Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Discerning Blades of Grass in Grassroots Movements: A Riverkeeper's Perspective on Environmental Equity and Diversity

Fred Tutman has dedicated decades to grassroots efforts to keep the Chesapeake Bay region's vast waterways clean. He is the longest-serving Waterkeeper in the Chesapeake Bay region and the founding Patuxent Riverkeeper. There are over 300 Waterkeepers on six continents with nearly half located in the United States – and Tutman is the only African-American Waterkeeper in the country! He's shared his experiences in this field with Smithsonian's Earth Optimism both at our 2020 Digital Summit and during a Folklife Festival collaborated event. Here we talked to him once again about how grassroots causes can empower communities and promote diversity in environmental movements.