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Federation Blog

 The Federation kicked off December with an exciting and unusual activity: submarining! 

Thanks to Chesapeake Submarines, South Riverkeeper Jesse Iliff had the opportinity to view the Glebe Bay Sanctuary from beneath the surface in a little yellow submarine. Unfortunately, rain the previous day made it difficult to see the oyster sanctuary with full clarity, however Jesse reports that from what he could see they are looking good! Thanks again to Chesapeake Submarines! We hope to dive down again soon! 

To view more photos of Jesse and the Yellow Submarine, view our Facebook page here

 
On Giving Tuesday the following people donated to the South River Federation in honor of people who inspired their love of the River and nature.

This November, the Federation celebrated the ribbon cutting of our Church Creek Headqater's Restoration Project off Rt. 665 in Annapolis, MD. Church Creek ranks as the #1 most polluted creek on the South River, with over 50% of its surrounding drainage area hard-surfaced (i.e parking lots). The creek has also been a historical location for illegal dumping. In 2011, the South River Federation launched the Church Creek Initiative, to scientifically and holistically restore the creek from the tidal shorelines to its headwater streams. As of 2016, we have constructed 13 significant restoration projects on the creek and plan to have 15 completed by the end of 2017.

The Church Creek Headwaters is the key stone project of the initiative, located at the confluence of headwater streams and tidal waters. The Federation converted a series of incised and eroding ditches into 7 cascading sand and gravel step pools that work to filter out pollutants from the stream. The project slows and cools down the polluted stormwater, physically filters the water and provides habitat for wetland plants to remove nutrients from the water. An additional 3 acres of wetlands have been created, and this year there has been many sightings of Bald Eagles and Wood Ducks at the site.

 

The Impossible Streamlogo100x100

Ten years ago, the Federation identified a small stream squeezed between Annapolis Harbour Center and Home Depot as the most degraded stream segment in the South River Watershed. Over 70% of its drainage area consisted of pavement or hard surface! Despite being told that it was “impossible” to restore the “dead stream” that leads into Church Creek (the most polluted creek on the river), the Federation believed that the polluted stormwater gushing from the stream had to be brought under control if we were to heal the river as a whole.

Another Indicator of a Healing South River!

In 2016, the South River Federation was excited to discover a group of 25 Bald Eagles! The South River is seeing more and more indications that fish and other wildlife populations are improving, including increases in underwater grasses and an overall uptick in water clarity. A large group of eagles, like the one seen earlier this year, is called "Convocation" and we are very grateful they find this river a good place to fish. Bald Eagles require a strong food base, perching areas, and nesting sites and the South River is providing just that.

View more Photos of the Bald Eagles on the South River here. Thanks to Bridgette Roncone Guyer for capturing this "convocation" of Bald Eagles!