Tired of seeing a muddy Severn River after each rain?
That’s the question the Severn River Association (SRA) is posing to the community as it seeks to recruit an army of citizen volunteers who can monitor stormwater runoff to ensure that county law is enforced.
SRA is the oldest river association in the country—101 years old—and its new campaign to stop sediment runoff pollution is called “Exposed Soil=Pollution.” The efforts begins on Saturday, March 10.
Sediment from stormwater runoff is one of the biggest problems plaguing our streams, rivers and the Chesapeak Bay. SRA has teamed with Community and Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) to stop it in the Severn by addressing runoff that begins in the more than 150 construction sites in the river’s watershed.
Runoff from construction sites “could be easily prevented if developers take the steps required by federal, state and county laws to control sediment runoff,” the SRA says.
Steps that could be taken include “covering construction site soils with straw mulch and seeding with grass. This is the only way to fully protect the Severn River, and it is required by county-state law,” they said.
On March 10, SRA will hold a training session for volunteers to monitor those construction sites.
From SRA’s press release: “On March 10th we’ll show you how to evaluate a construction site for compliance with this law then we’ll ask you to team with one or two others to look at a couple of sites. You won’t be asked to enter a site or confront anyone. By helping us focus public attention on this issue, your participation will greatly reduce exposed construction site soil and Severn River mud pollution. Similar past efforts have produced a dramatic reduction in pollution.”
If you are interested in doing some hands-on work on this campaign, join the first meeting on Saturday, March 10, from 9:30 a.m.–noon. To register and get information on the location, go to the CEDS website, ceds.org/esp and click on Severn Survey on the top left or call 410-654-3021.
There is a great deal of information about runoff from exposed soil on construction sites on the CEDS website.
More about SRA: SRA meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Arlington Echo, 975 Indian Landing Rd., in Millersville. The meetings are free. Residents and representatives of community associations are encouraged to attend, get involved and make their opinions on watershed issues known.