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Federation Blog

One day while monitoring our non-tidal site in the Arundel on the Bay community, we met a nice woman walking her dog. She stopped to talk with us for a while and agreed to be one of our South River People. She was hesistant at first, explaining that she wasn’t all too knowledgeable about the River and suggested I talk with a friend of hers instead. After I told her that this was less about knowledge and more about getting to know our neighbors and learning about individuals' experiences with the River, she was happy to participate. She shared that she doesn't get out on the river much, but that she loves to walk around the neighborhood. She still finds the water views very beautiful and calming after 7 years of living in the area with her husband and dog, Bo. She even takes the initiative to pick up trash every so often.

“The Chesapeake Bay and the River and efforts to clean them up is absolutely wonderful. Humanity has not paid enough attention to the environment. If we get a few people to not throw down trash and to clean up after their puppies, we might be able to help things” ~Sondra Shiles

Thanks for sharing, Sondra. We greatly enjoyed talking with you!

Thank you St. Mary's College Alumni for helping us remove invasive plants on Saturday, April 23rd. They completed their mission despite the cold and rain! The hardy volunteers came out to Historic London Town and Gardens on our beautiful South River and snipped, raked and hauled away a thorny mess of vines that were choking out our native plants.

Native plants not only provide a significant amount of food and habitat for wildlife, but they often have root systems that are critical to filtering polluted water running off the land. We are lucky to have such great volunteers! View more photos on Facebook here.

Rain and gloomy weather came a little earlier than we expected last time we went tidal monitoring, but we enjoyed running into some folks who were walking along the shore and taking advantage of the water (after the rain had stopped).

And wouldn’t you know it, our first run in was with one of the most fascinating people in the South River watershed, one of the Federation's Founders, John Flood (also known as the Godfather of Maryland's Living Shorelines).

As we worked to take water quality measurements, I heard Flood's voice from the shore as he called out to us and then over to a construction team that was replacing a pier to his right. His pride for the Federation was undeniable as he described our monitoring program.  One of the only Riverkeeper organizations in the country to have a program as robust as ours, he explained.

After years of dedication to healing the river, Flood is as active as ever. We found him planting shoreline grasses for one of his friends on Crab Creek, who he had worked for since he was a teenager. "Keep doing good work," he yelled as we headed off to our next monitoring site.  I felt like yelling the same back at him.

Thank you to the Girl Scouts that came out to help us plant the "Upper Gulley" at Camp Woodlands. Anne Arundel County is starting on the more intensive restoration of the lower gulley but thanks to a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the County's Watershed Protection and Restoration Program, the Federation restored the upper portion of the gully in late 2015. Both projects together will address a significant point source for Broad Creek on the South River, our 2nd most polluted tributary. The girls helped advocate for the initial support and funding of the project. They also came out and helped us plant the newly constructed sand and gravel step pools with wonderful herbaceous plants such as lizard tongue, bullrush, and Jack-in-the-pulpit.

We were under the gun, with an unexpected late freeze forcast for the following night, so had to get all the plants in the ground. Our super volunteers, Annie Fuller and Chris Gordon also joined the planting crew and we were able to finish just in the nick of time! A journalist from the Chesapeake Bay Program came out and did a photo essay as well! See Will Parson's photos here.


We had almost 60 people join us for Project Clean Stream at 4 locations around the Church Creek Watershed, the South River's most polluted creek on Saturday April 2nd. It was a wet and gray day, but our volunteers' enthusiasm made it feel sunny! In total we pulled out a large rectangular dumpster load of trash from the creek! We had one group cleaning up behind Home Depot and Bertucci's a Forest Plaza. They pulled out lots of litter and even a couch! We had 2 teams working behind Annapolis Harbour Center, where we were in the process of completed our latest large in-stream restoration project. One focused on "Mount Trashmore", a huge stock pile of recyclables that a someone had collected for years and abandoned. The other team, tackled some invasive plants that were choking out native trees that provide important wildlife benefits. 

Thank you to the 20 midshipmen who came out to our Bywater location, where we will be starting a restoration project in the next few months. They pulled out tires and other larger trash items from a hard to access location. Finally, Annapolis Rowing Club helped us partially clean up a "trash explosion" on Crab Creek when a trash collection fence behind a public housing project broke apart in a spring storm.

To View Facebook photos, click the links below:
Harbour Center
Crab Creek