April may be our busiest volunteer month, but with the South River on the Half Shell Auction, the Mayo Elementary Marylanders Grow Oysters Program, and three stream clean-ups, March came in a close second.
We started March off with a fun-filled bog clean up and less than two weeks later, we gathered yet another great crew to clean up a portion of Crab Creek heavily affected by stormwater. You may remember this site featured on the front page of our Spring 2011 newsletter. The story begins at the federally-subsidized housing development of Newtowne 20. Built in 1971, this development does not have proper stormwater controls so runoff is carried into a single 800 foot pipe, measuring 36 inches in diameter. Gaining speed as it travels down the pipe, the high velocity water, often carrying trash, travels into the headwaters of Crab Creek. This has resulted in mounds of trash piling up on private property and eventually making its way into the creek.
With the large amount of trash at this site and tricky access to the stream, we needed a very special crew to take on this challenge. We reached out to the Maryland Conservation Corps program and they responded by sending out 20 amazing Corps members from four different state parks! The day started with a talk by the South RIVERKEEPER® about stormwater and was then followed by 2.5 hours of hard work removing the seemingly endless mounds of trash. In total, the Corps removed an astounding 70 bags of trash and 4 tires! But their hard work didn’t stop there! After enjoying pizza donated by Dominos, the volunteers headed over the Maryland Department of Agriculture and worked to remove invasive plants throughout the property. The Maryland Conservation Corps members were fantastic, hardworking volunteers – this is one partnership we definitely hope to continue! A special thank you goes out to American Rivers for the trash bags!
On the last day of March, the South River Federation teamed up with the Watershed Stewards Academy to clean up the headwaters of Warehouse Creek, near the intersection of Solomons Island Road and Mayo Road. Volunteers worked hard to pick up a total of 19 bags of trash. When the owner of Vocelli Pizza in Edgewater saw our volunteers hard at work, he donated pizzas for lunch – it was the perfect way to end a great month of clean-ups!
We had a blast with our March Waterfront Challenge Cleanups and are looking forward to more in April!