SRA Board Meeting Minutes

SRA Board of Directors Meeting

May 18, 2010

Introductions

Bob Whitcomb welcomed the audience to the SRA meeting and summarized the full agenda.  He informed them that staying for the business portion of the meeting was optional.

Maryland’s Clean Marina Program

Donna Morrow, MD DNR Program Administrator
www.dnr.maryland.gov/boating/cleanmarina

Donna gave a PowerPoint presentation to describe DNR’s Clean Marina Program.

Most marinas have issues with paint and fiberglass.  There are 600 marinas in Maryland and DNR’s goal was to have 150 to become “Clean Marinas”.  They have reached 140.

Severn River is a little higher than average for state.  13 of 48 are certified as clean marinas or partners.  The program began using Federal funds, but is now mostly state special funds.  Implementation began by outreach and education to marinas.  DNR provides services and free stuff to give away to help in educating boaters how to be environmentally responsible boaters.  A guide book was developed which is not available on website.  Newsletters were published and available at marinas to reach out to the community. 

The Guide book gives steps to certification.  The steps includes signing pledge, conducting self assessment, scheduling an informal visit, receiving recommendations for improvement, scheduling confirmation assessment, enjoy rewards, affirmation/recertify.

What the program really provides is technical assistance.  Several examples were given.  Federal legislation, in 1990, was the impetus for this program.  Developed a program and DNR feels they met and exceeded all requirements.  This program was not meant to comply with any regulation but help marinas exceed the regulations.  Note:  MDE is responsible for regulatory – enforcement (410-537 3400).

Marinas provided boater education by providing the vehicle for outreach -- bulletin board, advertisement, offering “Clean Boater” pledges.  Marinas provide the process for – recycling oil, antifreeze, batteries, etc.  Provide education on not dumping sewage or soap into our river.  Result was to improve water quality in and around marinas.  Big picture – every boater can do their part to protect our River.  Testimonials – 100% of marinas recommend that others join program. 

Currently DNR is inspecting existing pump out stations and will be updating the master list for boaters to use. 

Q&A

What about composting toilets?  This is legal as nothing gets discharged to the water.  Legislature is always changing on what is legal.  Pump out stations are required at marinas.  What are regulations?  Waste water discharge permit.  MDE regulates, but DNR helps them comply. 

What is a marina?  It is a facility that docks at least 10 boats.  Hauling boats are a boat yard.  Marinas can pump gas.

Rejuvenating an Historic Marina

James & Kathy Galli, Owners, Severna Park Yacht Basin

Sappington’s was built in 1939.  This historical marina has never had any renovations done to it.   The Galli’s spoke of their adventure in buying this marina and renovating both inside and out to move it towards a “clean marina”.  The new name is Severna Park Yacht Basin.  SRA is an integral part of maintaining the River.  When we choose to do the right thing, we make a difference.  They wanted to bring new life and vitality to this marina.  They are working really hard to become a Clean Marina.  We were shown pictures of before and after to get a feel for what has been done.

The shoreline has 2000 sq feet on a marsh.  Marsh creation was on Forked Creek off of Bluff Point.  They expressed their excitement about the health of this marsh through some of their restoration efforts.  This marsh is handling the stormwater.  The creation of the marsh was cheaper than creating a bulkhead – hardened shoreline.  The restoration planting of spartima flora was done by Girl Scouts.  Since this restoration, they have observed a lot of difference.  The marsh is teaming with grass shrimp.  As a business, they could not get government subsidies.  (Only community marinas qualify.)   They removed 6000 sq ft of impervious surface over water – roof, dock.   Dredging has helped bring new life to the creeks.  Their boatyard uses dustless sanders, and recycles oil, antifreeze, batteries and shrink wrap. 

They also expressed the hurdles they had to overcome with regulatory requirements.  They felt that they were always getting hammered by both County and State Regulations.  No one tells you anything and it is a self learning process.  DNR gave a lot of help with the Clean Marina guide.

Clean Boating Practices

Where to Pump Out

Bob W has put together an informal list of marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs that “should” have pumping stations for boats.  The Severn River -- located in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis are no discharge zones.  He envisions this list printed on stickers so that they can be put on boats.  As mentioned above, DNR is currently inspecting the existing pump out stations so they will be able to update the master list for boaters to use. 

 A large effort needs to be made to inspect what locations are open to public and serviceable.  Past grants were awarded in the creation and installation of these stations, but not for maintenance.  The inspection and updating of this info is a cumbersome process.

Some neighborhoods have pump out stations that were paid by grant.  If grant funds were use, then they need to provide access to public and can charge fee.  Some communities financed them privately and they are for private use only.  The problem with fees is that when you charge, the boater is then able to use all aspects of your community facility. 

Sherwood Forest and Pines on the Severn have “public” pump-out stations.  To use Sherwood Forest’s station, you must call first.  Pines-on-the-Severn requires a token system.  Machine is token driven.  Must call to get tokens – which are free.  Spread the word. 

Old Business

Election of officers and Nomination of At Large Directors

Officers were announced for election.  Lynn called motion and Sally second.  All officers were elected unanimously. The Board is to recommend a slate of Directors. 

Oyster Committee – June 5th Planting/Slag Update

Press release sent out to join on River.  Chris Judy and Bob Whitcomb went out and placed buoys at the location where they will be planting spat -- have GPS coordinates.  Every community has responded to come out.  Approvals of expenditure of $65 to purchase a pendant (flag) to use on boat as photo opt for oysters. 

Thistle will create a banner to advertise this volunteer spirit on river.   Is there any testing going on?  What is valid to test?  Chris Judy will be sampling the spat that will be planted.  Verify that there is rock.   Installed a line of buoys over the reef to ensure that the oysters will be planted on rock and not mud.  This is an experiment.  Growth has been evident this year.  5 spat per shell, with about 10% mortality.  Sally Horner will be monitoring water quality.  Corp of Engineers and DNR will be sampling slag.

Sally researched previous situations where oysters were grown on slag.  Comments will be sent to Corp (Sally, Kurt and Pierre).  Naval Academy has offered to put a continuous monitoring device.  Will be working with them, to have access to that data.

Serious problem will be crab predation.  Not cost effective way to grow oysters under protection.   What size do they need to be?  About 1 inch is a good size that will not be predated.  Need enough produced, enough protected to survive.  Billy Moulden is experimenting in reproduction within reefs.  Optimum number of oysters needed for growth and production.  No one knows what the science is.   The goal was to attract participants. 

SAF Committee – OSPIA Grant

Request from Old SP Improvement Association (OSPIA) for grant to help pay for redesign of stormwater drain pipe to river was approved of $1000 to association.  Asking board for ratify this approval.  There was some question whether this fund was to reimburse the full cost.  Are we matching or reimbursing?  Do we pay the full 100% or 50%?  Since OSPIA paid a total of $2500 to the design.  Motion carried Committee will clarify the prospectus criteria.  This committee is new and in transition.

Web link does not work.  Brought to Kurt’s attention.

Annual Meeting – June 15

Starts at 6:00.  Buffet and wine bar.  We will have dinner first and then speaker. 

RSVP still not available to register on site.  Members can RSVP via mail. Cost will be $10 per members.  Bob vom Saal will be getting the RSVP and tracking in database.  Lynn will try and tackle this.  Send the list to Bob vom Saal.

Need folks to come early at 3:30 to set up.  Table clothes, wine bar, cannot get in until 4:00.  Need a Cleanup crew.  Sexton available and we need to pay $50 before and $50 after.  Committee asked for this budget item to reduce the stress of this event.  Motion carried. 

Monitoring Rezoning Applications

Rezoning application – there are about 35 to 40 in the watershed on that requested to be rezoned.  Can pull up applications in PDF from County website.  (Have not received anything from Earl.) Some locations mentioned were Smith Marina in Crownsville, a couple in Severna Park, some on Bestgate Road, Priest Point.  Keep up alert for action.  If action before July – alert board.  Richard Falk is keeping an eye on those on Generals highway.  If they are concerned, then we may need to know. 

New Business

Constitution Amendment -- Pat Lynch will correct error.  Most come to our meetings to listen to topics.  But we cannot ignore our business part.  We need to better manage our limited resources.  Feels we need and could take some of this off line.  The Elected officers and directors should address issues prior to the meeting.  The meetings then could summarize these actions.  Pat plans to amend the constitution of executive committee on business matters.  More complex then she thought. 

Meeting adjourned.

(Revised July 2010)