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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Riverkeeper projects at Camp Letts help restore Rhode River

West/Rhode Riverkeeper and Camp Letts initiative wins Chesapeake Bay Trust award

February 12, 2015
E.B. Furgurson III, The Capital

When Andrew Mason arrived to take the reins at YMCA Camp Letts two years ago, plans were already afoot to check serious runoff from the camp's horse enclosure into the Rhode River.


Mason said he wasn't totally sold on the idea until the West/Rhode Riverkeeper helped him understand the benefits of the project for both the river and the camp's grounds.


Soon he was on board, and the partnership did not stop there. Now, the fifth major restoration project at the YMCA camp — building an 850-foot living shoreline at the tip of the camp's property on the peninsula between Bear Neck and Sellman creeks — is about to get underway.

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Franklin Point: Opening soon

Parkland saved from developers will allow rare water access

February 11, 2015

E.B. Furgurson III, The Capital


Nearly 20 years ago, south county residents stopped a 156-home development from gobbling up 477 acres of nearly pristine wooded land off Deep Creek and its marshy confluence with the Chesapeake Bay.


Now Franklin Point State Park is nudging closer to opening up to the public for the first time since the Maryland Department of Natural Resources eventually acquired the property from the stymied developer in 1999.


It has taken cooperation between activists, the Maryland Park Service and West/Rhode Riverkeeper to get it done.



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County to issue stormwater grants

CLICK HERE to read the full article

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Win for Deep Cove Creek!

*** A note from Chesapeake Legal Alliance Executive Director Jackie Gould***

Congrats to residents of Churchton, MD, South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development and the West/Rhode Riverkeeper in their defeat of an application for a variance to carve into one of the few pristine waterfront areas in Anne Arundel County, MD!
HUGE THANKS go out to John Wyss, Esquire and his law firm Wiley Rein LLP for their PRO BONO legal assistance over the years to these groups in their efforts to stave off harmful effects to their community and the Bay posed by the proposed development on the banks of Deep Cove Creek.  John’s unwavering dedication, tenacity, and wisdom are to be credited with this latest WIN and his other successes on this project. 
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Around South County: 200 trees -- and 100 stewards -- planted at Camp Letts

 Southern Middle School sixth graders, from left, Samantha Havanki, Kaylee O'Brien and Julia Markham were among more than 100 students planting 200 trees at YMCA Camp Letts, with the help of county Councilman Jerry Walker, state Sen. John Astle, Joe Ports, restoration coordinator for West/Rhode Riverkeeper, and Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. (Courtesy Photo, HANDOUT / October 16, 2014)
By Jerri Anne Hopkins, The Capital
November 12, 2014


  What was once an eroding horse pasture is now a forested buffer protecting the Rhode River from polluted stormwater runoff.

Recently, 100 students from Southern Middle School in Lothian planted more than 200 trees along the shoreline of the YMCA Camp Letts in Edgewater, transforming four acres of the camp's horse pasture.


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Riverkeeper Report October 2014

jeff helmOur rivers are never more beautiful than they are right now, with the leaves reaching the peak of their autumn color. But now and again, it’s good to get out beyond Curtis Point and connect with the rest of the Bay. Just a week or so ago, I sailed aboard the schooner Mystic Whaler on the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race from Baltimore to Portsmouth.

When you’re sailing by the stars in the middle of the night, in the middle of the Bay, you get time to reflect; you can gain perspective on where our efforts to protect the West and Rhode Rivers fit in to the overall Chesapeake Bay program.

We’ll have the opportunity to do just that at our annual meeting on Friday, November 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the main dining hall at Camp Letts. Nick DiPasquale, the head of the Chesapeake Bay Program, will be there to talk about the new Bay agreement, and you’ll see where we play a vital role in the big picture.

We’ll celebrate some of the impressive goals we’ve achieved over the past year – like the reforested horse pasture at Camp Letts – and some of the impactful projects we have lined up for next year – like the restoration of a section of Muddy Creek and a new 900-foot living shoreline along Bear Neck Creek, thanks to a major grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

And we’ll reveal a new partnership with the Department of Natural Resources that will provide an astonishing opportunity to access the water.

Please plan to be there – you’re welcome to bring a pot-luck dish to share, and we’ll have oysters! Send me an email or give me a call to let me know you’re coming. See you there!

Your Riverkeeper

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Thanks to our 2014 Water Quality Volunteers!

aniccamonitoringEvery year West/Rhode Riverkeeper relies on a team of dedicated volunteers to venture out on the rivers once a week (Wednesday mornings) to collect data that we use for our annual report card.  This year we had the pleasure of working with a dedicated team that braved strong winds, rain and cold, with some beautiful sunny days sprinkled in there too, to collect 24 weeks of data.  We will now work with some of the same volunteers over the winter to compile our report card to report back to you about the health of our rivers.

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West/Rhode Riverkeeper Annual Meeting November 14, 2014

jeff lets tree students
West/Rhode Riverkeeper Jeff Holland planting a tree at Camp Letts with Southern Middle School 6thgraders Chloe Wagner of Tracy’s Landing (blue shirt) and Makayla Grevin of Lothian (in glasses).

When:           Friday, November 14, 2104

Time:             6:30 – 8 p.m.


Where:         Main Dining Hall

                    YMCA Camp Letts

                    4009 Camp Letts Road

                    Edgewater, MD 21037


Info:              410-867-7171




Admission:    Free. RSVP. Beer, wine & soft drinks. Please bring a pot luck dish to share  


West/Rhode Riverkeeper Celebrates Year of Restoration Efforts on Nov. 14


Nick DiPasquale, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program Office of Environmental Protection Agency, will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the West/Rhode Riverkeeper. The event will take place at YMCA Camp Letts in Edgewater on Friday, November 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Admission is free, reservations are requested. Refreshments will be served and guests are welcome to bring a pot-luck dish to share.


Nick DiPasquale 
  (Photo Credit David Harp) 
  Nick DiPasquale, Director
  Chesapeake Bay Program Office, USEPA
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County poised to plunge into bay access with Fort Smallwood boat ramp

Peter Crispino

The Baltimore Sun, 10/24/14

No county in the United States has more shoreline than Anne Arundel, yet few jurisdictions have less public boat access.

County officials will embark on an effort to change that when they break ground Tuesday on a $5 million boat ramp at Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena.

"The first step is always the hardest, and so this is the beginning of what I hope will be a much longer and more deliberate effort to get some more water access points established," said County Councilman Chris Trumbauer.

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Program Manager Job Announcement

West/Rhode Riverkeeper seeks a part-time Program Manager. For full job description please Click Here.

West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc., (W/RR) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the West and Rhode Rivers, tidal sub-estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay located about 10 miles south of Annapolis, Maryland. West/Rhode Riverkeeper is one of 18 independent organizations belonging to Waterkeepers Chesapeake and is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance and the River Network.

Title:      Program Manager

  • ·Part time/flexible schedule. (Average 20 hrs./week, occasional evenings & weekends required)
  • ·Pay level: starts at $20/hr., plus modest IRA plan

To apply, please email cover letter and resume no later than November 2, 2014 to:


Subject: Program Manager

No calls or inquiries from recruiting agencies, please.
West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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