Sustainable Monocacy Commission

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The Sustainable Monocacy Commission was established in January 2020 through Bill No. 19-17. The Sustainable Monocacy Commission will focus on improving water quality, maintaining and restoring the ecological health of the River and its tributaries, conserving and protecting wildlife habitat and the natural, cultural, and scenic qualities of the Monocacy River and its tributaries flowing in and through Frederick County.

The Monocacy River was designated by the State of Maryland as a State Scenic River in 1974 following the adoption of the Maryland Scenic and Wild Rivers Act of 1968. The Monocacy River forms at the confluence of Marsh Creek and Rock Creek at the Pennsylvania state line and forms the boundary between Frederick and Carroll Counties. From this point the Monocacy flows for 58 miles to the Potomac River. The Monocacy River watershed encompasses some 974 square miles including portions of Frederick County, Carroll County, and Adams County, Pennsylvania and is the largest Maryland tributary to the Potomac River.

With the State Scenic River designation came the need to address how the River, its uses, and resources can be managed. In the late 1980's the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) initiated the preparation of a management plan with assistance of staff from Frederick County and Carroll County and the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens’ Advisory Board. The Monocacy Scenic River Study and Management Plan was published in May 1990.

In April 2019, the Frederick County Council approved an update to the original 1990 Monocacy Scenic River Study and Management Plan, prepared by the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens’ Advisory Board which, at the time, was a bi-County board comprised of residents from Frederick County and Carroll County. 

After the 2019 adoption of the Monocacy River Management Plan, both Frederick County and Carroll County determined that a new approach for a citizen-based volunteer group was warranted to address each county’s unique needs and challenges relating to the Monocacy River. On January 23, 2020, Frederick County formally established the Sustainable Monocacy Commission through Bill No. 19-17.

  1. General Information
  2. Commission Membership & Meetings

General Information

Monocacy Scenic River Water Trail Map

The Potomac River: The River Runs Through Us
(A video on River Water Issues)

A Program for the Monocacy Watershed
(1951) Prepared by the Maryland State Planning Commission, this document is the first known study of the Monocacy River and its watershed. 

2023 Monocacy River Report
An informational tool to inform, educate, and enlighten people about the incredible Monocacy River.

Monocacy River Photos

Invasion of the Rusty Crayfish
Biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) find invasive crayfish in the Monocacy. MD DNR has banned the catch, possession, and use as bait in the Middle Potomac River Basin, which includes the Monocacy River Watershed.

Study of Smallmouth Bass in the Monocacy River 2005
Prepared by Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Bill No. 19-17 Sustainable Monocacy Commission

Monocacy River - Legore Bridge 2009 Rehab

Monocacy Assessment Hood College 2020 Final

Monocacy River Access Points 

Monocacy River Management Plan - Council Approved 4/16/2019

Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs)
A summary of Agricultural BMPs and cost share programs from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and the Catoctin/Frederick Soil Conservation Districts, 2021

Fish Kills/Hazardous Spills

If you find dead or dying fish in the Monocacy River or Potomac River, please contact the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Fish Kill Investigation Section at (443) 224-2731 or 800-285-8195 (normal business hours). Evenings, weekends or holidays, call the Chesapeake Bay Safety and Environmental Hotline at 877-224-7229 or the DNR-Fisheries Service at (301) 898-5443 with the time, date, location, fish species, and approximate number of affected fish. Photographs and a description of any unusual behavior or water conditions are also helpful.

For hazardous material spills in the Monocacy River or Potomac River watersheds view in this link.

For information on watershed reports and water quality studies in the Monocacy River Watershed in Frederick County, click here.

Interesting Presentations to the Commission

Monocacy River Water Quality Analysis
Presentation plus Questions and Answers begin at 28:30 and end at 1:36:19 in the  video shown below

Hometown Legend Lefty Kreh