Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips has extensive experience in advocacy and coalition building, having served as the Executive Director of Assateague Coastal Trust since 2007 and previously as Executive Director of the Eastern Surfing Association for 15 years. She brought the issue of land and water conservation in the coastal bays watershed to the forefront of the 2006 Worcester County election during her campaign for District 3 Commissioner.
A Worcester County resident since 1971, Kathy has served as chair of the Democratic Central Committee of Worcester County as well as board member of the Eastern Surfing Association, the United States Surfing Federation, and Surfing America. She is also a 2004 inductee to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame for her East Coast advocacy efforts for the sport of amateur surfing.
She was appointed in 2008 by DNR Secretary John Griffin to the Maryland Aquaculture Development Workgroup, and also sat on the 2008 Maryland Critical Areas Coalition that worked with Critical Areas Commission Chair Margaret McHale to strengthen Maryland Critical Area Law. She has provided comment and guidance to the Accomack County VA Planning Commission on matters of critical area buffers and stormwater control. She sat on the Maryland Stormwater Consortium, a coalition of 40 organizations working together for stronger stormwater regulations and implementation of the 2007 Maryland Stormwater Management Act and currently is a member of the ‘Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition,’ formed after the Maryland 2013 Legislative Session to provide citizen oversight of the implementation of the 2013 Maryland’s Agriculture Certainty law and 2012 Maryland Nutrient Management Regulations. She also is a member of the Bay Enforcement Network, a coalition of environmental attorneys and organizations interested in forcing compliance of current environmental laws to clean up our waterways. In 2012 she was a key witness in Federal Court for the Waterkeeper Alliance ground breaking Perdue/Hudson Clean Water Act lawsuit to bring Integrator Liability and accountability to EPA Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Clean Water Act permits.
She is a member of WATERKEEPERS Chesapeake, Inc, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization of 19 Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays Riverkeeper programs under the WATERKEEPER Alliance, and sits on their Board of Directors. Kathy also serves on the WATERKEEPER Alliance Council, representing the Chesapeake Region, and sits on both the Issues & Advocacy Committee and the Waterkeeper Support Committee.
As COASTKEEPER, Kathy monitors the coastal watersheds for signs of polluting activities and follows local issues relating to water quality and resource degradation. She is certified by EPA for Illicit Pollution Discharges monitoring, by the State of Maryland in water quality testing, sediment and erosion control for construction activities, and holds 64+ hours of HAZWOPER training from OSHA. Phillips is an in-the trenches advocate for the health of the Delmarva coastal watersheds and the communities who depend on them; making sure existing laws to protect water quality are fully enforced, pressing for the enactment of stronger measures to safeguard our marshes, creeks and bays, and standing up to polluters and policymakers to hold them accountable for their actions.