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Federation Blog

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.”
by Baba Dioum
We are grateful for the donations people made in honor of those who inspired their love of rivers!
Bernadette Zorio gave in honor of "My father August Zorio . He died when I was 16 and he was a hard working father so little time to share his love of nature like going on hiking trips. I feel like I received his love of nature genetically. I heard stories of his hiking the Palisades, loving horses and experiences with snakes. His love of our little suburban yard was transmitted as I started my first flower garden at a young age. Thanks, Dad!"
Eric and Shannon Sprague gave "Thanks to Jesse and Jennifer at South River Federation for helping my community think through options to protect our shoreline and create habitat."
Jean Legal donated in honor of her late husband and a long-time South River Federation Board Member, Dale Legal .
Spencer Forrest donated in honor of Marion Bellfield Elliott Jr. “My Uncle "Buddy" loved the outdoors, skiing and hiking and loved the Annapolis area where my beloved cousins Lynn and Bob O'Dell live and support this great charity.”
Nancy Merrill gave in honor of her parents, Phil and Ellie Merrill , who took me on my first long distance sailing adventure at the age of 2!
Hans Wien donated "We would like to honor Mr. Dale Lega l with our donation. He alerted us to the value of the South River Federation, and got me involved in volunteering. It has been a valuable learning experience, and I have enjoyed helping when I could."
Wayne Martin gave in honor of Sarah Giordano . "Go Sarah!"
Larry Liebesman donated. "Thanks for all you do.  Great work on the Tri State Marine Stormwater wetland project which will help meet the Chesapeake Bay TMDL goals." 
Thanks also to David Sites who donated the above photo to our David Sites river collection!

Members of South River Federation unanimously approved to consolidate with West Rhode Riverkeeper at the annual meeting held on October 30th Effective January 1, 2019 the Federation and West/Rhode Riverkeeper Inc. will become Arundel Rivers Federation and will serve an expanded area with jurisdiction in the West and Rhode watershed and Herring Bay. The members present at the meeting voted to approve the proposed bylaws with amendments including retaining rights to approve future Bylaw amendments. These new Bylaws will be posted on the website along with links to other watershed groups working in the county.

All staff including both riverkeepers, Jesse Iliff and Jeff Holland, will serve in current roles and all current program will continue. The new Arundel Rivers Federation board of directors will have representation from both the Federation and West/Rhode and will establish advisory boards to work on watershed related programs and advocate for issues in the respective areas. The end of year giving campaigns for both organizations will continue through Dec 31, 2018. We hope current members/ donors will continue their level of support next year to Arundel Rivers Federation. Contributions can be restricted to the South River Watershed if desired. 

New logo concepts for Arundel Rivers Federation were presented at the annual meeting. No decision has been made on the new logo, however the board will take into account all comments and approve a final design at its December 4th meeting. Current members are welcome to express their views on the proposed logo concepts by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Type New Logo in the subject line. Click here for more information about the merger.


Fish Survey Results Are In!

This Summer, David Lanier, our Restoration Project Manager, led our band of summer interns and assorted volunteers to survey the fish populations at our current or potential restoration sites. Fish surveying is hot, hard work, lugging heavy gear through tick-infested shrubs. Thank you to all who participated.

This year the Federation changed its survey protocol to align with MD Department of Natural Resources’ Biological Stream Survey protocol (http://dnr.maryland.gov/streams/Publications/R4Manual.pdf), where a 75 meter representative stretch of stream is chosen.

2018 fish survey table 2

We were very pleased with the preliminary results of the fish survey at our Church Creek Headwaters site off Rt. 665. There was so much underwater grass and such great fish habitat, that we were unable to properly survey it! However, last year while we saw an increase in fish, they still had a lot of fungi and parasites on them. This year the fish all looked healthy.



For more than 10 years, South River Federation and West/Rhode Riverkeeper Inc. have been working hand and hand (and shovel to shovel) to protect water quality and restore streams and tributaries in our adjacent watersheds. Earlier this year, we formed a steering committee to explore how our two organizations could partner together to more effectively achieve our shared mission, strengthen our voice for clean water and have an increased impact on the region. 
After a thoughtful process with input from our funders and stakeholders, we decided the best course was to create a stronger, consolidated nonprofit organization. This unification will enable us to pool resources and direct more dollars to protect and restore the South, West and Rhode Rivers and the greater watershed. map4
By combining the two organizations, we will have a united voice regarding issues affecting water quality and a greater impact on our shared waterways. We view this as a natural next step in our long-standing partnership, and a strategic move that fits within a trend in the nonprofit world to eliminate duplication and redundancy of services and administrative costs while maximizing your dollars for our programmatic work.
Two Leading Anne Arundel Watershed Organizations Unite
On January 1, 2019, South River Federation and West/Rhode Riverkeeper will officially consolidate into one nonprofit organization and be renamed Arundel Rivers Federation. Arundel Rivers Federation will continue all existing restoration and monitoring programs and will maintain the current staff including the South Riverkeeper, Jesse Iliff and the West/Rhode Rivekeeper, Jeff Holland. 
While both boards have voted to consolidate, South River Federation supporters have the opportunity to ask questions and approve the proposed bylaws at the October 30th annual meeting at Historic London Town and Gardens. The proposed bylaws are available on the website. The new logo will be unveiled at the meeting.
 "This is like seeing my only child finally get married after a very long engagement. We're all pleased."
 --John Flood, Founder, South River Federation
The South River Federation’s mission is to protect, preserve, restore and celebrate the South River and its interdependent living community. www.southriverfederation.net
West/Rhode Riverkeeper works with our community to enforce environmental law, promote restoration and advocate for better environmental policy. www.westrhoderiverkeeper.org

View the Press Release

View Frequently Asked Questions.

View the Consolidation Agreement

Click here to see the proposed New Bylaws that will be presented for approval at the October 30th South River Federation annual meeting.

three logos

2017-18* Marylanders Grow Oysters Participants for the South River

 See below for our list of Marylanders Grow Oysters Program Participants. We are grateful to our oyster gardeners for taking care of their baby oysters over the winter at their docks. That way, in the spring they will be large enough to thrive in the wild when moved to the South River Oyster Sanctuary Reef. See the participant list below.