News Along the Severn

June 2024

Water quality monitoring on SeaGirl with SRA Program Officer Tom, SRA intern Annie, and Boat Captain Josh

Executive Director's Corner

While the solstice hasn't yet come, summer is in full swing here at SRA. Our summer interns are hard at work with water quality monitoring, mapping restoration projects, and connecting with volunteers and summer camps. We are thrilled to have met our fundraising goal earlier this month during the GreenGive campaign, and will be putting that money to use planting 10 million oysters in the river later this summer. The SRA work boat Sea Girl has been outfitted with a new engine to ensure we can keep a keen eye out on the river's health as the weather warms up. This time of year is historically when warmer water temperature and excessive nutrient input from lawn fertilizer, septic tank effluent, and erosion can cause algae blooms which discolor the water and rob it of oxygen. Keep an eye on our social media channels to learn week-by-week updates on all our programs.

One positive feature of warmer weather is that oysters prefer it for spawning, waiting until the water warms to nearly 80F. For us at SRA, that means the time is getting ripe to employ our direct-setting approach for oyster restoration. "Direct Setting" means deploying free-swimming oyster larvae directly onto an existing oyster reef, rather than planting spat-on-shell. We want to mimic the oysters' natural spawning conditions as closely as possible to ensure the highest possible survival rates for these oysters. Restoration manager Ben Fertig is working with two of our summer interns to develop the pump apparatus that will deposit the oysters on the reef, and we are looking to plant later in July. 

From all of us at SRA, we hope you're enjoying summer as much as we are, and we will see you out on the river!

Jesse Iliff

Executive Director

2024 SRA Interns

Annie Lapides

Hi! My name is Annie, I am a rising senior at Severn School and I am beyond excited to be working with SRA this summer!! I enjoy learning about the environment and the various ways I can help our planet. I have been working on water quality monitoring, oyster counting, and working to plan projects on the Weems Creek. I enjoy reading, competitive sailing, and art.

Eryn Balchunas

Hi! My name is Eryn. I am a rising senior at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, and I am interested in pursuing environmental science. With SRA I have been working on projects on Spa Creek, such as visiting and taking pictures of potential restoration sites in the area. Outside of school and work, I am a competitive figure skater and amateur artist. I am super excited to be working with SRA this June and I'm very glad for this opportunity!

GreenGive Success!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who donated during GreenGive 2024 to fully fund our large-scale oyster planting this month. Thank you to the 98 donors who are supporting a cleaner Severn River. And thank you to the donors who offered up the match grant to inspire others to give. We can't say thank you enough!

Floating Classrooms 2024

Floating Classrooms 2024 kicked off last Friday. This educational program teaches students about the Severn River watershed - everything from oysters to osprey, underwater grasses to water quality monitoring. They learn about climate change and how human behavior effects the environment around them.

This program was funded by Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, and is led by SRA Program Officer Tom Guay. If you have a group interested in learning more about our watershed, please reach out to Operations Manager Sarah,

Read more about Floating Classrooms

2023 Annual Report

Have you read our 2023 Annual Report? It contains a summary of last year's accomplishments, a financial snapshot, a donor list, and more.

Only have a few minutes? Watch our video summary from SRA Executive Director Jesse Iliff.

Read the Report
Watch the Video

Volunteer Opportunities

Phragmites Removal at Arlington Echo

Come help cut down and treat a phragmites patch as we work to erradicate this invasive species.

10-12pm on these dates:

July 22, Aug 19, Sep 16

975 Indian Landing Rd, Millersville, MD 21108

Water Quality Monitoring

Help SRA conduct our weekly data gathering on the Severn River to monitor the health of the river. Volunteers go out on a boat to measure oxygen, pH, salinity, temperature, and clarity.

Weekly tours April-October Training is "on-the-job"

Sign up Here

In case you missed it...

Lawn Care Toolkit

The Washington Post published this interactive guide to transforming residential yards into more biodiverse landscapes.

Read More

Our important work is only possible due to the generous support of people like you. If you are a current donor - THANK YOU! We welcome your support any time of the year. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining the movement today. Any size donation makes you a member.


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