up this accumulation of trash, and it is not likely that the County has the resources to take it upon itself to do so on its own,” Schmidt said in an email to the WMCCA.

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This is a perfect opportunity for Johnny Cliche/Equity and now Wes Moore to mandate community cleanup and improvement hours to all those people they are moving into the county on our taxes. If you receive ‘equity’, then you pull your weight. They both won’t because it’s all an agenda. They are ruining the state.

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