SRA Board Meeting Minutes

SRA Board of Directors Meeting, April 20, 2010

Today there is an article in Evening Capital about the SW Action Fund.  This evening SRA will highlight Stormwater Solutions in your Neighborhood

Saefern’s Stormwater Restoration Project

Bill Fritz, Stewardship Chair Project Manager Fwfritz1705@comcast.net 410-849-3255
Keith Underwood, Underwood & Associates

Project Design and Construction

How can someone who knows next to nothing and produce a rain garden?  In 2005, Bill Fritz was asked to be the Safearn’s stewardship committee chair – membership of 1.   Stewardship can have many definitions -- he looked it up as it related to environment.  He also wanted to incorporate a scientific aspect to this.  He has always been actively engaged in habitat restoration.  He has been surrounded by mentors since he moved to Epping Forest next to Keith Underwood.  He saw Keith’s transformation from gardener, to bog man to having a business. 

Saefern had many potential projects -- such as the Clements creek shoreline.  Started with stormwater – how to educate the community -- needed something central.  The Saefern Marina had a pool above it – lots of people come thru there.  This common area takes water from top of hill and piped it to asphalt then directly to Clements Creek.  Very little filtering and infiltration was going on.  Tested for Bacteria both from this runoff and a background sample was from another side that is naturally vegetated.  There was a 5X difference.  The first thing addressed was the septic tank from pool.

Bill began educating the community by publishing about stormwater in the Scuttlebutt – Community Newsletter.  Then entered the “Grant odyssey” – becoming familiar with NFWF and CBT small watershed grants – both require 50% matching funds.  This can be in-kind volunteer labor.  They received a CBT with the stipulation of also getting a grant from NFWF.  NFWF – budget process – did not allow awarding.  All applications were funneled thru the SR Keeper as the grantee.  Resubmitted NFWF the next year – denied again.  Sara Cadres applied for the third grant with CBT under their large grants - repackaged it.  This grant was awarded for 62K if Saefern contributed 10K.  Fundraising – keeping community on the same page. 

Prior to this stormwater fix -- Clements got dredged twice and was still in need for repair. 

Right after instillation a rain events with a solid gentle rain occurred for weeks straight.  No water was leaving the site.  Hurricane Bill then arrived with downpours.  This project, designed and constructed by Keith Underwood, Underwood & Associates, outperformed the other background site of natural vegetation.  Saefern was unable to collect runoff to test whether their were improvement in bacterial counts.  This was the ultimate testament that this system works.  This showcase project allowed many to come through and observe.  AACo Parks and Public Works used this design for Carriage Hills.  County is revamping the stormwater management practices written in 2006.  It is being revised for 2010.  Developers are buying into it too. 

Conclusion—anyone can do this.   Kept trying by turning grants in – grant resubmitting paid off.  Keep community appraised, essential to have their support.  Saefern had the structure in the community to funnel money for capital improvements.  Design build is good for small projects. 

Old Business

Summary of SRA Lobbying Efforts

Stormwater bill:  AA Co delegates – Betsy spoke on behalf of SRA in support of the Bay restoration fund.  Bob testified on behalf of SRC. 

Nominating Committee

Kurt Riegel reported that the nominating committee met via teleconference and has the following nominees for office.

  • Bob Whitcomb for President
  • Don Morris Jones for 1st Vice President
  • Betsy Love for 2nd Vice President
  • Bob vom Saal for Treasurer
  • Thistle Cone for Secretary 
  • Tom Guay for Communications Secretary

For known vacancies among At-large Directors, will propose Denny White, Ken Hatch, Lisa Bender, and Lynne Rockenbauch.  One or two Directors are considering not continuing.  Should other directors consider not continuing, the nominating committee will take steps to propose candidates.

Oyster Committee – June 5th Planting

Despite watermen objections, DNR is proposing to manage oyster harvesting throughout the Bay, and the Severn has been designated as a sanctuary for shellfish. 

SRA is planning our first oyster planting on The Severn River with as many oysters we can get from residents that raised them.  This will occur on June 5 from 2-3:30.  Corp of Engineers designated below the Naval Severn River Bridge as the SRA oyster sanctuary.  DNR will mark the exact part on the reef to be planted with oysters.  SRA may have an underwater continuous water monitoring device from Naval Academy to monitor water quality on the sanctuary.  

100th  SRA Anniversary

The 100th Anniversary Party Date has been set for April 29, 2011   Betsy motioned to make this the official.  Motion was seconded.  Motion Carries

Howard Ernst and Charlotte are working on video interviews. 

Annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday June 15, 6:00, St Margaret’s Episcopal Church Hall.  The speaker is Chuck Fox to speak on Improving Pollution Control.  Charlotte Lubbert needs volunteers on May 3 to stuff envelops at Free State Press.

Priest Point for Sale

Kurt Riegel reported that Priest Point’s 18 acres has been formally offered for sale by developer for $1.6 Million.  Many feel it would be marvelous to devote this to a public purpose.  County and the land conservation organizations are working to find a way to make it useful to public.  Discussions are planned with landowner.  Project open space – keep fingers crossed.

Monitoring Rezoning Applications

Don Morris Jones informed us that Earl Bradley summarization of rezoning will be completed this week.  County webpage should reflect all zoning changes next week.

New business

  • Sally met with public works.  She is entering completed restoration projects into database that has not been reported.  This includes rainbarrels, raingardens, BMP, Stewardship Academy projects, beach restoration, etc.  This tracking will help county show where progress is being made.  This will give accurate reporting to Chesapeake Bay staff.  To get info – encourage the county to report.  EPA will see what is happing in Anne Arundel County.  Betsy Kirkpatrick is heading up this endeavor.  This database will be linked to the County GIS database.  Photos and diagrams will also be entered. 
  • Old Severna Park – They have three stages.  The first was a Rain Garden at the top to slow water down.  They received a CBT and Unity Garden Grant.  Have applied with SRA for the second stage for a design from Mel Wilkens.  Applying for a NFWF grant. 
  • Carrollton manor did not make the cut this year for a grant. 
  • Winchester on Severn received a small mini-grant with CBT.  Lots of effort.  Trying and keep trying.
  • Fred Schaefer is researching the ownership of two properties on College Creek and presented slides and a map of the area.  There is existing shoreline erosion on the creek that is not bulkheaded.  This area has 40% slope.  One property goes 50 yards with 40 linear feet that is State Archives property.  He would like to plan to help do a shoreline project.  Already on site have raingarden for stormwater control.  Capital had article that showed homeless camping out on State Archives property.  Fred asked if anyone in SRA would be interested in helping him or could stir him in the direction to get information.

Next month’s meeting will discuss Clean Marina and Clean Boating.  SRA will identify the marinas within river. 

(Revised June 2010)