News Along the Severn

August 2023

A volunteer helps with locating osprey nests

While the interns are preparing to head back to college (is summer already over?), SRA continues on with programs: Water Quality Monitoring, Floating Classrooms, and Operation Osprey. Even though school may be starting in less than 3 weeks, our programs go to the end of October, so there is still plenty of time to sign up to volunteer.

Our Restoration Manager Ben has been busy with site visits, research, and grant writing to fund restoration projects. See more in his update below.

And make sure to read about our Native Yard photo contest - you can win prizes!

Restoration Recap

When rain hits the ground and runs downhill, it moves nitrogen and phosphorus into streams and the river. These nutrients can ultimately cause major problems in the Severn and the Chesapeake. SRA is committed to reducing pollution from stormwater runoff. So this summer we have been busy preparing for many restoration projects! The first step is securing funding to design projects that can soak up or redirect this rampant rainwater, so we have been knee-deep in proposal writing for projects in several communities. If your community is experiencing a lot of runoff after a rain, send a photo in an email to Ben Fertig for us to see if SRA can help your community. We are also particularly interested in identifying new projects in areas historically overlooked. 

In addition to community projects, SRA is in the middle of a major update to the 2006 Severn River Watershed Management Master Plan. With all the great work curbing pollution in the nearly 20 years since the report came out, SRA is working to identify the current areas with the greatest priority. With the Center for Watershed Protection and funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, SRA is gathering published information about projects built since 2006 and as-yet unfulfilled pollution reduction plans. 

Meanwhile, oyster restoration is another area of focus during the summer. In June SRA planted 15 million oysters on the restored oyster bar Peach Orchard with the help of the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) and generous donors like you. Peach Orchard is one of four reefs located between the Severn River and Naval Academy bridges. SRA selected Peach Orchard in consultation with DNR after receiving the preliminary results of oyster dive surveys conducted by ORP and the US Army Corps of Engineers. We are also collaborating with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to get videos and images of our restored reefs, and will be conducting our own research dive in October. Stay tuned!

Ben Fertig, Ph. D.

Restoration Manager

[email protected]

Severn Sustainers

Become a Severn Sustainer today!

We know you love the Severn River, so do we! Did you know one of the best ways to support SRA is through a monthly donation? This type of donation provides reliable and vital financial support so we can further our mission of restoring and protecting the river.

When you choose a recurring donation you become a Severn Sustainer. Together we can achieve a Thriving Severn River by 2050 Become a Severn Sustainer today!

P.S. New monthly donors $20+ are eligible for a gift! Choose your option on the donation form.

Join Today!

Native Landscaping Photo Contest

Did you know that lawns take up almost 50 million acres of land in the United States, despite being “dead space” according to leading ecologists? Non-native turf grass is an inefficient medium for infiltrating stormwater and does very little to protect the Severn River.

But there is a better way! Many people in the watershed have converted traditional turf-grass landscapes into lush, verdant oases of native plants with deep roots that act like sponges for nutrient-laden stormwater, protecting the river and providing habitat for beneficial insects and other pollinators.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Show us how you have gone from green carpets of grass to native floral pizazz in our Native Landscaping Photo Contest. We are collecting photographs of your beautiful native landscapes until the end of the month, and handing out prizes to the best entries we receive. First prize winner will receive a SRA-branded canvas boat bag, and the second place winner will receive SRA hats. Anyone who enters gets an SRA bumper sticker for showing your love for the river beyond the boundaries of your yard.

What: Native Landscaping Photo Contest

When: Deadline 8/31

Where: email [email protected]

Why: Because native plantings are earth friendly by creating habitat for helpful wildlife and assist with better water absorption.

Size isn't everything - even if you're in a townhouse, show us what you've done with your space.

Bonus points for capturing wildlife in your photos - pollinators, lizards, birds - these animals highlight a major reason for native planting - Habitat.

John Wright Speaker Series

When: Monday September 18th at 7pm

Where: Cafe Mezzanotte, Severna Park

Speaker: Cindy Palinkas

Topic: Living Shorelines

Mark your calendars for the next John Wright Speaker Series. More information to come. Enjoy dinner at Cafe Mezz at 6pm in the lounge, then join us in the back room for the presentation at 7pm.

Intern Update

Interns Jason, Natalie and Havana enjoy collecting data on water quality

What's with the new deck shoes? A new fashion fad for Water Quality Volunteers??? Not below to find out what's up.

Read More Here

Volunteers In Action

Volunteer Conrad and Intern Natalie discussing water quality data

Water Quality Monitoring team pose for a picture during a recent tour

Floating Classrooms: a Boys and Girls Club Annapolis student learns about water clarity reading

SRA supporter Kevin Haigis snaps a shot of the abundant SAV on the Severn during a morning paddle

Our important work is only possible due to the generous support of people like you. If you are a current donor - THANK YOU! We welcome your support any time of the year. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining the movement today. Any size donation makes you a member.

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