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Flat Creek’s “Gravely Grand Canyon” is one of the fastest eroding tributary systems in the South River, with over 11,000 linear feet of ephemeral and intermittent channels as deep as 20 feet across many properties.  The Gravely Community, located in Davidsonville, MD, owns the uppermost limits of this watershed, with sufficient property to abate at least four headcutting gullies at once, and set the stage for future habitat restoration projects downstream. The Federation received a Watershed Assistance Grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust in December of 2016 to cover design costs. This grant program is funded through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Program.

South River Federation is saddened to report the loss of one of its greatest supporters, Gwenn Azama in late July. Born and raised in Hawaii, Gwenn grew up with an appreciation of the fragile ecology in which we live. When she and her husband Owen Cook moved to Annapolis in 1998, she became equally passionate about protecting the South River.


An extraordinarily creative soul, Gwenn graduated from Castle High School and left for New York to attend the Pratt Institute, School of Design to study fashion design. She later attended classes at UCLA, before receiving a B.S. in Fashion Design and Merchandising from the University of Hawaii and a M.S. in Technology Systems Management from the University of Southern California (USC). In March of 2004, Gwenn retired from Dell Inc. as a Global Account Executive for the Fortune 500 company. During her 25 year career within the computer industry, she held a variety of sales, marketing, and management roles that include Federal Government agencies located in Anne Arundel County. Gwenn also served as chairman of the Save Your Annapolis Neck Group and graduated from the Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship Program.


Gwenn served on the South River Federation board from 2006 to 2016, often as an officer, and was always willing to help out, whether at a planting, the annual auction or even on mundane tasks like stuffing envelopes. Gwenn, with her husband Owen, built the backbone of the Federation’s information technology system, allowing us to support our programs and communicate with our supporters.  Her warmth and kindness were part of everything Gwenn touched and accomplished. She will be sorely missed at South River Federation but leaves a remarkable legacy of passion and support. 


A Memorial Gathering will be held Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 1 pm to 3 pm at Hardesty Funeral Home (12 Ridgely Ave. Annapolis, MD 21401). The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to South River Federation.





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(Annapolis, MD) July 25, 2017 – The Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (Montgomery DEP), and with input from the Maryland Department of the Environment, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agency and technical partners on the Restoration Research Advisory Committee, announce six recipients of the collaborative Restoration Research Award Program.

Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries call for a significant increase in the number of watershed restoration projects intended to improve both water quality and habitat. Questions about the performance and function of some of these practices persist in the regulatory community as well as the restoration practitioner community. Answering these questions will ultimately lead to increased confidence in outcomes of restoration projects, identification of cheaper ways and better places to build projects, and information useful to regulatory agencies in project permitting.

“The health of Chesapeake Bay depends on the quality of the water flowing from the streams and tributaries in our backyards and communities,” said Mark Belton, secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “This program will provide more in-depth scientific data and measurable results to help local stream restoration activities and efforts that seek to mitigate the amount of sediment and nutrients entering our waterways.”


Take a walk in your community, go hiking in a County park, or even look in your own back yard- you’ll probably see a mass of vines climbing the trunks and branches of trees or blanketing the ground. You are likely looking at one or two widespread invasive species that are bad news for our forests. One of the most commonly seen offenders in the South River watershed (or anywhere on the East Coast, really…) is English Ivy.

English Ivy, native to Europe and Asia and introduced in the 18th century as a hardy evergreen groundcover, is so ubiquitous in the US that most people probably don’t realize it’s invasive. It can be found everywhere you go- climbing buildings and houses in the city or your neighborhood, and swarming up the trunks of trees and blanketing the forest floor. As the vine spreads across the ground it quickly overwhelms native plants and shrubs, denying them moisture and sunlight. As it climb trees it sprouts branches and competes with it host for sunlight. Over time, the mass of vines becomes thicker and heavier, eventually reaching the point where the added mass can cause trees to become unstable and vulnerable to toppling over during high winds. After climbing high enough, the vine will begin to produce seeds which are consumed and spread by birds, allowing it to quickly spread over large areas.

South River Federation Leader Leaves for Larger Waters

Kate Fritz, Executive Director of the South River Federation,

Slated to Take Reins of Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Annapolis, MD, July 13, 2017– The Board of Director’s for the South River Federation announces the resignation of their current Executive Director, Kate Fritz, effective August 1, 2017. For the last three years, Kate has played a critical role in building the Federation into a regionally known powerhouse organization focused on ecological restoration, science, and advocacy. Her leadership was noticed by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, where she will become the next Executive Director. Kevin Green, former Board Chair, will take on the role as Interim Director until a new candidate is selected.

“We could not be more thankful for the continued growth and increased impact that Kate has helped create in the South River. Kate provided great leadership over the last three years, and we particularly appreciate her work in continuing to build partnerships, maintain a pipeline of high-impact restoration projects, increase scientific expertise, and raise awareness for the issues ailing the South River” said Tom Reinert, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We wish her the best of luck in her new position, and look forward to seeing her lead the way for even bigger successes for the Chesapeake Bay. The Federation is glad to have another ally supporting the work we do at a Chesapeake Bay wide scale.”