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September 20, 2017, Fairfax Virginia. South River Federation is excited to announce it has been selected as an exemplary non-profit and will receive free marketing and promotional support from the award-winning marketing and design firm, Red Thinking.

For the past five years, Red Thinking has held a 24 hour design marathon where its creative staff and collaborative partners pour their hearts into helping area non-profits. It’s a project called Brand Jam.

“We’re excited to be part of this year’s Brand Jam,” says Nancy Merrill of South River Federation. “Red Thinking has deep non-profit experience and the Brand Jam team will be helping us with marketing and communication. This is worth thousands of dollars and hours. It’s money and time we can put into our core mission and projects.”

In late June, I started an investigation of Anne Arundel County’s enforcement of its environmental code. I was motivated to do so after reporting a large sediment release from a construction project along Rt.2. Upon discussing it with County personnel, I learned that it is very rare for the County to issue a civil fine for incidents causing environmental damage.  Effectively, as long as a violator acknowledges that they have caused damage and informs the County that they will try to prevent it from happening again, there is no consequence for polluting County waterways.

by: Jaclyn Fisher

This past weekend, Sarah and I were the Federation's "eyes on the sky" for the 2017 Solar Eclipse, making the long trek down to Columbia, South Carolina to view the eclipse in its totality.

We headed down south late Sunday afternoon, stopping to camp in North Carolina, before continuing to the “East Coast Eclipse Capital” early Monday morning.

After 8 total hours of driving, we hunkered down lakeside at Sesquicentennial State Park alongside thousands of other eager viewers, waiting for the spectacle to begin.

On July 25, 2017, National Lutheran Communities and Services submitted Special Exception plans to the City of Annapolis to construct a continuing care retirement community, called the Village at Providence Point (FKA Crystal Spring) along Forest Drive. This latest iteration of the development proposes to clear 39.5 acres of forest, retain 51 acres, reforest 16.45 acres, and convey “75+ acres” into conservation easements. The former developer from Connecticut, Hillspoint LLC, has abandoned the project. See Annapolis Capital Article here.

On August 11, 2017, the City completed its review of the plans, located on the City’s e-Trakit database as SE2017-004, and concluded that the plans were incomplete. In its comments, the City noted 25 outstanding issues to resolve. Notable comments include: the requirement that the proposed conservation easements be supported with easement documents expressing specific restrictions on the use of the property; the forest conservation plan does not delineate the 100 ft buffer to non-tidal wetlands or the intermittent stream on the property; “In addition to variances for clearing priority forest and significant & specimen trees, the applicant is required to, show how techniques for forest retention have been exhausted and demonstrate why priority forests and priority areas… cannot be left in an undisturbed condition”; and the traffic statement must address the entire proposed subdivision. The City’s final comment was “Overall the applications are inconsistent, incomplete, lack analysis and detail. Further, the plans are difficult to read and understand.”

 

oyster reefball spatted

A Chesapeake Conservation Corps Capstone Project 

Jaclyn Fisher, spent the last year volunteering 40 hours a week with the South River Federation as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps member. As part of this Chesapeake Bay Trust program, each corps member needs to complete a capstone project. Because of Jaclyn’s experience and interest in oyster restoration, she chose to help us figure out the logistics behind incorporating oyster reef balls into a living shoreline that is being installed at Turnbull Estates in Glebe Bay. It might sound simple to add some oysters to a shoreline project, but the logistics are many and varied. The Federation very much appreciates the amount of time and energy Jaclyn invested in helping us figure out the different potential approaches.