about south river federation

Talk about a whirlwind, my head has finally stopped spinning from all of the activities that went on in October with the Federation.

We started off the month of October in West Virginia at the 2011 Chesapeake Watershed Forum, where Carol and Jennifer presented their Chesapeake Conservation Corps project posters. The weekend was filled with seminars on various topics from social marketing to stormwater management. It was a great opportunity to network with other watershed organizations, and hear about what they are doing. It was really nice to be surrounded by people who think the environment should be a priority.

Then it was back to the office to gear up for our Fall Federation Celebration Week. We kicked off the celebration on Saturday with the First Friday Festival at South River Colony. It was their final festival of the season and the Federation was there to talk about the South River. It has been a great way to engage people about what we do as an organization and fish print with the kids. We look forward to more of these events next summer!

Then on Sunday, it was off to Harness Creek for the Flood Bucket Frenzy. With almost 700 Flood Buckets, we needed all the help we could get to be able to accomplish this task. And we did! With over 65 volunteers, coming from Americorps, SRF, Ben Franklin High School, and Laura Seltzer of The Last Boat Out and Do Good Adventures, we were able to open up all the buckets, empty all the oysters from last year onto the Harness Creek sanctuary, and then refill the buckets with new oyster spat for this years’ growing season. It was an arm workout for sure. This event was a great opportunity for people to not only see young oysters, but also see how Flood Buckets enrich the local diversity by creating habitat for many other critters.

We charged ahead in the week with the Federation general membership meeting on Tuesday night at the London Towne Community Hall. Each meeting we bring in speakers that present on a variety of subjects that pertain to either the South River or the Chesapeake Bay watershed. For this meeting, we had both CCC volunteers talk about their personal projects. Carol is working on how optical brighteners can be used to identify septic leakage and Jennifer gave a presentation on how people and communities can become involved with the MGO program. We also invited Dr. Walter Boynton, from CBL, to talk about the Chesapeake Bay, its history, and its future. I might be a biased daughter for saying this, but he has a great way of presenting information to a diverse audience, not everyone is a scientist and it’s important that everyone understands what’s going on with the Bay. He talked about how the Bay looked during John Smiths time, what changed over time, and how we can improve things. I really enjoyed his image of putting the Bay on a diet. I might not be able to comprehend all of the scientific lingo, but I can wrap my head around the concept that we feed our rivers and Bay too much and that we have to put the fork down. We also welcomed two new board members—Tom Reinert and Marilynn Katatsky! Each of them bring a lot to the table and I look forward to working with both of them.

The week finished strong with the 2nd Annual Fall Kayak Sojourn! To say it was an adventure was an understatement because it was not a calm day on the river. According to NOAA, winds were gusting 15-20 knots. However this did not deter the participants, all of who braved the windy weather and ventured out onto Duvall Creek to explore and observe what is going on in and around the South River. Carol, CCC volunteer for the Federation, said it best “it was awesome!” When they returned to shore, they were greeted with delicious hot clam chowder, hot chocolate, and cookies! A big thank you goes out to SeaWatch International for the chowder, Keeper Springs Natural Spring Water for the water, Starbucks for the coffee, and DoubleTree Hotel for the cookies. It’s events like these that make me realize how special of a resource we have in our backyard and that we need to make protecting it a priority. I hope many of you this fall get the chance to go outside and celebrate the awesomeness which is the South River.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for all of these events. We truly appreciate all of your help and support!