ShoreRivers Awarded 2.2 Million Dollar Grant

 A treatment wetlands system helps maximize nutrient removal.

A treatment wetlands system helps maximize nutrient removal.

At the end of June 2018, ShoreRivers was awarded a $2.2 million dollar grant from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to support ShoreRivers’ regional agricultural restoration work. The grant will fund projects in the watersheds of the Bohemia, Sassafras, Wye, and Choptank Rivers. Together these projects will prevent over 14,200 lbs. of nitrogen, 740 lbs. of phosphorus, and almost 270 tons of sediment from entering Eastern Shore waterways.

The new grant funds will pay the construction costs for:

·         An ecologically engineered design that will stabilize excessive gully erosion that has resulted in a ravine adjacent to Kings Creek in Talbot County; it will create a wetland and grassed buffers, and restore 1380 linear feet of stream and agricultural ditch.

·         A treatment wetland system and stormwater retention ponds at the bottom of four agricultural drainages and above a natural stream. The project is designed to maximize nutrient removal at the top of the watershed of Little Bohemia Creek in Cecil County and it will create almost six acres of wetland and three acres of stormwater ponds.

·         Stormwater ponds and over eight acres of lined treatment wetland to treat 33 acres of dairy farm operations and several hundred acres of row crop land that is irrigated with lagoon effluent from a Kent County dairy in the Sassafras watershed.

·         Completing restoration of a 1,000-linear-foot traditional agricultural ditch into a two-stage ditch with wetland benches on a grain farm on the Wye River in Talbot County.

This grant signals the effectiveness of ShoreRivers’ new combined capacity to implement regional projects on a large scale throughout the Delmarva peninsula. ShoreRivers is a certified Technical Service Provider for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and is engineering and implementing innovative pollution reduction projects cooperatively with the agricultural sector to restore and protect Eastern Shore rivers.

 Pictured left to right at a restoration site are ShoreRivers staff members Emily Harris, Kim Righi, Kristin Junkin and Josh Thompson.

Pictured left to right at a restoration site are ShoreRivers staff members Emily Harris, Kim Righi, Kristin Junkin and Josh Thompson.

ShoreRivers is honored that the Department of Natural Resources supports the pollution- reducing projects that ShoreRivers is implementing in communities across the Eastern Shore. Other traditional bay funders and strong community support enables ShoreRivers to attract this type of significant outside grant funding for clean water.

For more information, visit shorerivers.org or contact Director of Agriculture & Restoration Tim Rosen at 443.385.0511 or trosen@shorerivers.org.


Summer is here, are our waters safe for swimming?

After regretfully canceling the inaugural Maryland Freedom Swim on the Choptank River in May, ShoreRivers is continuing to work toward swimmable rivers that are regularly monitored for harmful bacteria. In addition to the 15 existing sites being monitored on the Chester and Sassafras Rivers, ShoreRivers has added four new monitoring sites on the Choptank, Miles, and Wye Rivers.

The strain of bacteria sampled, Enterococci, indicates pathogens that may cause human illness. This bacteria can originate from a variety of sources, including failing septic systems, sewer overflows or leaks, poultry, livestock, and pet waste. During significant rainfalls, the possibility always exists for elevated and unsafe bacteria levels. As a general precaution, be sure to avoid water contact for 48 hours after profuse rain events or any time if you have an open cut or wound. Always shower after swimming.

ShoreRivers monitored sites include:

Choptank River

         Bill Burton Fishing Pier

·         Oxford Strand on the Tred Avon River

Wye River

·         Drum Point Beach on Wye Island

Miles River

·         Miles River Yacht Club

Chester River

·         Duck Neck

·         Morgan Creek

·         Rosin Creek

·         Chestertown at High Street

·         Chester River Yacht and Country Club

·         Rolphs Wharf

·         Camp Pecometh

·         Langford Bay

·         Grays Inn Creek

·         Conquest Beach

·         Corsica River Yacht Club

·         Centreville Wharf

Sassafras River

·         Georgetown Bridge

·         Dyer Creek

·         Indian Acres

ShoreRivers will test these sites weekly throughout the swimming season until Labor Day. Results will be posted on SwimGuide, a website (theswimguide.org) and smart phone app that allows users across the Chesapeake Bay region to check the health of local swimming beaches. Additionally, Shorerivers’ Riverkeepers will post the bacteria results on their social media pages for local beaches. Follow the Chester Riverkeeper, Choptank Riverkeeper, Miles-Wye Riverkeeper, and Sassafras Riverkeeper on Facebook for updates. You can also follow the hashtag SwimmableShoreRivers.

For more information, please visit shorerivers.org or call 443-385-0511. Here’s to a great, safe summer enjoying our rivers!

 ShoreRivers works toward swimmable rivers by regularly monitoring for harmful bacteria.  Photo credit: Sam Morse

ShoreRivers works toward swimmable rivers by regularly monitoring for harmful bacteria.

Photo credit: Sam Morse

ShoreRivers Honored with Prestigious Environmental Award

 ShoreRivers staff celebrate their new Easton headquarters following the merger of three environmental organizations in January 2018. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Elle Bassett, Jeff Horstman, Tim Trumbauer, Suzanne Sullivan, Tim Junkin, Kristin Junkin, Matt Pluta; (back row, left to right) Kristan Droter, Isabel Hardesty, Laura Wood, Tim Rosen, Ann Frock, Kim Righi, Emily Harris, Emmett Duke, and Rebecca Murphy.

ShoreRivers staff celebrate their new Easton headquarters following the merger of three environmental organizations in January 2018. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Elle Bassett, Jeff Horstman, Tim Trumbauer, Suzanne Sullivan, Tim Junkin, Kristin Junkin, Matt Pluta; (back row, left to right) Kristan Droter, Isabel Hardesty, Laura Wood, Tim Rosen, Ann Frock, Kim Righi, Emily Harris, Emmett Duke, and Rebecca Murphy.

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters announced this week that it would honor ShoreRivers this year with its prestigious John V. Kabler Memorial Award, presented annually to Maryland’s most outstanding environmental leaders and organizations.

Past recipients have included such noteworthy environmental champions as Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen, former Maryland Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, former Maryland Governor Harry R. Hughes, and former Maryland DNR Secretary John Griffin.

ShoreRivers protects and restores the waterways of the Eastern Shore and the living resources they support. The organization was formed January 1, 2018, from the merger of three river-protection organizations, and now serves Delmarva from Cecilton to Cambridge, representing rivers and watersheds draining to the Chesapeake Bay.

“As ShoreRivers, we are a powerful voice for clean water with a dedicated team of staff, board members, and volunteers,” said ShoreRivers Executive Director Jeff Horstman. “We are having a greater regional impact in advocacy, restoration, and education. We are honored and thankful for the recognition the Kabler Memorial Award brings to our work for healthier waterways and for all the great work the Maryland League of Conservation does for the environment.”

ShoreRivers employs 18 professionals including four Riverkeepers, scientists, educators, policy advocates, lawyers, and restoration specialists who work from offices in Easton, Chestertown, and Georgetown, Maryland. Its work is supported by over 3,500 community members and families and engages over 1,000 students and volunteers each year. The organization works at every level including policy and legislative advocacy, regulatory enforcement, agricultural outreach and restoration, education, oyster repopulation, and community engagement to improve our rivers.

The award ceremony will take place Tuesday, October 9 at the Westin Annapolis, located at 100 Westgate Circle, beginning with cocktails at 6pm, followed by dinner and program at 7pm. For program details or to sign up as a sponsor, contact Karen Polet Doory at kdoory@mdlcv.org or 202-281-8780.


ShoreRivers Adds Three to Staff

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ShoreRivers is pleased to announce three new additions to our staff.

 Josh Biddle, Agricultural Specialist

Josh Biddle, Agricultural Specialist

Josh Biddle is ShoreRivers’s new Agricultural Specialist. Josh is an Eastern Shore native who grew up on a farm between Denton and Ridgely, where for the last 15 years, he has worked in his family’s greenhouses growing flowers. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Salisbury University. For the past two years, he has been employed as a Soil Conservation Technician at the Talbot County Soil Conservation District working with a number of state and federal conservation programs, and assisting in the planning, design, and installation of a variety of best management practices throughout the county. Josh will be working with state, federal, academic, and farm partners to apply agricultural conservation projects within Eastern Shore watersheds. Along with Director of Agriculture and Restoration Tim Rosen and Restoration Specialist Josh Thompson, Josh will assist in ShoreRivers’ expanding agricultural project work, including conducting outreach within the agricultural community to promote conservation programs and encourage responsible and river-friendly farming all across the Eastern Shore.

 Julia Erbe, Development and Events Coordinator

Julia Erbe, Development and Events Coordinator

Julia Erbe has joined ShoreRivers as Development and Events Coordinator. A lifelong Marylander, Julia attended Washington College and went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Goucher College. “Ever since my time studying at Washington College, the Eastern Shore has been my place of solitude and comfort,” she says. “It makes perfect sense that I would find myself back here, working for such an amazing organization that I respect so highly. I am honored to join this passionate, hard-working group of like-minded individuals, and I am eager to contribute to their important work.”

Julia will be working on many events throughout the region to help educate local communities and raise funds to support ShoreRivers’ programs and mission. Her local ties, environmental background, and experience will bring tremendous help to support the organization’s mission throughout the region.

 Rachel Plescha, 2018-2019 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Rachel Plescha,
2018-2019 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Rachel Plescha is the new 2018-2019 ShoreRivers Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteer. A native of Oviedo, Florida, she recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Environmental Policy with a minor in Economics. She will take the place of the 2017-2018 CCC Volunteer, Rebecca Murphy, who is staying on with ShoreRivers as Education and Outreach Coordinator.

ShoreRivers has participated in the CCC program since 2012, hosting 11 volunteers, several of whom have become permanent staff members. The CCC program is funded through the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Rachel made ShoreRivers her first choice from over 70 other competing nonprofits in the Bay area. Rachel explains, “I am looking forward to learning about how the community plays a role in shaping positive outcomes for environmental health. I am most excited to work with the agricultural and community outreach programs. I have always been interested in the connection between the food we eat and our environment, so much so that I even worked on an organic farm for a few months! I am excited to meet new people and help them realize their connection to the land around them. I cannot wait to move to the Eastern Shore and experience the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay in person!“

ShoreRivers Executive Director Jeff Horstman says, “With ShoreRivers' expanding role and growth, these talented and passionate young people will bring energy and enthusiasm to our efforts toward healthy waterways across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We are happy to welcome Josh, Julia, and Rachel to our team!”


Meta Boyd Featured in What's Up? E. Shore Magazine

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What's Up Eastern Shore Magazine
July 2018

Towne Salute: Meta Boyd | Shorerivers
by Cate Reynolds

Meta Boyd’s passion for community work stems from an innate desire to teach others to care: to care about themselves, to care about their environment, and to care about the connection between those two things. 

 ShoreRivers works to protect and restore Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education. Boyd, a former scuba instructor, has always felt connected to the water, so ShoreRivers felt like a perfect fit for her. 

Click here to read FULL FEATURE ARTICLE.


Mitigating Nutrient Loading on the Choptank

Environmental Monitor
Application and Technology News for Environmental Professionals
by Cindy Cooper
May 21, 2018

 Watershed Scientist Tim Rosen near a wood chip bioreactor installed on a local farm in Maryland.

Watershed Scientist Tim Rosen near a wood chip bioreactor installed on a local farm in Maryland.

PIONEERING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL METHODS
ShoreRivers is focusing on outreach efforts with the local agricultural community to bolster water quality improvement efforts in Maryland’s Choptank River.

CLICK HERE to read entire article.