Fred Tutman

March 2017

An avid kayaker, backpacker, and environmentalist, Fred Tutman lives near Maryland’s Patuxent River, where his family has farmed and fished for generations.

Since the late 1990s, Fred has volunteered on Appalachian Trail maintenance trips with the Potomac A.T. Club. In 2013, Fred was appointed to ATC’s Stewardship Council and serves on the Council’s Youth and Diversity committee. Council Chair Beth Critton says, “Fred is a champion of environmental justice, who brings to the Council, ATC, and PATC strong and diverse skill sets—a dedicated educator, Trail maintainer, enlightened riverkeeper—and a perspective that enriches us all.”

After more than 20 years as a clean water advocate and volunteer activist, in 2004 Fred became the founding Patuxent Riverkeeper and is currently the only African-American Riverkeeper in the country. Working on a wide range of issues and watershed problems, his organization was instrumental in successful efforts to change the state’s approach to regulating storm water runoff, creating new rules to assist citizens to attain standing in state courts, and obtaining a landmark consent decree with a wastewater utility.

In his previous career, Fred worked more than 20 years and traveled around the world as a communications and media consultant. He also studied law and has taught adjunct courses in environmental law and policy at St. Mary’s College in Maryland.

Named for Frederick Douglass, who wrote and spoke powerfully against slavery and racism in the 19th century, Fred is a strong advocate for environmental justice. As he has written,“A color-blind, class-blind environmental movement is also too often blind to the needs of those with the least access to clean air, water and land.” [Baltimore Sun story]

“Deeper respect for the environmental context held dear by people of all walks and ethnicities is the only way environmental movements will ever reach their full inclusive potential.” [Reclaiming Your Environmentalism, Environmental Justice in Action.]