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Federation Blog

Congratulations to Our "Super-Volunteer" Lara Mulvaney

Lara Mulvaney, who has volunteered for the South River Federation for years, was profiled in What's Up Magazine this July! Way to go Lara!

View Article: Salute to Lara Mulvaney



Keeping Crab Creek Trash-Free

There is a tremendous amount of trash washing down Crab Creek into the South River. The Federation has been doing stream clean-ups on this stretch for years, but without access to the city-owned property where most of the trash originates, our clean-up efforts are a bandaid not a solution.

The Federation believes that the Mayor and the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) does not understand the volume of trash flowing into Crab Creek and into the river, leading to a lack of action. Thus, on June 30, 2017 Federation staff and volunteers constructed a steel and plastic trash trap in a freshwater stream leading to Crab Creek near Wagon Trail Road in Annapolis. We are hoping by scientifically quantifying the volume of trash litter as well as providing startling visual documentation, it will aid in our efforts to advocate for more effective waste control and environmental protection.

The much beloved turtles at the Annapolis Harbour Center are about to get a better home! Anne Arundel County is replacing the current overflow style stormwater pond with a wetland stormwater pond filled with turtle perches for the turtles to bask on. The improvements will better help filter out pollutants that run off the surrounding pavement into Church Creek. The Federation and the Terrapin Institute are helping catch, measure, mark, and move the turtles to a temporary home so they are out of harm's way for the duration of construction. While other wildlife is able to move away during construction, turtles have an instinct to bury themselves down into the mud, which could be dangerous when large construction equipment arrives. The rescued turtles will stay at the pond at our MVA restoration site until we return them in the fall to their new and improved wetland home.

For the last seven years, the Federation has been focused restoring our most polluted waterway: Church Creek.  We are proud to say that approximately seven large-scale projects later, we are wrapping up our last major project with the Allen Apartments stream restoration this summer.
We have begun to shift our focus and strategy to our next level of priorities, by continuing to find funding for projects in Broad Creek and starting the Crab Creek Initiative.  The Crab Creek sub-watershed is located within both the City of Annapolis and in Anne Arundel County, and is ranked as our third most impaired creek in the South River. Due to the efforts of an incredible community member, we have been fundraising to raise money for Federation to start developing a plan to restore Crab Creek.  Thanks to 50+ generous donors, we have raised over $15,000 that has enabled us to get into the field to inspect and rank opportunity areas for restoration!!!  We celebrated this milestone on Sunday, May 21st at a BBQ graciously hosted by Molly and Wally Stone and the Back Creek Yacht Club.

The 2017 General Assembly Session wound up last week with a mixed bag of good news and bad news. First and foremost, a threat to oyster sanctuaries throughout the Bay was rebuffed by the passage of HB924, which prevents opening of sanctuaries to harvest until after release of a stock assessment for the fishery, due December 1, 2018. The South RIVERKEEPER testified in favor of this important legislation in both chambers of the General Assembly and provided written testimony expressing the vital importance of preserving the sanctuaries, which available science shows out-perform harvest areas at building up the oyster population. The ongoing stock assessment is the most comprehensive study of the Bay’s oyster fishery yet performed and will, for the first time, determine a sustainable harvest rate based on scientific indicators rather than historical harvest rates.