April 2018 Chester River News


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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!

Regards,

Tim Trumbauer
Chester Riverkeeper

And now in this Edition of the Chester River News:


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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
Chestertown, MD


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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.


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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 (eharris@shorerivers.org) for more info. 


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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 lwood@shorerivers.org or 410-810-7556.


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Events

Check here for all of our latest events, in the Chester River watershed and beyond!

March 2018 Chester River News


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I was walking the dog past the garage the other day when I heard lots of thumping and bumping. I opened the door, and there was my middle daughter Lucy rooting through storage to find her fishing rod. The peepers started peeping at the end of February, and Lucy knows that means the perch run is coming…unfortunately we weren’t able to catch any fish on this particular day, but Lucy will keep at it. I feel so lucky to be able to raise all my children on the Chester River, and I enjoy watching their curiosity and love for the river grow with each season. We have important work to do together protecting and restoring the Chester, and I thank you all for your help and support of our work. 

Regards,

Tim Trumbauer
Chester Riverkeeper

And now in this Edition of the Chester River News:


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Chesapeake Crossing

Did you know that the Maryland Department of Transportation is conducting a study regarding a new Bay Bridge Crossing, including a potential crossing in the Chester River watershed? I bet you did…and I also bet that you, like us, have grave concerns about what impact a crossing in our near the Chester River watershed could have on our landscape, including our wetlands and waterways. The delicate rivers, creeks, and marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore are impaired by sediment and nutrient pollution, yet we are encouraged by recent signs of improvement. A new Chesapeake crossing and the resultant development has significant potential to reverse these positive trends by increasing pollutant loading in our waterways from stormwater runoff, septic and sewage, air emissions, and litter.

On March 8th, we submitted testimony in support of Maryland House Bill 1199 that would prevent a norther Bay crossing. We continue to monitor the process and will be sharing more information as it becomes available. MDTA is currently accepting comments, so please submit yours on behalf of the Chester River at: https://www.baycrossingstudy.com/public-involvement/comment


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Farmer's Breakfast

On Tuesday, February 27th ShoreRivers hosted the annual Farmers Breakfast at Ruthsburg Community Hall in Queen Anne's County. The breakfast is a yearly outreach event, started by legacy organization the Chester River Association, inviting farmers to hear about our ongoing agricultural projects. This year we heard from ShoreRivers’ staff members Tim Rosen and Josh Thompson on their restoration efforts across the Eastern Shore, as well as Dan Small from the Center for Environment & Society and Dr. Ray Weil from University of Maryland College Park.

Topics of the presentation ranged from installing bioreactors and treatment wetlands, to restoring upland habitat for bobwhite quail through the Natural Lands Project, to Dr. Weil's work improving nutrient efficiency and better utilizing cover crops on the Eastern Shore. We look forward to continuing our partnerships within the agricultural community to promote best management practices and achieve our vision of healthy waterways across Maryland's Eastern Shore.


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State of the CHester

Save the date for our third annual State of the Chester on Thursday, April 26th! Join ShoreRivers’ staff, in partnership with the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, for the unveiling of our 2017 Chester River Report Card and learn about how we used our water quality data to implement more outreach and restoration initiatives in 2017. The event will take place in Hynson Lounge at Washington College and begin with an open bar, appetizers, and local oysters at 5:15 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6 p.m. We hope you can join us to learn about the health of the river and our local creeks and streams, and what you can do to protect and restore water quality in the Chester!


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Queen Anne's County River-Friendly Yards

Great news! ShoreRivers is excited to announce that Queen Anne's County has agreed to partner with us for our River-Friendly Yards program, enabling us to expand this campaign and host more workshops for residents. Workshops throughout Queen Anne's, Kent, and Cecil counties will begin in April and continue through fall of 2018. The goal of River-Friendly Yards is to show residents that a yard that mimics the natural environment improves wildlife habitat and local water quality. We want to give homeowners the knowledge and resources to implement residential best management practices and reduce their turf grass cover in favor of native plant species, which offer a number of ecological benefits and require less maintenance. If you are interested in attending a workshop or hosting one in your neighborhood, please contact Emily Harris at eharris@shorerivers.org or 410-810-7556.


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Help 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 is 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 lwood@shorerivers.org or 410-810-7556.


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Events

Check here for all of our latest events, in the Chester River watershed and beyond!

February 2018 Chester River News


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Although the recent frigid temperatures could be a little uncomfortable, it certainly produced some spectacular scenery on the Chester River - I hope you all were able to bundle up and enjoy some of the views.

We've had a very busy first month as ShoreRivers...planning our great events like the State of the Chester and our 6th Annual Summer Solstice Gala, we've put in numerous grant proposals to help protect and restore the Chester, and we addressed a report of a port-a-potty in the river near Deep Landing! Check out below for all of our exciting updates...

And now, in this edition of ShoreRivers' Chester River News:

Regards,

Tim Trumbauer
Chester Riverkeeper


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Four Seasons

As most of you know, ShoreRivers has taken various actions to oppose the Four Seasons development on the banks of the Chester River in Kent Island. While the project was ultimately approved and is currently under construction, with influence from ShoreRivers and our partners the developer agreed to enhance several stormwater treatment facilities and buffer areas. The project drains to both the Chester River and the Miles-Wye River complex (through Cox Creek and Eastern Bay). Both the Chester Riverkeeper and Miles-Wye Riverkeeper are monitoring the project on a regular basis for permit compliance, including stormwater and sediment and erosion control permits.

Unfortunately, after a rain event on January 10th, the Miles-Wye Riverkeeper documented sediment pollution leaving the site and entering our public waterways. We notified MDE and officials in Queen Anne's County immediately. Although this sediment pollution is wholly unacceptable and we expect more from the contractors to protect our waterways, we are happy to report that issues we documented were remedied in a timely manner. We will continue to monitor the Four Seasons project throughout the construction process to ensure our rivers are not impacted and permit conditions are honored. 


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6th Annual Summer Solstice Gala

Join us on the banks of the beautiful Chester for the 6th Annual (and best yet) Summer Solstice Gala at 6 PM on Saturday, June 23rd at Wilmer Park in Chestertown. 

Come by boat, car, bike, or paddle board to enjoy our open bar, live auction with unique items and experiences, open bar, fantastic dinner by Magnolia Catering, open bar, live music and dancing...and open bar! Ticketing and additional event information will be available soon, but for now, please save the date. 


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New Grant - River Friendly Yards!

ShoreRivers is excited to announce that we've received funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to expand our existing River-Friendly Yards campaign. We plan to expand the outreach beyond the Chester River watershed into parts of the Sassafras, and hope to offer workshop and consultation opportunities throughout Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne's counties. 

The goal of River-Friendly Yards is to educate homeowners about residential practices they can implement to improve water quality and create native habitat on their property. Our extensive water quality data shows that nutrient and sediment pollution is coming from within our own watershed; therefore, we have the ability to improve water quality in our local creeks and streams through our own actions. From reducing the use of lawn fertilizer to planting a rain garden or buffer, we want to inform residents of the Chester and Sassafras watersheds of the significant benefits to water quality a natural yard can have.

If you are interested in participating in a River-Friendly Yards workshop this spring or hosting one in your neighborhood, please contact Emily Harris at eharris@shorerivers.org or 410-810-7556.


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Free Trees

We are pleased to announce that once again, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free trees to those with property on a stream, creek, or river. Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer has taken advantage of this program for the past several years to create a beautiful naturalized buffer as pictured above (kids and rainbows are not included...)

To learn more about this program and get your free trees, see details below and check out this link.

All requests must be received by March 22. Interested homeowners should call the Centreville office at 410-819-4120, or 410-819-4121 or email Brittany Hass at brittany.haas@maryland.gov to reserve their seedlings for an early April pick up. Quantities are limited so reservations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Events

Check here for all of our latest events, in the Chester River watershed and beyond!

January 2018 Chester River News


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Welcome to ShoreRivers! Under this link on the ShoreRivers news we will be updating you on our issues, programs, and events specific to the Chester River…very much like the old Chester River News. I encourage you to of course stay up to date with the happenings in the Chester River, but also check to see what the Choptank, Miles and Wye, and Sassafras Riverkeepers are doing in their watersheds to help improve water quality. We will also be sharing out important information on our Chester Riverkeeper Facebook and Instagram accounts so if you aren’t already, please follow us there.

Our community has a right to a clean Chester River – thank you for supporting our work!

And now, in this edition of ShoreRivers' Chester River News:

Regards,

Tim Trumbauer
Chester Riverkeeper


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Annual Appeal

So far, this community has responded in a BIG way to our annual appeal – we have received more than $50,000 of donations to support our work protecting and restoring the Chester River! We can’t say thank you enough for your support, and we are so excited about what we will be able to accomplish as ShoreRivers. It is not too late to contribute – you can still donate towards our Annual Appeal by sending a check to ShoreRivers’ main office (114 South Washington Street, STE. 301, Easton, MD 21601) or on our website: www.shorerivers.org/join

Thank you!


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Natural Lands Project Update

As part of our ongoing Natural Lands Project, we have installed a total of 273 acres of native buffers and 24 acres of wetlands on 19 separate farms in Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties. Native buffers and wetlands provide a variety of environmental and water quality benefits: filtering runoff, protecting soil, absorbing nutrient pollution, and providing much needed habitat.

We are proud of our track record working with the agricultural community to protect and restore the Chester River, and the Natural Lands Project represents the largest restoration effort, in terms of installing projects, we have undertaken to date. The projects completed so far are projected to prevent nearly 1500 lbs. of nitrogen pollution, 100 lbs of phosphorus pollution, and nearly 35 TONS of sediment pollution from entering our local waterways. Thanks to our project partner Washington College and our project funder Maryland Department of Natural Resources through its Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund.


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Chestertown Stormwater Management

In December, Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer and Watershed Manager Emily Harris met with Chestertown Zoning Administrator Kees de Mooy to discuss environmental initiatives in town, and more specifically, water quality and stormwater management. Founded in 1706, Chestertown has limited stormwater infrastructure to treat rainwater before running off directly into the Chester River, particularly in the historic downtown area. In our productive meeting, we discussed strategies to treat stormwater and potential projects, so stay tuned for the next steps…Thanks to Kees and Chestertown for meeting with us and for their willingness to work with ShoreRivers to improve water quality in the Chester River. From our work with Chestertown, we hope to develop a model for stormwater that we can then implement in other towns and counties throughout the Eastern Shore


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2018 Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit Recap

The 2018 Environmental Summit took place earlier this month, and our Riverkeepers were there taking part in the event and strategizing on this year’s advocacy efforts. To the environmental community, the summit represents the beginning of the Maryland General Assembly’s Legislative Session. This year over 250 citizen advocates, professionals law makers, and your four Riverkeepers came together to celebrate and rally over the environmental community’s legislative agenda. Among the top priority bills were the Forest Conservation Act to protect our remaining intact forests; the Styrofoam Ban bill to ban a material that’s been polluting out waterways for long enough; and a bill requiring Maryland to join the US Climate Alliance with other states in a coalition to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Our Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta had the great honor of introducing a number of the speakers at this year’s event including the chair of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs committee; the executive director of our longstanding partner, the Chesapeake Legal Alliance; the speaker for the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative; and the speakers for the Styrofoam Ban bill – student representatives from the youth-funded organization Baltimore Beyond Plastics.

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Interested in being a citizen advocate? Connect with your Riverkeeper today to see how you can support this year’s legislative efforts to protect our local rivers. 

pictured (left to right) are Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Elle Bassett, Sassafras Riverkeeper Capt. Emmett Duke, Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta, and Chester Riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer.


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Events

Check here for all of our latest events, in the Chester River watershed and beyond!