about south river federation

Federation Blog

By: Maura Duffy

This week, the South River Federation hosted its first school field trip to our office.  A group of first graders from St. Anne's School of Annapolis and a group of second graders from Mills Parole Elementary School attended the field trip, with the total attending students being over thirty.

The trip was an event to denote the completion of The Water Project.  The Water Project is a partnership with both St. Anne’s and Mills Parole.  The program primarily worked after school with a group of bilingual second graders and covered topics including water quality, stormwater management, and environmental stewardship.

For the field trip, all of the students were divided into small groups.  Each group participated in an activity at six different stations throughout the day.  Stations were dedicated to a wide variety of activities such as tree planting, water quality testing, fish printing, seining, and a scavenger hunt.  The children were also able to take a ride on “Remedy,” the South River Federation’s boat.  For many of the students, this was their first time on a boat.  The children loved the experience, with most saying that the boat ride was their favorite part of the day.

Each station provided a hands-on activity for the children.  At the water quality station, students were able to test the temperature, salinity, pH, and nutrients to distinguish between river water and tap water samples.  At the seining station, seine nets were used to capture critters such as small fish and mud crabs.  A microscope connected to a laptop was available for the children to examine what they found. One of the highlights of the trip was the tree painting that the children helped us create.  With the help of our volunteers, each child painted their hand to make leaf handprints on a canvas tree trunk.  The event was capped off by a ceremonial planting of the Children's Environmental Earth Month Tree.  We would like to thank Caroline Rodriguez for coordinating this event and the Chesapeake Bay Trust for funding this event.

By: Maura Duffy

Thank you to everyone who attended the 10th Annual South River on the Half Shell live & silent auction! It was a spectacular event with record breaking attendance and an all-time high for item donations this year. Your combined support of our event made for "One Shell of a Party" and our best auction to date.

Highlights of the evening included Dr. Andrew Muller being presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award for his five years of technical advisory and services to the South River Federation. Erik Michelsen was presented with the South River Hero Award in appreciation of his service as Executive Director. The Don Riddle Corporate Stewardship award was presented to Holland & Knight for their legal assistance in the cleanup efforts of the Crownsville tire dump, the largest known tire dump in the state of Maryland.

A very large amount of people were involved in making this event a success and we would like to extend our gratitude to them. Thank you to our sponsors for their support of the event. Our Eagle Title sponsor this year was The Brick Companies. Other generous sponsors included: Sandy Spring Bank, BB & T Bank, Gwenn Azama & Owen Cook, John & Betty McElderry, Michael’s on the South River, Mike’s Crab House, Oak Grove Marina, Severn Savings Bank, Jean & Dale Legal, Cindy & Westbrook Murphy, Denis & Gayle Murray, The Cusack Family, Barry & Mary Gossett, Light Hall Building, Ltd., South River Boat Rentals, Annapolis Canoe & Kayak, Biohabitats, Annapolis Accounting, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, GreenVest, Joanne Decesaris, Chris Graae & Mary Kfoury, John Hepler & Heather McColl, Nancy & Herman Klin, Craig & Colleen Ligibel, Wine Cellars of Annapolis, Waterfront Marine, Family Veterinary Clinic, Chesapeake Legal Alliance, and Ginger Cove. Benefactors for the event included: Dave Aland, Will Baker, Janette & Sinclair Gearing, Marianne Smalley, Don Santa, Vicki & Mike Wallace, and David Wallace. Our honorary chairs for the event included: Lex Birney and Shelly Ford of The Brick Companies, Jamie Benoit and Chris Trumbauer of the Anne Arundel County Council, Gary Jobson, Tom Marquardt, and Delegate Heather Mizeur.

We’d also like to thank Brian & Kendra Riddle of Homestead Gardens, Palate Pleasers for catering the event, Cakes by Rachael for providing our beautiful Thomas Point Lighthouse cake, Joe Glumsic and Scott Hymes for live music, Roxane Castro for being our auctioneer, the U.S. Naval Academy Eagle Scout Midshipmen, and our other numerous volunteers.

Special thanks to Dale Legal, our auction committee chair, and everyone else on the auction committee: Gwenn Azama, Lee Ann Candon, Owen Cook, Jane Holly, Kevin Green, Bev Marcus, Denise Matteson, Lisa Michelsen, Paul Otto, and Ray Strong.

By: Maura Duffy

This past weekend, the South River Federation was excited to be present at the Homestead Gardens’ grand opening of their Pet & Farm Department.  We had a table at the event where we introduced people to our organization while educating both adults and children about responsible pet ownership and the different sources of pollution in our watershed.

As this was a pet-geared event, we gave pet owners the “Scoop on Poop” and let them know why pet waste is considered to be an environmental pollutant.  Dog waste is very high in bacteria, and when it rains, the bacteria from uncollected dog waste enter our waterways.

With the help of our Enviroscape watershed model, we were able to easily illustrate the way that dog waste and other pollutants enter our waterways.  The model was a big hit with all the children at the event, so we were able to educate many little ones on the importance of keeping the land and the water clean.

Children at the event were also able to make a fish printing at our table.  Before they were allowed to paint their fish, every child had to answer this question: Do fish like living in dirty or clean water?  Almost everyone answered clean water, and were able to explain that it’s easier for fish to breathe if the water is clean.  Environmental education and appreciation for nature at every age is important, so the event was a great opportunity and success for public outreach in our community.

Photo Credit: Randy Lentz, Homestead Gardens

By: Maura Duffy

As our office becomes very busy with preparations for our annual auction, we wanted to take a step back and acknowledge the generosity and support of our local community.


Almost every day we receive auction items that have been donated from a wide variety of individuals and businesses, most of whom are local.  Numerous restaurants, music & theatre groups, boaters, photographers, artists, and more have contributed to our auction this year.  This demonstrates the appreciation and concern that the citizens of this area have for the South River, and how many people want to assist with the efforts to improve its health.  We cannot thank the local community enough for their generous support of our mission to protect, preserve, restore, and celebrate the South River and its interdependent living community.

¿Qué significa la palabra “Cuenca”? Or in English, what does the word watershed mean? Last Saturday, students at the Center for Help learned about “las cuencas” and other topics related to issues within the South River watershed.

Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer Caroline Rodriguez went out to the Center for Help to answer this question and many others to a group of very excited students. The Center for Help offers assistance to the non-English speaking population in Anne Arundel County and offers a variety of services to assist immigrants in assimilating to U.S. culture and customs. The students participate in the Homework Help and Leadership Program at the Center and were tremendously excited to learn more about la ciencia medio ambiental or environmental science.

The day started off with discussions about the location of the South River in relation to the office and considering the implications of what a watershed is. Next we went through the stormwater model and discussed how la contaminación (pollution) wasn’t just from leaving trash on the ground, but is also the result of excessive use of things like las fertilizantes (fertilizers) and las pesticidas (pesticides). And the most important thing we discussed is simplistic, but very important: Todo lo que ponemos en la Cuenca del Río del Sur finalmente va a terminar en el río or everything that we put in the South River watershed will eventually end up in the river. Finally we discussed some of the things that children can do to help save the Bay with colorful marcadoras (bookmarks) written in Spanish. Thanks again to the Center for Help for a fun and educational Saturday afternoon!

We are extremely excited to begin reaching out to the Latino/a community through bilingual education and hope to increase our efforts in the future! If you have any questions, please let us know by emailing Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..