about south river federation

Federation Blog



For more than 10 years, South River Federation and West/Rhode Riverkeeper Inc. have been working hand and hand (and shovel to shovel) to protect water quality and restore streams and tributaries in our adjacent watersheds. Earlier this year, we formed a steering committee to explore how our two organizations could partner together to more effectively achieve our shared mission, strengthen our voice for clean water and have an increased impact on the region. 
After a thoughtful process with input from our funders and stakeholders, we decided the best course was to create a stronger, consolidated nonprofit organization. This unification will enable us to pool resources and direct more dollars to protect and restore the South, West and Rhode Rivers and the greater watershed. map4
By combining the two organizations, we will have a united voice regarding issues affecting water quality and a greater impact on our shared waterways. We view this as a natural next step in our long-standing partnership, and a strategic move that fits within a trend in the nonprofit world to eliminate duplication and redundancy of services and administrative costs while maximizing your dollars for our programmatic work.
Two Leading Anne Arundel Watershed Organizations Unite
On January 1, 2019, South River Federation and West/Rhode Riverkeeper will officially consolidate into one nonprofit organization and be renamed Arundel Rivers Federation. Arundel Rivers Federation will continue all existing restoration and monitoring programs and will maintain the current staff including the South Riverkeeper, Jesse Iliff and the West/Rhode Rivekeeper, Jeff Holland. 
While both boards have voted to consolidate, South River Federation supporters have the opportunity to ask questions and approve the proposed bylaws at the October 30th annual meeting at Historic London Town and Gardens. The proposed bylaws are available on the website. The new logo will be unveiled at the meeting.
 "This is like seeing my only child finally get married after a very long engagement. We're all pleased."
 --John Flood, Founder, South River Federation
The South River Federation’s mission is to protect, preserve, restore and celebrate the South River and its interdependent living community. www.southriverfederation.net
West/Rhode Riverkeeper works with our community to enforce environmental law, promote restoration and advocate for better environmental policy. www.westrhoderiverkeeper.org

View the Press Release

View Frequently Asked Questions.

View the Consolidation Agreement

Click here to see the proposed New Bylaws that will be presented for approval at the October 30th South River Federation annual meeting.

three logos

Fish Survey Results Are In!

This Summer, David Lanier, our Restoration Project Manager, led our band of summer interns and assorted volunteers to survey the fish populations at our current or potential restoration sites. Fish surveying is hot, hard work, lugging heavy gear through tick-infested shrubs. Thank you to all who participated.

This year the Federation changed it’s survey protocol to align with MD Department of Natural Resources’ Biological Stream Survey protocol (http://dnr.maryland.gov/streams/Publications/R4Manual.pdf), where a 75 meter representative stretch of stream is chosen.

2018 fish survey table 2

We were very pleased with the preliminary results of the fish survey at our Church Creek Headwaters site off Rt. 665. There was so much underwater grass and such great fish habitat, that we were unable to properly survey it! However, last year while we saw an increase in fish, they still had a lot of fungi and parasites on them. This year the fish all looked healthy.

Timeline of Events by Jesse Iliff, South Riverkeeper

On Thursday, Jan. 28th at approximately 5 p.m:

The Federation learned from a concerned citizen of an oil spill into a stream that flows from under Spa Road into Crab Creek on the South River. I immediately visited the scene and spotted Maryland Department of Environment's (MDE) Emergency Response Team at the site. I spoke with a representative of MDE who told me that there was a leak in the Annapolis Middle School's boiler room that traveled from a sump pump where it was collected into a storm drain and then into the stream. I walked across the road and upon exiting my car could clearly smell the oil, but because it was getting dark I was not able to see very well in the steep and snowy stream bed.

OilSpill1On Friday, Jan 29th at approximately 9 a.m:
Upon returning the next morning at about 9:00 a.m., it was clear that although not on the level of the Deepwater Horizon or Exxon Valdez spills, that significant quantities of oil had escaped into the stream, and traveled a long way towards tidal water. Personnel from ACE Environmental Services had begun cleanup efforts in the stream by deploying absorbent oil booms and pads for approximately 2/3 mi. of stream channel. I photographed many of the collected pockets of oil and foam along that distance and the Federation quickly published those pictures to Facebook and Twitter.

2017-18* Marylanders Grows Oyster Participants for the South River

 See below for our list of Marylanders Grow Oysters Program Participants. We are grateful to our oyster gardeners for taking care of their baby oysters over the winter at their docks. That way, in the spring they will be large enough to thrive in the wild when moved to the South River Oyster Sanctuary Reef. See the participant list below. 

Craig Ligibel oyster

Update: The Bill was vetoed by the County Executive.

Anne Arundel County passes Styrofoam Ban

On June 18, 2018 the Anne Arundel County Council voted to ban the use of expanded polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) takeout containers. The South River Federation appeared twice before the council in support of the ban alongside other partners. We discussed our Crab Creek trash trap, and the thousands of pieces of Styrofoam we have pulled out of it in the year since it was built.

With this move, Anne Arundel County joins Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Washington D.C., and Baltimore City in banning this harmful single-use plastic. Starting on January 1, 2020, restaurants will no longer be able to serve food or drinks in Styrofoam containers, or face a fine. The legislation was sponsored by Councilmen Trumbauer, Grasso and Pruski. Councilman Smith joined the sponsors to see the bill passed. Councilmen Walker, Fink and Peroutka voted nay. The County Executive’s office also sent three $100k+ staffers to oppose the legislation.