SRA Board Meeting Minutes

SRA Board of Directors Meeting

November 16, 2010


Guest Speakers – Both speakers, active SRA board members, spoke about GIS and how it relates to the Severn River.

Geospatial Hydrological Models – Don Morris-Jones, PhD

What is GIS – the technology?  Geographical Information Systems (GIS) turns data into information.  It is hardware, software, data, methods and people.  Maps converted to digital form.  GIS explores data using visualization, database management and spatial analysis.  Not easy to see what data means in a database, but GIS displays data for easy visual interpretation


GIS Models for Watershed Projects – Steve Barry, Arlington Echo Education Center Administration

GIS  101 – Handouts were available and are part of the user’s guide provided to the Watershed Steward Academy (WSA).  Steve explained the benefits of the county GIS Website that not only manages the County’s GIS data, but provides a tool for the public to use.  This is a public site for anyone to access. The true GIS is maps for the wanderer.  Steve went live on the site to show

Steve walked us through the website and the tool.  He highly encouraged all to try the website out.  The best way to do this is put your address in and zoom in. 


TMDL’s – Don Morris-Jones, PhD

Don – Went over the Chesapeake By Executive Order and TMDL Goals.   The Maryland Watershed implementation plan is being done in phases.  We are in the first phase.  Plan is to handle 60% by 2017 and 100 % by 2025. Governor O’Malley has committed to speed this up to 2020.   EPA and MDE came out with public meetings and both requested comments.  Environment Maryland strongly urged organizations to support this effort and SRA sent a letter in support.  MDE used the Chesapeake Bay model to the small areas and watersheds. 

Phase III goes from 2012 to 2017.  This phase will evaluate the different practices and how well they improve the loads.  Maryland has improved the nitrogen load by 30%, phosphorus by 38% from 1985 to 2009 while the  population increased by 1.28 million. 

Part of the plan is to have nutrient offsets and trading programs.


Much discussion with environmental organization is that this is a good path.  We are really moving forward to improve the Chesapeake Bay.  Historically – the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) had a model that over achieved their improvements, while every report says the bay is not in good shape.  Tidal area model is a weak point in the whole system. The goal is to get the Chesapeake Bay and all its tributaries swimmable and fishable. 

Don’s talk was cut off short to proceed with the next agenda item.  There was consensus that we allow Don time in a future meeting to continue this subject.


 Special Membership Meeting to Consider Constitutional Amendments.

Bob explained that the members at large were notified and the process was followed for making changes to the SRA constitution.  Amendment changes were pre filed and no second to motion is necessary. 

Pat Lynch spoke about the changes proposed and why.  She provided a history of how the changes evolved with a committee.  Kurt Riegel spoke about reasons for not changing the constitutional amendment.  Several other members spoke for and against.  Lynn Rockenbock said 26 members were in attendance to vote.  For the motion to carry the proposed changes, it needs a 2/3 majority -- so 18 votes are necessary. 

Votes were 11 in favor, 10 against and 5 abstentions.  Motion did not carry.

New Items

·         There was a motion to cancel the next meeting on December 22 which carried.  The next meeting is January 18 – AA County Director of parks will be at this meeting.

·         Volunteers are needed this week at Jonas Green Park this week to clean up if there are any hands. 

·         Kick off for membership in 2011.  Begin process to get the dues in to current members.  Envelope stuffing gathering will be next Tuesday, November 23, 7:00 PM at Bob Whitcombs house.


(Revised November 2010)