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As part of Box of Rain’s campaign to give back to the Bay, twenty of their campers joined the Federation to help manage stormwater runoff on June 30th! Box of Rain is a nonprofit based in Annapolis that provides educational and recreational opportunities for underserved youth. Together, we built a water retention area at Camp Woodland’s Girl Scout Camp. The design involved removing some of the soil in the immediate area to create a shallow bowl-shaped divot near an entrance road that often floods in storms. We used extra soil to create a berm, or short wall which serves to pool rain water. This slows stormwater, preventing it from rushing into streams and eroding sediment from stream banks.  We were even able to decorate the area with some native plants. All of the campers did a fantastic job and we, at the South River Federation, are thrilled that they decided to give back in a way that can help reduce sediment pollution in our South River. Thank you, Box of Rain, for all your help!

To learn more about the Box of Rain visit http://www.boxofrainannapolis.org/

What's Up? Magazine asked its readers to determine the very best that local businesses have to offer our community.  Their readers and YOU answered in a big way by submitting over 15,000 ballots overall. Thanks to your support, the South River Federation was voted "Best Nonprofit" in Annapolis for 2016.  We thank our supporters and What's Up? Magazine for this honor and opportunity!  Click here to see all of the 2016 winners.

A few days before we took to the water for our weekly monitoring expedition, Jesse Iliff, our Riverkeeper, received an email notifying him about an explosion of underwater grass growth. The email came from Bud Pezet, a Limehouse Cove resident of about nine years. He told us that this was the first time in a long while that he remembered seeing Horned Pondweed in the cove.

Even so, he stated that he had never seen it as established as this year’s population.  The abundance of underwater grasses has plummeted in recent history. While 552 acres of underwater grasses could be found in the South River in 1952, last year’s underwater grass survey team only found 1% of this total. However, Bud was not exaggerating; pondweed looked to have taken over the cove.

While this specific species of underwater grass has a relatively short life span, only lasting from April until June, we hope that its growth serves as an indicator for satisfactory environmental conditions for other species of underwater grasses which normally take root later in the season.  Last week, the Federation and a few dedicated volunteers embarked on another underwater grass survey to assess the abundance of the grasses. We found a number of moderately to highly dense patches of pondweed and even some Eurasian Watermilfoil as well!

Bud seemed thrilled about seeing the grasses. We were even able to convince him and his partner, Fae Daniels, to pose with some of the strands we took for closer examination (unfortunately, I had the camera on the wrong setting and was not able to get a good photo). Bud expressed his appreciation for the grass-created habitat, which supports the wildlife of the river, explaining that he enjoys being able to “sit out here [on the pier overlooking the cove] in the evening at sunset and watch the changing colors, listen to the fish jump, and watch osprey go by with their catch. They [the osprey] like to sit up here by this big tree and eat their dinner or scout out their next dinner.”

Thanks for sharing, Bud!

Today’s episode of People of the South River features two dedicated Anne Arundel County officials. It was a pleasure to take Erik Michelsen and Robb Fish out on the water.  Michelsen spent many years protecting and restoring the South River as Executive Director of the Federation before Kate Fritz (the Federation’s current executive director) came on board. He reminisced about his last time out on Remedy, the Federation’s boat, as we motored from one monitoring site to another. “It’s really great to be out on the water“ said Michelson.  Robb Fish nodded in agreement.  A South River Watershed resident for around 16 years, Fish has found a home here on the river. He talked about his fishing adventures at Thomas point and recounts the first time he caught a needlefish on the river.

Together this duo has worked to safeguard and bring back important ecosystems all around Anne Arundel County under the Anne Arundel Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. They have been instrumental in implementing a number of stream restoration projects and we often partner with them to revitalize the native ecosystems along the South River Watershed. One of our most recent projects near Annapolis Harbour Center was just completed a couple of months ago (click here to learn more).

Thanks for your fantastic and consistent partnership! 

Click here to read more stories http://tinyurl.com/PeopleoftheSouth


South River Federation submitted comments this week to the Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs in Annapolis regarding the Forest Stand Delineation for the proposed Crystal Springs Development .

The Federation has three concerns:

  • First, we are concerned that the 75 acres that was originally supposed to be placed in a conservation easement may be reduced to 64.52 acres.
  • Second, that the 75 acres of conserved land should not be used for storm water management. All stormwater ponds and catchment areas should be incorporated into the developed portion of the site.
  • Third, that the 15 acres of land that is to be reforested should not be reduced to 13 acres.

The Federation desires to provide an independent voice for the well being of Crab Creek and the South River. Click here to see the official letter that the Federation submitted.