WET was founded in 1989 by a small group of citizens concerned about the direction (or lack of direction) of the county’s environmental policies. During the first five years, its principal efforts were directed at public education about environmental issues. When the individual who spearheaded this effort moved from the area, WET went into dormancy between 1994 and 1999.
In 2005 the Board of Directors secured IRS nonprofit status and focused on the rapidly increasing county sprawl. In 2011, water quality and the health of the Wicomico River and its watershed were added to WET’s mission. WET worked with government and other NGOs to develop a “watershed management plan” for the Wicomico River.
WET was offered the opportunity in 2016 to take over the lead position of volunteer coordination, outreach, and funding of Wicomico Creekwatchers which is in its 16th year. Prior to that time, the Wicomico Creekwatchers program was under the leadership of Dr. Judith Stribling, Professor of Biology at Salisbury, University.
The mission of the Creekwatchers Program is to collect and develop objective, scientifically credible water quality data by recruiting and mobilizing a grassroots volunteer force that monitors the waters of the Wicomico River and its tributaries on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. Through its work, Creekwatchers seek to advance efforts of citizens, businesses, and public officials to ensure that public policies and other management tools adequately protect and preserve Wicomico River water quality.
The strategic goal of the Wicomico Creekwatchers is to be an integral part of the restoration of the Wicomico River by providing credible, scientific data on its condition, educating and engaging the public in the importance of its scientific study and stewardship, and providing a range of opportunities for student and citizen participation. Wicomico Creekwatchers monitor 22 sites throughout the Wicomico River watershed.