SRA Board Meeting Minutes

SRA Board of Directors Meeting: July 21, 2009

Meeting Called to order 7:05 PM

Introductions of Directors

Approval of Executive Committee: Betsy Love, Don Morris-Jones, Steve Barry, Richard Falk, Sally Hornor, Pat Lynch (includes Bob Whitcomb, President).  Members were approved unanimously.

Betsy Love reported on the idea of getting a newsletter out to publicize the agenda proposed for the coming year. It takes each of us to get involved to be able to clean up the river. Whether it’s building a rain garden, doing an oyster garden on your pier, etc.  She also reported our decision to send out written thank yous for donations.

Bob Whitcomb reported a suggested theme of “Be a part of the solution … get involved and make a difference.”

Don Morris-Jones reported on being the co-grand marshal for the Severna Park 4th of July Parade – with the theme of “Red, White, Blue & Green.”  DVD recorded of her (Keeley Linley’s) song about the Severn River. 

Treasurer’s Report:  Bob vom Saal reported that finances for the past few years were pretty similar.  The Annual Meeting expenses include the printing costs involved for the 2009 meeting.  The “automobile expense” is new for 2009, and is a reimbursement for travel expenses.  “Consulting” was hiring Brad to find out who the new contacts were for our member community associations.  The cost of tax preparation was the “Accounting” cost of $850.

Executive Committee Actions
Authorized plaque for outgoing president, Kurt Riegel – passed Board unanimously.
Endorsement Letter for Carrollton Manor – Lisa Bender and Mel Wilkens put together a proposal around $30,000 to do some stormwater retrofits in that community.  Sally Hornor put together a support letter and SRA Exec. Comm.  – passed Board unanimously.

Old Business
Annual Meeting Wrap-Up: Charlotte Lubbert, thought things went well, but suggested we could improve the registrations, with categories for registering for the event.  Steve Barry did a great job, and we really liked his sound system.  Taking photos of guests was a nice idea.  The location was good too, and we might do it the same place next year, depending on the speaker’s availability.  Larger and non-script print for the name tags next year.  Discussion was going around about what to charge next year.  Reminder: please take photos of all SRA events so we can have more for programs, etc.

Bay Friendly Neighborhood Program: Bill Tilghman has been coordinating, but has run out of steam on the project.  It needs support and volunteers to make this idea go forward. Kurt Riegel says that the birthing was successful, but the child rearing has been difficult.  If somebody would like to run with it, it could continue.

Dan Carren of Whitehall Creek would like some guidance on how to get started with oyster gardening.

Bob Whitcomb discussed the stormwater control project on Clements Creek.  Stimulus funding will be put towards erosion problems in Carriage Hills.  Sara Caldez is currently composing the RFP to get bids for this project to move forward.

New Business
Bob Whitcomb described Program Plans (next 12 items):
1) Oysters via Marylanders Grow Oysters: Lots of excitement from communities about this project.  Burnell Vincent, Amy Clements of Spa Creek Conservancy; possibly new person at Maritime Museum involved. Tom Lengle from Long Point.  Ray Dumentat from Herald Harbor also involved with teams.  Speakers at next month’s (Chris Judy from DNR & Stephan Abel of ORP) SRA meeting will be on the topic of this oyster program.

Jake Jacobs: described buckets from South River Federation as oyster-rearing option.
Charlotte Lubbert: Rob Brady has a park area near her that would be a good site.

2) Septic System Upgrades via Bay Restoration Funds: Where the “flush tax” money is going to upgrade septic systems in the Critical Area: a program that could do great things to reduce nitrogen in the river.  The program needs publicity.  Suggest a program on it, probably for September’s meeting.  Ed Peters of the County Health Dept will be invited to speak.

3) Rainscaping (private gardens): Zora Lathan would like to speak on this topic in a future meeting.  Perhaps November’s meeting.

4) Subwatershed Surveys: Mel Wilkens recommends to do this before writing grant applications.  He would come speak about this subject.  He has also worked on mitigating stormwater from large parking lots. 

5) Churches and other large parking facilities as targets for diverting storm water
Churches make good locations for this type of project, and often have volunteer groups and scouts that might want to be involved.

6) Community Rain Gardens
Mention was made of grant sources for plant material (Unity Gardens) and other project needs (Chesapeake Bay Trust).

7) Clean Marina initiatives
Several marinas trying to do environmentally friendly projects.  Other communities are private and we’d like to see them become clean marinas too.  (program for spring?)

8) Project Clean-Stream
Cleanup of a site in the spring.

9) Operation Clearwater
Sally Hornor’s beach water testing project.

10) Mud-busters (West/Rhode Riverkeeper approach)

11) Living Shorelines

12) Land Trusts

Bob Whitcomb has researched  where the pumpout stations are on the Severn.  How to get this information out to the public.

Howard Ernst: suggested a candidate forum for the upcoming 2010 elections.  GoogleMaps program for the pumpout stations, where the oyster cages are, where the beach testing is. 100th anniversary of SRA: discussing some kind of publication?

New Business
Proposed Bylaws Changes: Kurt Riegel discussed them.  Kurt moved that we adopt the new bylaws; Pat seconded the motion.  Bob vom Saal asked for more comparison between the old and new versions.  Kurt said there is a summary with the past draft.  Discussion will continue offline with the proposal to communicate with the full board at a later meeting.

List of Attendees:
Bob Whitcomb, Lynne Rockenbauch, Fred Schaefer, Gene Milgram, Don Carren, Howard Ernst, Don Morris-Jones, Jon Kesler, Tom Lengle, Thistle Cone, Michael Robinson, Richard Falk, Kurt Riegel, Allison Albert, Ray Dumentat, Jake Jacobs, Sally Hornor, Betsy Love, Charlotte Lubbert, Pat Lynch, Bob vom Saal.

Sept 30: 18th annual Maryland groundwater symposium: $15 and includes lunch
Sept. 17: Celebrate the Severn, at CBF headquarters, with an award being given to Bob Whitcomb
August 11, 6:30 to 8 PM: St. Phillips Church, Chuck Fox, EPA Sr. Advisor on the Chesapeake Bay.  Town Hall Meeting.  Possibly new head of the EPA to attend (Lisa Jackson).
Articles for the Log:  Kurt asked for contributions
Don Morris-Jones: Bob Gallagher could arrange for the honey-dipper to come from the West and Rhode River.  Annapolis Harbor Master’s pumpout boat is grant funded.
Meeting adjourned at 9:03 PM.


(Revised Nov 2009)