After decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.

Michele Merkel

Michele Merkel is the Chesapeake Regional Coordinator for Waterkeeper Alliance. She coordinates and supports the activities of the eighteen Waterkeeper programs that protect the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays. Prior to joining the Alliance, Michele was Senior Counsel and co-founder of the Environmental Integrity Project. At EIP, Michele was responsible for litigation and policy issues under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, focusing on industrial livestock production and municipal sewage issues.

Michele previously served as an attorney for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked closely with the Department of Justice to bring actions for violations of federal environmental laws.

Prior to joining EPA, Michele was General Counsel for Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and worked for a few years in the criminal defense section of a private law firm. Michele received her law degree from the Tulane University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Science biology degree from Lafayette College. Michele lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband Christopher, her daughter Alana, and her dog O.D.