It’s the most wonderful time of year! The perch are running, the buds are ready to burst, and, most importantly, I just got a call from our “boat guy” (Jack of Jack’s Marine in Worton) that the Chester Riverkeeper boat has received a clean bill of health and is ready for duty. Weather permitting, by the time you read this we’ll be docked (NOT parked) at our slip at the Chestertown Marina. We’re excited to begin a new season of water quality monitoring, oyster planting, and river patrols…see you on the river!
And now in this Edition of the Chester River News:
3Rd Annual State of the Chester - April 26th
And in 2017 the Chester River Report Card grade is…??? Come to the 3rd Annual State of the Chester as we unveil the 2017 Chester River Report Card and our grade for the Chester River while enjoying complimentary oysters, hors d’oeuvres, and beverages.
We will discuss the latest water quality results and trends and are very excited to welcome special guest speaker Dr. John Seidel, Director of Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society. Dr. Seidel will talk about the latest river-related developments at Washington College and the growing synergies between the College, ShoreRivers, and the Chester Riverkeeper.
Thursday, April 26th
5:15 PM Doors Open
6:00 Presentation followed by Reception
Washington College’s Hynson Lounge
Four SEasons ConstructioN Halted
We confirmed with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) that, following violations of their sediment and erosion control plan, the Four Seasons project on Kent Island HALTED grading operations until they revised their sediment and erosion control plan to prevent sediment from polluting our rivers. Four Seasons is one of the largest projects ever constructed in Maryland's Critical Area and never should have been approved. We have been monitoring this project by air and foot, and reporting issues to MDE since construction started - we must hold developers accountable. Special thanks to Queen Anne's Conservation Association, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and all the citizens who raised their voices on this important issue on behalf of our rivers. Our work isn't done - we are advocating for significant fines. It is our understanding that the revised plan has been approved and construction has resumed, so we will continue to aggressively monitor the site for sediment and stormwater issues.
ShoreRivers is working at the state level to strengthen our sediment and stormwater laws to prevent this from happening in the future. This is especially important with the increased intensity and frequency of major rain events associated with climate change.
Water Quality Monitoring
With the Chester Riverkeeper boat back on the water, we are starting our 2018 tidal monitoring program. Meanwhile, our Chester Tester volunteers, monitor our non-tidal creeks and streams year-round. Throughout the season, our Riverkeeper, program staff, and volunteers will sample from approximately 10,000 scientific data points throughout the Chester River watershed. We measure for nutrient pollution, dissolved oxygen, clarity/sediment, algae, bacteria, and other physical and biological indicators. Our data helps us understand the underlying water quality issues in the Chester and, in turn, informs our restoration efforts. Understanding the cause of a problem is, of course, the first step in finding a solution.
If you are interested in contributing to our water quality monitoring program as a Chester Tester volunteer, we do have sites available for monitoring. Please contact Emily Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.
Help (Still) Wanted - Project Clean Stream
ShoreRivers is hosting our first Chester River trash cleanup of the year on Saturday, April 14th in Wilmer Park. This event will be part of the larger Project Clean Stream effort organized by Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay every year.
The event will start at 9 a.m. and last until 12 p.m. All volunteers are welcome, and ShoreRivers will provide all necessary supplies. We will be picking up trash along the shoreline in the park as well as in the wetland behind the pavilion, so if you want to venture into the mud please dress accordingly!
Visit the Project Clean Stream website here to register. If you’re not in the Chestertown area and would still like to participate, look for another cleanup near you! There will be over 80 cleanups taking place throughout the Bay watershed in April, with many more planned throughout the spring.
If you have any questions about the event or want to organize a shoreline or roadside cleanup of your own this year, please contact Laura Wood at email@example.com or 410-810-7556.
Check here for all of our latest events, in the Chester River watershed and beyond!