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Federation Blog

Although overcast and rainy, we enjoyed our time out on the boat monitoring the River and its Creeks, yesterday. Part of what makes the experience special is not just collecting data, but meeting people that live near the water.

As we pulled into Almshouse Creek, we came across a man in a bright red kayak. He wore slacks and a button down shirt under his fleece jacket with a cigar hanging from his mouth.  He introduced himself as Peter Speiers. A professor of mathematics at Prince George’s Community College, Peter spends his free time kayaking up and down the South River, always, he said, with a cigar. He recounted that when he and his wife first moved into the area, she encouraged him to find something to do. He chose kayaking, explaining nonchalantly, as if he would have picked anything. His passion for the river, however, expressed itself when he shared that he tries to kayak every day, even before work on the days that he teaches. When I asked him what he liked about the River, he said that he enjoys watching the sunrise and the birds, especially herons that live on the Creek.

Peter Speier2

Peter Speiers, caught in the act: smoking while paddling!

Thanks for sharing with us, Peter. And thank you for celebrating the South River with your daily paddles! 

Thank you to Matt McGehrin for organizing an University of MD alumni event  as part of Project Clean Stream! They chose to remove trash from one of the Federation's future restoration sites near Allen Apartments in Annapolis, MD. About 15 people came out on a beautiful Saturday (April 16) and we removed a tremendous amount of litter and cans and bottles. Farther downstream, there were huge piece of rusty appliances (a refrigerator) bedsprings and a bunch of tires, which were rewarding to remove from this struggling stream!

Project Clean Stream is an annual inititiative organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. During April and May, hundreds of groups around the Chesapeake Bay choose local streams to clean. To learn more: http://cleanstream.allianceforthebay.org/

Allen Apartments will be our last major stream restoration project on Church Creek. We are currently working with Constellation Energy to move some power lines out of the way. So far we have two of the four headwater tributaries restored. Only 2 to go! In Church Creek, we have already installed 12 restoration projects, including living shorelines, biorentention areas, and large in-stream restoration projects! View Facebook photos here.

South River Federation is moving across the parking lot to an office with much more space! We now have a full time staff of 6 and 2 part-time employees and are busting out at the seams! Our new address is 2822 Solomons Island Road, Suite 202, Edgewater, MD 20137 (the Waterfront Marine Building).

The Federation had a fun day "fish printing" with children at Quiet Waters Park on Saturday, April 16th as part of their Earth Day celebration. Once the kids painted their South River fish (or turtle or frog), they got a stamp in their booklet. Once they got so many stamps they could become official "junior rangers". It was wonderful to see the kids so excited about becoming junior rangers in this tech-filled age! As always, we had fun talking with everyone about the health of the River and how our restoration efforts are coming along! View Facebook photos here.

Four years ago, the Federation believed that the best course of action to protect and restore Crab Creek, one of the most impaired creeks on the South River, was to work with the Crystal Springs Development Corporation to ensure that the most effective stormwater management systems be installed. The agreement also included other watershed restoration practices on nearby properties.

Today, the Federation's capacity to secure funding and implement large-scale restoration projects has significantly increased as demonstrated by the Federation’s large-scale projects on Church and Broad Creeks. In addition, funding resources for these projects have increased over the last several years. As a result, in order to maintain an independent voice for Crab Creek, the Federation has ended its agreement with Crystal Springs Development Corporation.

Read full letter to the Crystal Springs Development Corporation here.