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    13th Annual Ride for Clean Rivers – Early Registration Discount until Sept. 8

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) wants you to know that it is not too late to register or create your own team for the 13th Annual Ride for Clean Rivers (formerly Tour de Talbot) bike ride on Sunday, September 17 at Chesapeake College. Fall is a beautiful time to take to the backroads of Queen Anne’s, Caroline, and Talbot Counties, all in support of healthier Midshore rivers. Ride for Clean Rivers is for all ages and levels. Riders can choose from 20-mile, 35-mile, or 63-mile (metric century) routes, which all include SAG support and rest stops with food and drink. At the end of the ride, participants will enjoy a BBQ lunch with cold drinks and live music.

    It is a day filled with fun, friends, fitness, and a bit of fundraising, for those who wish to make a donation. This year, MRC’s goal is to have 500 registered riders and to raise $50,000. We know we can do it with your help! Although it is not required, once registered, we encourage riders to reach out to their friends, families, neighbors, and business associates, and ask them to sponsor their ride. All proceeds support MRC’s work to restore and preserve our local rivers. And did we mention the prize? Don’t miss it—the individual who raises the most money will become the proud owner of a brand new bike. Visit rideforcleanrivers.org for all the details.

    Register now and receive an early registration discount. Discounted registration price is available through September 8. Be sure to register by September 8 in order to be guaranteed your event tee-shirt.

    Thank you to event sponsors Dock Street Foundation, Agency of Record, Bicycling magazine, Bike Doctor, Bay Pediatric Center, The Brewer’s Art, C-Jam Yacht Sales, Chesapeake College, S.E.W. Friel, KELLY Benefit Strategies, The Orthopedic Center, and SweetWater Brewing. Rest stop sponsors are Adkins Arboretum, Chesapeake Bay 4-H Club, Solar Energy Services, and Sprout.

    All proceeds go toward MRC’s ongoing education, restoration, and water quality monitoring programs. To register or learn more, visit rideforcleanrivers.org. For more information, please call at 443.385.0511 or email sarah@midshroeriverkeeper.org.

  • New Job Announcement
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    Development and Event Coordinator

     Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) seeks a Development and Event Coordinator to join our team and help fulfill our mission to protect and restore our rivers and the living resources they support. The ideal candidate will be an energetic, outgoing individual who is enthusiastic about the environment and the communities we serve.  The position is located in our Easton, Maryland office, soon to be located at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center.

    To learn more about Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, visit midshoreriverkeerp.org.

    Areas of Responsibilities (Job Duties):

    Fundraising (20%)

    Help Compile and Execute Annual Fundraising Plan

    Annual Appeal—create annual end of the year appeal mailing
    Maintain Calendar of Events

    Membership and Funder Giving

    Stewardship Plan—phone calls, thank you letters, renewal letters, annual appeal
    Manage the Donation Engagement Calendar
    Support Regional Directors—fundraising and outreach activities
    Database management

    Help Manage Special Interest Groups

    Advisory Council—events, meetings, and communications
    Board of Directors—work with Executive Director and Board Chair on board engagement, reports, and stewardship
    Development Committee—planning meetings and agendas, engage committee members to help expand MRC’s programs and initiatives

    Grants (20%)

    Track and help develop proposals and reports—research and coordinate with other staff

    Private Grants

    Private Foundations
    Family Foundations

    Corporate Giving

    Corporations
    Businesses

    Local/State/Federal Government—programmatic giving

    Events (45%)

    Host several community events for fund raising and to communicate our mission. Such as:

    Ride for Clean Rivers
    Wild & Scenic Film Festivals—Easton and Cambridge
    Shaw Bay Raft-Up Concert
    Cinco de Miler
    River Caucus
    State of the Rivers—St. Michaels and Cambridge

     Communications (15%)

    Help Develop Media Plan
    Manage MRC’s Social Media—Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
    Assist with Media Relations and Content of Press Releases
    Assist with Website
    Review Monthly E-newsletter
    Review Semiannual Printed Newsletter
    Review Annual Report

    Experience required:

    College degree and 2 to 3 years of experience in a nonprofit organization or other similar position
    Event planning and community outreach experience
    Computer programs: Microsoft Office—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., and database experience

    The Development and Event Coordinator will work with the Executive Director and other staff to complete his or her responsibilities. The successful candidate will be a personable, outwardly social self-starter who is creative and enjoys interacting with the diverse community groups we serve.

    Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits package offered.

    If you are interested please email your resume to:

    Jeff Horstman

    Jeff@midshoreriverkeeper.org

     

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    MRC Launches Citizen Guide – Training Webinar July 26

    Organizations and citizens wishing to actively contend with water pollution, have a new guide to assist them. Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) and Chesapeake Legal Alliance (CLA), with assistance from Jill Grant & Associates, have produced the Citizen Guide – Public Participation in Maryland’s NPDES Permitting Program (Guide). The Guide was produced for the purpose of improving the vital component of citizen involvement in environmental decision-making in Maryland. READ MORE

    The Guide is available to DOWNLOAD at the MRC website at midshoreriverkeeper.org or the CLA website at chesapeakelegal.org. Printed copies will be available at MRC’s office, located at 24 N. Harrison Street, Easton, Maryland 21601. A Tool Kit will also available on MRC’s website to assist organizations in getting involved.

    MRC and CLA will conduct a training webinar on July 26 at 12 pm. This webinar will teach the basic concepts discussed in the Guide. To register for the webinar, please SIGN UP HERE.

    For more information, please contact Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta at 443.385.0511 or matt@midshoreriverkeeper.org or Chesapeake Legal Alliance Staff Attorney Mary Clemmensen at 410.216.9441 or mclemmensen@chesapeakelegal.org.

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    MRC SEEKS VOLUNTEER CREEKWATCHERS

    Creekwatcher Dick Bemis takes a reading on a YSI meter.

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) is seeking volunteers to join our Creekwatchers program on the Wye River, Cox Creek, Crab Alley, and Harris Creek. Creekwatcher teams conduct water quality monitoring at approximately 115 sites on nine rivers and Eastern Bay. Volunteers measure salinity, temperature, water clarity, and dissolved oxygen, and test for nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll a concentrations. MRC provides all equipment and training necessary for volunteers to collect the samples. The only requirement of volunteers is access to a boat.

    Data collected by Creekwatchers is a vital component in producing MRC’s annual State of the Midshore Rivers Report Card. The data is also shared with other agencies to help monitor trends in water quality.

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds. For more information, visit midshoreriverkeeper.org.

    Interested Creekwatcher volunteers may contact Tasha at keitasha@midshoreriverkeeper.org or call 443-385-0511 to learn more about the program.

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    Stewards for Streams Seeks Volunteers for Cambridge Church Planting

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy and St. Luke United Methodist Church in Cambridge are seeking volunteers to help plant over 400 native flowers and grasses on Tuesday, May 30 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Volunteers will be helping to plant a sloped ditched called a bio-swale that collects rain water draining into our rivers. Native species help filter and clean rain water, thus reducing pollution before it reaches our rivers, all the while beautifying the church grounds. Native species to be planted include black-eyed Susans, seashore mallow, and switchgrass. St. Luke is planting their bio-swale as a part of the Stewards for Streams: Faith Based Conservation program, funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Stewards for Streams works with congregations of any denomination to connect faith with environmental stewardship action. St. Luke is located at 712 Bradley Avenue. If you would like to volunteer please contact Suzanne at Suzanne@midshoreriverkeeper.org or call 443-385-0511. Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is also looking for more congregations to join the Stewards for Streams movement and spread environmental stewardship actions throughout local communities. Please contact Suzanne if you would like to get your congregation involved.

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    MRC Presents 2016 Report Card at State of the Rivers Party in Cambridge May 25

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) will host its annual Cambridge State of the Rivers Report Card Party on Thursday, May 25 at 6 pm at the Cambridge Yacht Club, located at 1 Mill Street, next to Long Wharf Park. Light fare and drinks will be served. The event is free and open to the public.
    MRC is excited to partner again with the Cambridge Yacht Club for the evening. The yacht club also participates in MRC’s Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO) program.

    During the State of the Rivers Party, MRC Riverkeepers will release the results of the 2016 State of the Rivers Report Card. Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta, along with other experts and educators from MRC’s staff, will explain and interpret results from last year when scientists and MRC’s 50+ Creekwatcher volunteers collected water quality samples at over 115 sites.

    The City of Cambridge is located on the shores of the Choptank River, which will be the focus of this presentation. Special guest speakers for the evening will be partners from the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee, including Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, City of Cambridge, and University of Maryland Extension. Each partner will give a short update about various initiatives underway in the region.

    The 2016 Report Card results will reveal whether grades improved over the past year and how specific testing parameters contributed to overall scores. Production and presentation of the Report Card was supported by a grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust.

    For more information, contact Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta at matt@midshoreriverkeeper.org or call 443.385.0511.

    State of the Rivers 2017 Cambridge Flyer

  • New Job Announcement
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    Help Wanted – Pumpout Boat Operator

    The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) and Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy are partnering to offer a pumpout service for pleasure boats on the Miles and Wye Rivers. The pumpout service will run from mid-May through mid-October 2017. The boat is based at CBMM in St. Michaels. Employed by Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, we are seeking an applicant to run the pumpout boat for approximately 20 hours per week. Hours are somewhat flexible; a possible schedule could be Fridays 1pm – 5 PM; Saturdays/Sundays 10am-5pm; Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day 10am-5pm.

    Compensation: $15/hr.

    Skills: good boat handling skills; extremely personable; reliable and able to work indpendently.

    If born on or after July 1, 1972, you will require a valid boating safety certificate. Must be 18 or older to run the boat solo.

    If interested, please submit cover letter and resume to: Ann Frock, ann@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

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    Call for Volunteers -Trees for Sacred Places Project, Easton MD

    photo by Dave Warren, Alliance for Chesapeake Bay

    CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is seeking volunteers to assist with a tree planting on April 29 at 9:00 a.m. with Immanuel Lutheran Church, located at 7215 Ocean Gateway in Easton. The project will increase tree canopy and reforest riparian areas on their property. This planting is part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project, developed and led by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in partnership with the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. The program has planted over 12,000 trees on more than 100 faith-owned properties, including congregational grounds, retreat centers, summer camps, and retirement communities that are contributing to watershed restoration, community beauty, and care of God’s Creation. The Trees for Sacred Places program is a funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Trust.

    Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome for the April 29th planting. Training, equipment, and refreshments will be provided. To volunteer, please contact Tasha Royal at 443.385.0511 or keitasha@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

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    Cinco De Miler Trail Run—It’s a RUNderful life!

    Celebrate Midshore Rivers with MRC and Charm City Run

     Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) and Charm City Run will team up again this year for the 4th Annual Cinco de Miler, a five-mile trail race through the scenic Terrapin Nature Park. This is a great opportunity to strap on your trail shoes and run or walk through the award winning 276-acre nature park that features a trails that meander through wildflower meadows, wetlands, and tidal ponds, not to mention a spectacular view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The race festivities continue at The Jetty Restaurant where each runner receives a complimentary drink after a job well done. MRC is again grateful to be the beneficiary of this event, hosted by Charm City Run.

     

    What: 5-mile trail race, followed by food and celebration at The Jetty Restaurant and Dock Bar. All proceeds benefit Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy.

    Where: Terrapin Nature Park, Stevensville, Maryland

    When: Sunday, May 7, 2017

    Start Time: 9:00 a.m.

    Registration Fees

    $45.00

    To register for the run or to find out more details please go to: cincodemiler5.com.

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds. For more information, visit http://www.midshoreriverkeeper.org, email info@midshoreriverkeeper.org, or phone 443.385.0511.

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    State of the Midshore Rivers Report Card Party Comes to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) will host its annual State of the Rivers Party on Friday, April 21, the eve of Earth Day. The event takes place at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in Saint Michaels, Maryland.

    The State of the Rivers Party is free and open to the public.

    MRC welcomes and encourages the community to join an evening of conversation and informative discussion as they release their 2016 Midshore Rivers Report Card. The report card reflects data collected by MRC scientists, Riverkeepers, and more than 50 volunteers in MRC’s Creekwatcher water quality monitoring program, which runs from April through October. These results assess water quality at approximately 115 sampling jurisdictions on the Choptank River, Miles River, Wye River, Tred Avon River, Tuckahoe River, Harris Creek, Broad Creek, Island Creek, La Trappe Creek, and Eastern Bay on the southern tip of Kent Island. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about the health and challenges of our local waterways and how the most recent grades compare to previous years.

     

    MRC staff will also discuss other current programs being undertaken in 2017. MRC is excited to launch two new programs, which will be announced at the event.

    In addition, researcher Walter Boynton, who hails from UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Maryland, will serve as honorary speaker for the evening. Boynton, in true scientist form, will make a few observations on the state of the Chesapeake Bay and what the future holds not only for our local waterways, but also for the overall Chesapeake Bay.

    The evening will close with the presentation of the Andy Coombs Volunteer of the Year Award. Each year, MRC recognizes a volunteer who has gone beyond the call of duty in support of its programs and mission. Robust, continued support from the community allows MRC to continue to be a strong, effective voice for local rivers.

    The party will be held in CBMM’s Small Boat Shed, where guests can discover the re-created interior of a crab‑picking plant and small, locally-built craft used around the Chesapeake Bay for fishing, oystering, and crabbing. The event will begin at 5:00 pm with a cheese and wine reception. The program will follow at 5:30 pm.

    For more information, email sarah@midshoreriverkeeper.org or phone 443.385.0511.

    Photo credit: Report Card cover photo © Jay Fleming Photography

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    MRC Seeks Watershed Coordinator

    Image result for riverkeeper

    MRC seeks a Watershed Coordinator who will operate our pumpout boat from May to October each year and work a normal Monday-Friday schedule from April through September each year.

    Our Watershed Coordinator will engage in water quality testing, oyster restoration, river patrols, will help manage our fifty water tester volunteers, will engage in community outreach, regulatory and permit enforcement, will work with other staff on a variety of projects, and will assist in fundraising and events.

    Our Watershed Coordinator will contribute to MRC’s general communications and outreach efforts to increase awareness of our work in the community and the importance of clean water, including contributing content to MRC’s newsletters, commenting on proposed regulatory and legislative changes, speaking regularly at public forums, and writing for local media publications.

    Click here for Watershed Coordinator job description and application requirements.

    For more information, please contact ann@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

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    Lawn Fertilizer Awareness Week April 1-8, 2017

    Midshore Riverkeepers Launch Lawn Fertilizer Awareness Week

    April 1 – April 8

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) has launched its second annual Lawn Fertilizer Awareness Week from April 1 to April 8, 2017. Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Last year, MRC spearheaded Lawn Fertilizer Awareness Week, partnering with over other 20 environmental organizations to spread the word about lawn fertilizer awareness. These combined social media efforts reached over 10,000 people across Maryland.

    This year, MRC is building on this outreach in an effort to reach an even larger audience. The goal of the program remains to educate the public and lawn care professionals and encourage them to reduce or eliminate lawn fertilizer. In addition, the program promotes alternatives to lawns that keep landscapes beautiful. It is vital that we reduce lawn fertilizer use due to its key ingredients—nitrogen and phosphorous. When it rains, excess nutrients are a major source of pollution that washes off the land into storm drains, streams and rivers. Once in our waterways, these nutrients have negative impacts by contributing to the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching underwater grasses, robbing the water of oxygen, and threatening underwater life.

    In October 2013, Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law went into effect. The law helps protect the Chesapeake Bay against excess nutrients entering its waters from a wide range of non-agricultural sources, including golf courses, parks, recreation areas, athletic fields, businesses and hundreds of thousands of lawns. The law spells out common sense practices that can reduce the risk of fertilizer runoff while promoting best management practices that support healthy lawns.

    Lawn fertilizer accounts for approximately 44 percent of the fertilizer sold in Maryland. There are over 1,300,000 acres of lawns in Maryland and almost 86 million pounds of nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer will be applied to their lawns each year. It is critical that everyone does their part to help Maryland meet the pollution caps established by the “pollution diet” for the Chesapeake Bay.

    More information is available at mda.maryland.gov/Pages/fertilizer.aspx. Additional guidance, along with seasonal and yearly fertilizer rates, is available at county extension offices or online at extension.umd.edu.

    A Lawn Fertilizer Awareness Week TOOL KIT is available on the MRC website, midshorereriverkeeper.org. For more information please contact Tasha at 443.385.0511 or keitasha@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

  • New Job Announcement
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    Summer Intern Announcement

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) is accepting applications for summer internships. Midshore RIVERKEEPER® Conservancy (MRC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration and protection of the waterways that comprise the watersheds of the Choptank River, Miles River, Wye River, and Eastern Bay in the Midshore region of the Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Based in Easton, the organization serves as an advocate for the health of these tributaries and the living resources they support. MRC strives to provide education, outreach, and restoration programs. These programs promote environmental awareness of the essential role local rivers and streams play in the community, the issues that threaten their health and vitality, and solutions that must be implemented to preserve them.

    Click here for FULL REQUIREMENTS & DESCRIPTION.

    Internships are unpaid and interns must commit to a minimum of 10 weeks of work. Start and end dates are flexible, but preferred start date is in May.

    To learn more, or to apply for an internship, please send resume and cover letter to Suzanne Sullivan at Suzanne@midshoreriverkeeper.org by March 1, 2017.

    Interviews will be conducted in March-April in person, over the phone, or via Internet.

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    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy Seeks Watershed Coordinator

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy seeks a Watershed Coordinator who will operate our pumpout boat from May to October each year and work a normal Monday-Friday schedule from April through September each year.

    Our Watershed Coordinator will engage in water quality testing, oyster restoration, river patrols, will help manage our fifty water tester volunteers, will engage in community outreach, regulatory and permit enforcement, will work with other staff on a variety of projects, and will assist in fundraising and events.

    Our Watershed Coordinator will contribute to MRC’s general communications and outreach efforts to increase awareness of our work in the community and the importance of clean water, including contributing content to MRC’s newsletters, commenting on proposed regulatory and legislative changes, speaking regularly at public forums, and writing for local media publications.

    Click here for Watershed Coordinator job description and application requirements.

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    MRC Assists Town of Greensboro with Tree Project

    Greensboro Flyer-half page

    Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) and the Town of Greensboro have formed a partnership to develop and implement the Greensboro Tree Initiative. With a total of $43,247 awarded from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this project will identify opportunities to improve water quality in the Choptank River using the environmental benefits of trees.

    Trees improve water quality by filtering and absorbing polluted runoff that would otherwise enter the river unfiltered. The goals of the project are to identify the current conditions of the tree canopy throughout the town, locate new planting sites, and rank sites based on potential improvements to water quality. By prioritizing sites, trees can be planted in areas with the greatest capacity to soak up water. High priority areas may include those located next to natural drainage paths, where the volume of flow is high, and areas next to expanses of impervious surfaces—pavement and hard surfaces where water can’t infiltrate into the ground.

    Joe Steinfeld of Davey Resource Group and Keitasha Royal of Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy conduct a detailed tree survey as part of the Greensboro Tree Initiative.

    The result of this analysis will be a five-year execution plan for the project. If fully implemented, the plan will assist the Town in increasing tree canopy coverage and improving local water quality.

    The project will also focus on engaging the citizens of Greensboro in the tree initiative. Residents will be surveyed to better understand viewpoints on the health of the river, trees in the community, and their roles in cleaning up the waterways.

    “Being right on the banks of the Choptank River, the Town of Greensboro is in a great location for using increased tree cover to benefit local water quality,” says Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta. “Planting a tree is an easy and effective way to get community members engaged in improving their local environment.”

    MRC will host a public meeting on February 16 at 6:30 p.m. to introduce the project to the community, and get feedback and input on the project framework. The meeting will be held at the Greensboro Volunteer Fire Company, located at 116 North Main Street. The meeting is free and open to the public; Greensboro residents are especially encouraged to attend.

    “The Town of Greensboro is very excited about the tree initiative,” says Town Manager Jeannette DeLude. “It will not only help us to improve water quality in the Choptank River, but also provide needed shade for the park area and improve the visual landscape. Greensboro is proud to implement strategies to help improve the environment for our citizens. This is just the start of a wonderful project.”

    For more information or to RSVP for the meeting, please contact Greensboro Town Manager Jeannette DeLude at (410) 482-6222 or jdelude@greensboromd.com.

    MRC partnered with the Town of Greensboro as an approved NFWF Technical Assistance Provider. This means MRC provides technical support, manages projects, and submits and manages grants on behalf of beneficiaries. Such partnerships provide beneficiaries with increased access to funds, technical expertise, and project management skills

    To learn more, contact Matt Pluta at matt@midshoreriverkeeper.org, or 443.385.0511.

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    Junkin Receives Ellen Fraites Wagner Award

    Tim Junkin receives Chesapeake Bay Trust’s 2017 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award for Chesapeake Bay Stewardship

    Tim Junkin, founder of Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC), was the recipient of Chesapeake Bay Trust’s 2017 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award for Chesapeake Bay Stewardship. Pictured at the awards ceremony are, Junkin (with beard) surrounded by MRC staff members (left to right) Elle O’Brien, Tim Rosen, Kristin Junkin, Matt Pluta, Suzanne Sullivan and Sarah Boynton. Photo by Isabel Hardesty

    Timothy D. Junkin, founder of Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC), is the winner of the 2017 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award for Chesapeake Bay Stewardship. The award was presented by the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) during its Legislative Reception & Awards Program on January 12 at the Miller Senate Building in Annapolis.

    The award, named for an individual instrumental in establishing the Chesapeake Bay Trust, recognizes an environmental leader who has worked to improve the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay region. The award recipient is someone who has inspired others by promoting environmental awareness, leading successful restoration and protection efforts, and advancing grant projects funded by CBT. Junkin has exemplified these qualities in protecting the Midshore rivers and their surrounding environments.

    In eight years, the organization conceived and galvanized by Tim Junkin’s vision has grown to a cadre of clean water advocates working at every level to protect and restore the rivers of the Midshore region. MRC has grown to ten full-time river advocates, including two Riverkeepers, a watershed scientist, and a team of educators. It has expanded the scope of its programs and continues to strengthen its policy advocacy in Annapolis and in local towns and counties. The organization aims to directly reduce pollution entering local waterways and to inspire its communities to insist on healthy rivers. Working collaboratively with farmers, MRC has pioneered the design and construction of innovative processes to reduce agricultural runoff. In spring 2016, in partnership with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, MRC launched the first pumpout boat on the Eastern Shore, which will resume operation in May 2017, offering free services to boaters on the Miles and Wye Rivers.

    The relationship between MRC and CBT has strengthened over the years. MRC is a strong supporter of CBT’s mission to promote public awareness in the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. CBT supports many of MRC’s programs. Most recently, MRC received a grant from CBT in support of its new community initiative, Stewards for Streams: Faith-Based Conservation. The purpose of this program is to engage congregations of every denomination to prioritize environmental stewardship. CBT continues to support MRC’s education program Students for Streams, an innovative education program designed to meet Maryland’s environmental literacy requirements. During the 2015-2016 school year, over 800 students from five high schools in three counties participated in both classroom and field study. Over the past two school years, students have planted 10,000 trees in streamside buffers.

    Upon receiving the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Trust’s 2017 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award for Chesapeake Bay Stewardship, Tim Junkin is congratulated by Delegate Christopher Adams, Senator Addie Eckardt and Delegate John Mautz. Photo by Isabel Hardesty

    In addition to education and outreach, CBT has awarded grants to MRC in support of its restoration and design efforts, research, lawn fertilizer curtailment, and water quality monitoring. With the support of CBT, MRC produces and distributes an annual State of the Rivers Report Card and hosts two community events to discuss the health of Midshore rivers.

    MRC has greatly benefited from CBT’s Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteer program. This initiative pairs young adults with organizations that provide hands-on environmental leadership and technical training for a one-year term of service. MRC has been a host organization for the past five years and has gone on to hire three volunteers as full-time employees.

    Working annually with approximately 1,000 volunteers, MRC hosts activities throughout the year to promote awareness and community action. The organization has built support for clean rivers and continues to expand its reach and increase its partnerships. Importantly, it regularly engages in state and regional advocacy and has become a leading voice from the Eastern Shore.

    All of this vital work began with and was nourished by the vision of Tim Junkin who reached into our communities with a steadfast call-to-action for clean rivers. Our community resoundingly responded.

    MRC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds. For more information, visit midshoreriverkeeper.org, email info@midshoreriverkeeper.org, or phone 443.385.0511.

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    MRC Launches “Stewards for Streams” Faith Iniative

    Waugh Chapel Rain Garden

    Members of Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church in Cambridge, along with Elizabeth Brown (center) and Suzanne Sullivan (seated with dogs) from MRC staff, celebrate the completion of their new rain garden, a completed project under MRC’s Stewards for Streams initiative.

    On December 1, 2016, representatives from faith communities in the Midshore region gathered in partnership with Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake to launch a new community initiative, Stewards for Streams: Faith-Based Conservation. Outreach so far has included congregants from Christ Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Greater New Hope Church & Ministries, Islamic Society of Easton, Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Parish, Smith Island United Methodist Church, Temple B’nai Israel, and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, to name a few. The mission of Stewards for Streams is to engage congregations of every denomination in environmental stewardship. Environmental stewardship is the responsible use of natural resources and protection of the environment.

    The message of environmental stewardship has origins in the teachings of major religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. In recent years, there has been renewed focus on the growing connection between faith communities and environmental action. In 2015, Pope Francis drew global attention to the cause when he called for an “ecological conversion” in his encyclical address and stated “as stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family.”

    At the December 1st kick-off event, MRC facilitated an evening of open conversation about community needs and local environmental issues. Pastor Rick Edmunds spoke of his experience as a religious leader on Smith Island, a community threatened by rising tides in the Chesapeake Bay. A short documentary, Faith Against Fracking, highlighted the powerful impact our collective voices can have in environmental policy. Interfaith Partners led discussions about congregation needs, challenges, and solutions through community partnerships. As a result of this gathering, congregations signed up for activities to engage and educate their communities. These free activities are provided by MRC and include adult and youth environmental retreats, environmental film series, and volunteer opportunities. Congregations also signed up for restoration projects, such as rain gardens or rain barrels, to reduce runoff from their property.

    Following this kickoff event, MRC received a $75,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to continue working with faith organizations to develop and install pollution-reducing practices on their campuses.

    Stewards for Streams is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Delaplaine Foundation of Maryland. MRC encourages all interested congregations to join the initiative. To become involved or learn more, contact Suzanne Sullivan at Suzanne@midshoreriverkeeper.org or 443-385-0511.

  • New Announcement
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    New Announcement

    Midshore Riverkeepers Pumpout Boat Reports Successful First Season

    Teddy on Water.2016

    Teddy Miller cruises the waters of the Miles and Wye Rivers in the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy pumpout boat.

    In spring 2016, Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC), with funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Clean Vessel Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, purchased and operated a 22’ Pump Kleen® MRC pumpout boat for the Miles and Wye Rivers. The pumpout boat operates from May to October. In its first season, the boat pumped over 8,500 gallons of waste from almost 350 boats.

    The pumpout boat operates in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, where the boat is based. CBMM donates free dockage, storage and use of their land-based pump out station to offload the waste from the pumpout boat. The sewage waste removed from boats goes directly to the recently updated St. Michaels Wastewater Treatment Plant that provides high quality treatment.

    MRC’s pumpout boat is the first of its kind on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The mobile pumpout facility significantly reduces nutrient pollution and harmful bacteria introduced by recreational boaters. The vessel allows boats to conveniently and properly dispose of waste rather than discharging it into our waterways. This service is greatly needed since there are no pumpout services on the Wye River and very few on the Miles. Because these services are limited, existing pumpout stations are often very crowded, and boaters are discouraged by long wait times or unable to reach land-based pumpout facilities.

    “We are very proud to have had the opportunity to partner with Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy on this initiative,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “CBMM is committed to helping protect the Chesapeake Bay, both environmentally and historically, and the pumpout boat is a great tool in this respect.”

    “We are thrilled with the results of our first season,” says MRC Executive Director and Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Jeff HOrstman. “We want to thank the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for all their help and support. The pumpout boat has a direct and measurable impact on clean water, which contributes to our mission to protect and restore our rivers. Additionally, this fun little boat has been one of our best public outreach tools, educating people who use the river the most on how much our rivers need help.”

    For more information, please contact Jeff Horstman at 443.385.0511 or jeff@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

  • New Event
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    New Event

    Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Easton Maryland

    EastonFilmFestival

    The Wild & Scenic Film Festival showcases communities and individuals engaging and advocating on issues surrounding their environment. MRC will show short films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to bring either the splendor or issue to light. Guests will enjoy their own unique hour-long program that highlighting subjects ranging from ospreys to fracking to coffee and rafting.

    Click here to view the Wild & Scenic Film Festival trailer.

    The evening includes an introduction to High Tide in Dorchester, the latest film by David Harp, Tom Horton and Sandy Cannon Brown. This is a film on the cultural and ecological effects of rising sea level in Dorchester County. The film, an ode to a place and its people, tells the story through poetic narrative, stunning imagery, and compelling interviews with biologists, oceanographers, climate experts, ornithologists, and residents who may have to retreat in the near future because of higher water.

    There is sure to be something that catches your eye!

    The Easton Night of Films will be held on Friday, November 18 at 6pm at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland. Guests will enjoy an open bar with beer and wine, appetizers from local businesses, a fantastic silent auction, and–back by popular demand–the MRC Giving Tree.

    Please join us for a night of films, friends, and a “fun”raising good time!

    Our special guest will be photographer Jay Fleming with a short film about his brand new photographic book, Working the Water, which chronicles the the production stages of Chesapeake Bay seafood. Working the Water is a collection of beautifully-curated photographs of seasoned watermen, scenic seascapes, weathered workboats and Bay bounty–a visual narrative of the lives of individuals whose livelihood is directly dependent upon the Chesapeake Bay. Fleming says, “I hope that giving my readers a glimpse into the lives of the watermen, boat builders and crab pickers who are behind the seafood on our plates, that there will be an increased appreciation for the work they do and, ultimately, an increased interest in the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay’s resources.”

    For more information, contact Sarah Boynton at (443) 385-0511 or sarah@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

    TICKETS

    Avalon Theatre
    ONLINE

    BOX OFFICE
    42 E. Dover Street, Easton MD 21601
    410.822.7299

    Can’t make November 18? Please consider also attending the Cambridge event on November 11, which features all different films, local fare, and a mystery wine raffle. Or go to both–each has its own unique film program!

  • New Event
    Group logo of Chesapeake Network
    New Event

    Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Cambridge Maryland

    CambridgeFilmFestival

    The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is a call-to-action that transforms film-goers into committed activists dedicated to saving our increasingly threatened planet. We show environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities around the world are doing to protect the environment.

    Click here to view Wild & Scenic Film Festival trailer.

    The program includes an introduction to High Tide in Dorchester, the latest film by David Harp, Tom Horton and Sandy Cannon Brown. This is a film on the cultural and ecological effects of rising sea level in Dorchester County. The film, an ode to a place and its people, tells the story through poetic narrative, stunning imagery, and compelling interviews with biologists, oceanographers, climate experts, ornithologists, and residents who may have to retreat in the near future because of higher water.

    Our opening presentation will be held on Friday, November 11 at 6pm at Gallery 447 at the corner of Race and Muir Streets in Cambridge.

    The evening begins with local fare and beer and wine from in and around the community; with each ticket purchase, guests receive one free drink ticket. New this year in Cambridge is the mystery wine raffle, where guests can take the chance on selecting their own wine bottle. All players will leave with a bottle of wine. Raffle tickets are $10 each, and wines range from $10 to $30 a bottle. Either way, you can go home a winner!

    Then, the lights will dim and guests of the Cambridge film festival will enjoy a unique hour-long program of short adventure and environmental films. It is a night of films you don’t want to miss.

    All proceeds support MRC’s efforts for healthier Midshore rivers.

    Our special guest will be photographer Jay Fleming with a short film about his brand new photographic book, Working the Water, which chronicles the the production stages of Chesapeake Bay seafood. Working the Water is a collection of beautifully-curated photographs of seasoned watermen, scenic seascapes, weathered workboats and Bay bounty–a visual narrative of the lives of individuals whose livelihood is directly dependent upon the Chesapeake Bay. Fleming says, “I hope that giving my readers a glimpse into the lives of the watermen, boat builders and crab pickers who are behind the seafood on our plates, that there will be an increased appreciation for the work they do and, ultimately, an increased interest in the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay’s resources.”

    Gallery 447 is a performance venue in the heart of downtown Cambridge with a full size movie screen. Upstairs gallery space includes beautiful art studios.

    Please consider also attending the EASTON EVENT on November 18, which features all different films, local fare, and a fantastic silent auction.

    For more information about the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, contact Sarah at (443) 385-0511 or sarah@midshoreriverkeeper.org.
    CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

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