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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.

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.


Do you love a clean and healthy South River? Advocate for oysters!   oyster restoration

Show your support for oyster restoration in the South River! Millions of dollars of federal funding are on the line as the Oyster Advisory Commision and Department of Natural Resources decide two more targeted tributaries for oyster restoration. Advocate for the South River to be selected as a targeted tribuatry by sending the letter below to Christopher Judy at the Department of Natural Resources. You can also send the letter to your district representative and let them know how much oysters in the South River mean to you. Find out what district you live in here; the contact list for representatives is below. 

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!

On November 7th and 8th, participants in Maryland Conservation Corps and Howard County's READY program joined South River Federation to plant trees and shrubs at the newly opened Homeport Farm Park. The weather was gorgeous both days and the groups worked fast. Thanks to their help, a large step has now been taken to reforest the County Park.

MCC and READY are both job training programs focused on the environmental field. 

The Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) is an award-winning AmeriCorps program that engages young adults in extensive natural resource management and park conservation projects.

The READY (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) program works with the Howard County government to fund employment of young adults, aged 16-26, in building rain gardens throughout the county. This will help alleviate the flow of toxic stormwater runoff polluting our streams, rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, and significantly eroding our land.