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South River Federation

2016 Fall Community Meeting and Round Table Discussions

   “Advice for the River”

 

On Oct. 11th, approximately 50 people attended the Federation’s fall community meeting and participated in three round table discussions on Federation initiatives currently underway. The primary goal of the meeting was to solicit “Advice for the South River” from our stakeholders.

During the opening business portion of the meeting, two sets of issues were brought to a vote:  a bylaw revision and the slate of new Board members. The bylaw changes were long overdue, and consisted primarily of a change to how the organization is run on a daily basis. Currently the Executive Director manages daily operations, with the Board of Directors overseeing the long-term strategy of the Federation. The old bylaws required a vote of the membership to make organizational changes, which is an antiquated way of managing the Federation. The second change allowed for the use of electronic voting, including email and phone conferencing. Both changes were voted on unanimously.

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The Hogan Administration faces the tough challenge of managing oysters both for watermen and for the largest stakeholder in the state: Marylanders. The Federation believes the Hogan Administration should continue meaningful projects to expand healthy, protected oyster reefs, and should keep sanctuary reefs off-limits to harvest.

THE ROAD TO OYSTER RECOVERY IN MARYLAND

  • In 2010 Maryland adopted a science-based, 10-point plan to increase the oyster population.  Three key parts of the plan were: harvest oysters sustainably through scientific management, protect and expand areas of no harvest, and encourage robust oyster aquaculture.
  • For oysters to recover in Maryland waters at least 24 percent of productive oyster bars must be protected as ‘sanctuaries’ where no harvesting is allowed.
  • The plan called for targeting five sanctuary bars for major oyster plantings. Scientists said such mega-bars provide the best hope for oyster reproduction, and for learning how oyster reefs function.
  • The plan was meant to benefit everyone. More oysters overall will mean a healthier Chesapeake Bay, cleaner water, habitats for fish and other aquatic life, and an improved livelihood for oystermen. Some experts estimate that we could have 10 billion additional oysters in the Chesapeake by 2025 if we stick to our plan.

At the October 11 membership meeting, the membership will vote on comprehensive amendments to the South River Federation Bylaws. The revised Bylaws are provided in two formats – a redline showing the amendments and a clean copy of the new Bylaws.

The reason for these amendments  are twofold. (1)To conform the Bylaws to the actual governance of the SRF. As a result of the growth of SRF, and the need for timely decisions, it is no longer practical for the membership to review and to vote on all issues. Instead, the Board has become responsible for guiding the Executive Director and staff on policy issues, with guidance from the membership.(2) To utilize available communication technology. In order to allow the Board to act promptly on issues and to better communicate with the membership, the revised Bylaws incorporate electronic voting by both the Board members and the membership. A number of other technical and stylistic changes have been made.

The Officers and Board members believe that the revised Bylaws will give the SRF the governance structure the organization needs to pursue its mission.

SRF Bylaws - Proposed

SRF Bylaws - Proposed RedlineSRF Bylaws - Proposed Redline

Suggestions for Beverly Triton Park from the Public Water Access Committee

(Click here to view South River Federation's comments on the park plan.)

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 2016 Beverly-Triton Beach Park Plan. First of all, this Plan is a great improvement on the 2000 Beverly-Triton Beach Park Master Plan. The 2000 Plan had woods being cut down for two ballfields. Using this wonderful park for waterfront ballfields was a terrible idea. The 2016 Plan with a public swimming beach as the primary focus is far better suited to the nature of the park.

I would like to make the following suggestions:

Beverlytritonparksat

1) Add more parking. The BT Plan has 152 parking spots. Loch Haven, an existing local community park, has 137 parking spots. Beverly-Triton, as the section of a regional park with the only public swimming beach in south county, will draw more visitors and needs more parking.

2) RTKL should have a separate design session with the windsurfers of the Baltimore Area Board Sailing Association (BABA) and the kiteboarders of EastKB. The windsports were the first group to gain public access to Beverly-Triton Beach Park and their use should be protected and continued. As configured, the cartop boat launch area is unsuitable for the windsports.

3) Add paddle-in kayak camping for adults. The 2000 Beverly Triton Master Plan had a youth group campground. Exchanging the youth camping for adult camping is in line with the character of the park and prior park planning.

4) Move the playground to the south side of the access lane to the water. It would give the playground a shady site, minimize interference with the cartop boat launch and allow children to go from the beach to the playground without cutting across the vehicular access lane. This is the set-up at Mayo Beach Park. The Mayo Beach playground is shaded and directly inland from the beach. The children go freely from beach to shaded playground. In contrast, the playground at Fort Smallwood Park is not used as much because there is no shade for the children and their parents.

5) Move the dog beach south past the swimming beach. Dogs and car top boats, especially the sails of the windsports, do not mix.

6) Add short piers into the inland ponds to support fishing and birdwatching. Work with DNR to stock the ponds with desirable fish.

7) Install a hedge or split rail fence to discourage people using the pavilion and adjacent picnic area from going to the beach in front of the pavilion and picnic area. Signs should direct pavilion and picnic area users to the swimming beach south of the vehicular access lane.

8) Allow kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders to use the inland ponds for sheltered paddling opportunities.

Thank you for your attention to these comments,

Lisa Arrasmith, Chair 
Water Access Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The South River Federation has signed on to a letter to Annapolis Mayor Pantelides objecting to the destruction of a priority forest next to Quiet Waters Park.  To learn more about how the Parkside Preserve Development will adversely affect Annapolis's forest conservation click here. View the Annapolis Capital article here: http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/ph-ac-cn-annapolis-parkside-preserve-0831-20160830-story.html