West and Rhode Riverkeeper

We work with our community to enforce environmental law, to
promote restoration, and to advocate for better environmental policy.
Contact us: 443-758-7797  ♦  PO Box 172, Shady Side, MD 20764

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Volunteer for Ride for the Rivers

r4r mbbbqThe Riverkeeper needs your help on Saturday, May 14 to help with the third annual Ride for the Rivers and the Muddy Bottom BBQ. You'll have fun -- and get a free cool T-shirt and the best BBQ, fried fish & chicken you've ever tasted (not to mention beer!) This is our #1 fundraiser for the year, so we'd really appreciate your help. Sign up for as much time as you can spare to help keep our rivers fishable, swimmable, kayakable and crab-able. 
 
Thanks,
 
Jeff Holland
Riverkeeper
 
West & Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc.
phone: 410-867-7171
 
 
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Pumpout Boat to start service May 5

Pump-out Boat Service starts Friday, May 5

New number: 443-221-5104 or hail "Honeydipper" on VHS Channel 71. 

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Pigs & Pearls at Pirate's Cove

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What:    Pigs and Pearls Fundraiser for the West and Rhode Riverkeeper

Where: Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Dock Bar

4817 Riverside Drive, Galesville MD, 20765

When:  Saturday, April 30, 2016

Time:     2 – 6 p.m.

Admission:          $35 in advance or $40 at the door, kids ages 5-12 $10, kids under 4 free. Admission includes 18 tickets for your choice of oysters, BBQ, local craft beers, sodas, and a contribution to the West and Rhode Riverkeeper. Tickets can be purchased at Pirate’s Cove in Galesville, Killarney House in Davidsonville, Galway Bay in Annapolis, and Brian Boru in Severna Park.

Information: 410-867-2300 or http://www.piratescovemd.com/

Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Dock Bar in Galesville will host a fundraiser for the West and Rhode River Keeper called Pigs and Pearls: Barbecue and Oysters! The event will highlight locally grown and harvested oysters served fresh-shucked or roasted, and pulled BBQ pork from local farms with two sauces from Pirate’s Cove Chef Steve Hardison. 

The event will feature live music by the Eastport Oyster Boys, along with guest local watermen from the West and Rhode Rivers. This is the opening day of the Pirate’s Cove Dock Bar, so the day is sure to be a fun time on the waterfront of the West River with great food, drinks, and music. Kids will enjoy Pirate and Bay themed activities including face painting and dress up. 

 

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Chesapeake Conservation Corps opportunity

West & Rhode Riverkeeper is one of many potential Host sites for the 2016-17 Chesapeake Conservation Corps service year. The Corps Program provides hands-on environmental, leadership and green job training opportunities for young adults through environmental, community engagement and energy conservation projects. This initiative, supported by the Trust, Constellation Energy, the National Park Service and the state of Maryland, places young adults 18-25 with nonprofit or government agencies to work fulltime in the environmental field for a one-year term of service in the Chesapeake Bay region ($16,000 annual stipend).

The purpose of the Corps is 1) to enable young adults to work with host organizations and communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region on issues surrounding the Chesapeake Bay, and 2) to provide leadership and green training opportunities for young adults pursuing environmental and conservation careers including conferences, trainings, grant writing, project management and others.  Corps members will work fulltime on projects and programs in the realms of environmental restoration, community engagement, environmental education, energy conservation, sustainable agriculture and forestry that will promote and sustain the Bay and its surrounding environment as well as provide young adults with the opportunities to gain career skills and become more engaged through meaningful community service.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust anticipates placing around 30-35 Corps Members, young adults 18-25, with nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region for a paid year of service ($16,000) beginning on August 23, 2016.  To find the application or view a list of potential Host Organizations go to http://www.cbtrust.org/chesapeakeconservationcorps.

Applications must be submitted through the Trust’s online system by April 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

For any questions about becoming a volunteer or about the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, contact Program Specialist Tara Baker, tbaker@cbtrust.org or410-974-2941, ext. 102.

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BGE Osprey Watch

BGE 'Osprey Watch' calls on customers to report nests sighted on utility equipment

March marks the annual return of ospreys to the Chesapeake Bay and also the likelihood that their nests will appear on Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) electric equipment. These nests endanger the birds and may cause power outages.                                                              

There have been 123 osprey outage events since 2006, with the vast majority occurring between April and August. The most impacted areas are located along the Chesapeake Bay and include Havre de Grace, near Martin State Airport, south Baltimore, south of Annapolis, and Shady Side to Deale in Anne Arundel County.

To protect the ospreys and help BGE continue the safe and reliable delivery of electricity, the company has launched a nest identification program called Osprey Watch. Any customer who identifies a nest on or near utility equipment, such as power lines and poles, should let BGE know immediately by emailing ospreywatch@bge.com. BGE will dispatch a trained crew to either shield the birds and nests from the equipment or remove the nest.

 How customers can help:

When you see an osprey nest on BGE equipment, report the location of the osprey nest via ospreywatch@bge.com and provide the following information:

If the pole is easily accessible, please send us the pole number, located on a placard near eye level on the pole.

If the pole is not easily accessible, please send us the nearest address to the pole and attach photos of the pole (taken from different perspectives if possible).

Once a nest is reported, BGE will remove the nest if no birds or eggs are present. The nest will be relocated where possible. If the nest is inhabited, deterrents will be placed on the electric equipment to shield the birds and nests and mitigate the risks of contact.

Photo from www.ospreywatch.org by K Lantz

 

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Franklin Point State Park nature trail

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Franklin Point State Park will have interpetive water trails and hiking trails beginning this summer -- stand by for more details!

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Blackfish Screening & Discussion

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The West & Rhode Riverkeeper presents Blackfish, the documentary that changed the way the world views killer whale captivity and forced SeaWorld to scramble to save its business. A screening at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 7 – 9 p.m., will be followed by a discussion with Tim Zimmermann, one of the film’s writer/producers.

A mesmerizing psychological thriller with a killer whale at its center, Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, it compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

Tim Zimmermann is an award-winning correspondent with Outside Magazine and author of The Race. Zimmermann’s writing focuses on humanity’s relationship with the natural world, and he has reported on everything from extreme cave diving to efforts to communicate with dolphins. In 2010 and 2011, he wrote The Killer in the Pool, a deep investigation into the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, and Blood in the Water, a follow-up report which deconstructed another fatal attack by a SeaWorld orca. Those two stories became the basis for Blackfish, which Zimmermann helped write and produce.

After the screening, Zimmermann will talk about what happened after Blackfish was screened in theaters and on CNN, and explain how Blackfish ignited a grassroots protest movement that has impacted SeaWorld's attendance and profits, and forced the theme park giant to reconsider the future of its iconic Shamu Show. 

Zimmermann is also a member of the Board of Directors of the West & Rhode Riverkeeper. Proceeds from the screening will help the Riverkeeper in efforts to make the West and Rhode Rivers fishable, swimmable, crab-able and kayak-able. Admission is $15. There will be a cash bar for wine and beer.

Click here for reservations,  or call 410-867-7171.

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Thank you to our sponsors

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Franklin Point State Park is now open

Welcome to Franklin Point State Park

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The Dent Road area is open to public access for day use only.
To obtain a day use permit and access the gate combination, click here. 
Or call Sandy Point State Park at 410-974-2149, Monday – Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm.
 You must provide your name, phone number and email address to obtain the gate code.
 The gate must be secured after you enter the park and upon your exit. Parking is only permitted in the designated lot adjacent to the entrance. Do not park along the entrance road.
 Please re-lock the gate behind you after you enter and when you leave. Park ONLY in the designated parking area to the left beyond the gate. Franklin Point is Trash-Free. Please pack out your trash. Alcohol is prohibited in all Maryland State Parks. The park hours are sunrise to sunset.
 Be courteous to our neighbors — drive slowly, watch for kids, dogs and wildlife.
In case of an emergency, contact *Natural Resources Police* at *410-260-8888*, or call *911*. 

Access to this park was made possible by a partnership with the West & Rhode Riverkeeper. To volunteer, or to make a donation, contact Riverkeeper@westrhoderiverkeeper.org or call 410-867-7171.

Caution:
 Mud - In creeks and ponds, use your paddle to test that it's not bottomless before you get out of your boat. Once you sink in up to your knees, you're going to need help.
 Snapping Turtles - They can grow to be as big as trash can lids and in creeks and ponds like to lurk below undercut banks and sunken logs - don't put a foot or hand in there without poking around with your paddle first.
 Powerboats - Powerboats and PWC's transit Deep Cove Creek to and from the Bay, particularly on weekends. A boat under power will be mid-channel. The posted speed limit in the creek is six knots.
 Bacteria - Open cuts can become seriously infected by bacteria found in Bay, creek and pond waters and there's a lot of stuff hiding under mud and sand (including crabs) that can injure feet. Water shoes or sandals are good protection.
 Weather - A change from flat calm to strong winds can occur very rapidly. This may only be uncomfortable in the creeks and ponds but dangerous offshore in the Bay. Match where you paddle with the capabilities of your boat and your experience.
 Ticks/Chiggers - Like every other wooded area in this part of Maryland, FPSP has them.
 Wear your lifejacket.
 Paddle with someone else.
 Paddle sober.
 Dress for the water temperature.
 Look at the launch site as you're leaving so you can find it again. It's at 38°48.82'N 76° 30.75'W.
 Paddling away from the launch during low tide, stay in deeper water beyond the poles (that is, stay closer to the far shore) until entering the narrow Deep Creek channel heading toward the Bay. More details at www.aacwt.org (Map 12.)
 If you then veer left at the main (only big) creek junction and head out into the Bay, look at the mouth of Deep Cove Creek so that on your return, you can find the creek mouth (38° 48.32'N 76° 30.560'W.)
 If you want to stretch your legs on the Franklin Pt. State Park trails that follow the c. 1950 to 1988 Deep Creek Airpark runways, pull ashore at 38° 48.55'N 76° 30.63'W (125 yards north of the main creek junction.)

 Low Tide:  Deep Cove Creek, Deep Creek and Flag Pond are very shallow at the headwaters and pond entrances.  At times of low tide, tidal channels will be the only way through these areas.  If you run aground, use your paddle to push back the way you came (see Mud caution).     

 
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So long, Joe! Hello, Will!

paddleJoe Ports, who has served as the Riverkeeper’s Restoration Coordinator for the past three years, will be moving on at the end of July to join Anne Arundel County’s Watershed Protections and Restoration program. Will Saffell has joined the Riverkeeper staff to manage restoration projects.

“Joe’s presence on the Riverkeeper staff has helped transform the organization, added a new dimension and capabilities, and given us greater visibility and recognition in the community through the various projects that Joe has supervised,” said Riverkeeper Board Chairman John Wyss. “He’s been a great ambassador to the local schools and environmental groups.” 

Joe spent a lot of his childhood visiting with his grandparents on Middle River, where he developed a love for the Chesapeake Bay. He graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Environmental Science in 2011.

Joe started his work with the Riverkeeper in August of 2011 as a member of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps volunteer, thanks to a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. He proved his worth during that volunteer year, and was hired as Restoration Coordinator. He supervised the Riverkeeper’s water quality monitoring program and managed restoration projects like the horse pasture reforestation project at Camp Letts than won the Melanie Teems Award from the Chesapeake Bay Trust this year.

Will Saffell will be taking on Joe’s projects. Like Joe, Will worked with the Riverkeeper as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps volunteer program.

He graduated from Towson University with a bachelor's degree in both Biology and Environmental Science.

He will supervise the Riverkeeper’s water quality monitoring program and manage ongoing restoration projects like new stormwater treatment installations at the Avalon Shores Fire Station in Shady Side and the Holly Hill Harbor community in Edgewater, and a streambed restoration project on the upper reaches of the middle branch of Muddy Creek. When not working, Will enjoys kayaking, sailing, fishing, snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, traveling, and live music.

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