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Federation Blog

The South River 2016 Report Card is out! 

Generally, the River is holding the line and remaining resilient. The River's overall grade improved, while the scores of key indicators like dissolved oxygen and water clarity decreased, the scores of many others including bacteria and nutrients improved. One key improvement was the improvement in underwater grasses, while still only at 3% of their historic levels, the South River saw a record increase in acreage from 2015.


After discussion at the public meeting on February 1, 2017 and careful review of the TMDL for sediment in the South River, the South River Federation (SRF) submits the following comments:

1. Edge of Stream Calculations - SRF questions the ability of the CBP P5.3.2 watershed model (CBP Model) to accurately capture watershed characteristics in the South River watershed. For example, the TMDL calculates sediment loading as edge-of-stream (EOS) loads, which re defines as the "loads that enter the modeled river reached... [and] represent not only the erosion from the land but all of the intervening processes of deposition on hillsides and sediment transport through smaller rivers and streams." (TMDL 13). While this definition appears to account for sediment loading from in-stream channel erosion, the equation used to calculate EOS loads does not. 

It will be hard for South River Federation to let go of Kirk Mantay. He has been the main pillar of our large-scale restoration projects over the last 5 years. However, even we have to admit that he couldn't miss this opportunity to become the Director of Operations at a growing regional land trust, the GreenTrust Alliance, headquartered in Annapolis, where he can venture into the expanding world of market-based strategic land protection.

Currently there are 3 pieces of legislation that would directly impact the South River:


House Bill 599: Requires that any forest cleared above one acre be replanted at a 1:1 ratio. Currently, developers are only required to replant ¼ acre for each acre cleared.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Forests provide innumerable benefits to water quality, air quality, and habitat in our State. This legislation will help ensure that those benefits do not continue to shrink along with Maryland’s dwindling forest cover. At least 14 to 22 acres of forest are cut down or lost each day in Maryland—equal to at least 10 football fields of trees. That’s 5,000 to 8,000 acres each year. Tell your elected officials  to vote FOR House Bill 599 and "conserve the forests that are a vital protection and filter for the South River."

Sediment Threshold Is Being Set for the South River For the First Time

Make your voice heard! 

Maryland Department of the Environment is hosting an event next Wednesday to get public input on the creation of a threshold amount of sediment (Total Maximum Daily Load; TMDL) entering the South River. Sediment is the number one pollutant for the South River, both by volume and by impact. Help put the South River on a "dirt diet!"