Severn River Association (SRA) was founded in 1911 with the goal of preserving the Severn River in Maryland. This makes it the oldest river conservation group in the country. For much of that history SRA was an all-volunteer citizen environmental group that supported a diverse array of river-protection initiatives. Prominent examples include a 1984 SRA initiative that resulted in creation of the Severn River Commission in 1985, and creation of the Severn River Land Trust (now known as Scenic Rivers Land Trust) in 1988.
Over the years, the concerns of the SRA adapted to the threats facing the river. In the early days, the main threats were pollution from septic systems and farm runoff. Over time, commercial and residential development, loss of forest cover, erosion, and stormwater runoff became increasingly harmful. SRA supported the State’s protection of over 1,700 acres of the Severn Run watershed as a preserve called the Severn Run Natural Environment Area.
In 2017 the organization hired its first full-time employee dedicated to protecting and preserving the River. In 2021 SRA developed a new strategic roadmap to guide its continuing evolution as the most effective guardian of the Severn River for years to come. SRA continues to aggressively pursue restoration of impaired areas of the river, and stays vigilant for emerging threats to its health. Together, we will continue to connect the people who live, work, and play on the Severn River to restore and protect it for all of our communities.