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Founded in 1911, the Severn River Association is the oldest, continuously operating river group in the nation working year round to make sure future generations can fish, crab and swim in clean water 24/7.

To reach and sustain these goals, the Severn River Association engages local communities to interact with the Severn River and its 39 creeks and coves through advocacy, education and restoration.  

To facilitate this interaction, the Severn River Association hosts a monthly Educational Speaker Series that features experts, enthusiasts, scientists and volunteers who devote their time and energies to protect and restore water quality in the Severn. And, we create a network of oyster growers.

Bringing Back What We’ve Lost

Just a couple of generations ago, water quality in the Severn River was such that you could see 20 feet to the bottom of the river!

There was time when underwater grasses – the fabled submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) – were so plentiful they were considered a hazard to navigation! Boaters had to push through the thick fields of underwater grass to get to deeper water. Grandparents remember wistfully of the days when they could easily watch soft-shell crabs molting in the SAV.



























But today (as you can see in this picture), the water is murky. We suffer through pollution-created algae blooms. There’s a permanent dead zone in the river. Our fabled SAV beds were virtually wiped out, fish and crabs are scarce. We’re not even supposed to swim in the river after a rain event!

That’s why the volunteers, members and communities who make up the Severn River Association are working to restore our river with programs designed to:

  • fight the number one threat – stormwater runoff that pours sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus into the waterway

  • track and inventory forage fish that support the river’s fishery

  • lobby state and count agencies to invest in infrastructure and stream restoration programs

  • offer grants to help communities fix their stormwater runoff problems

  • enlist volunteers into the SAV ‘Navy’ to map and monitor the return of our underwater grasses

  • build a network of 450 pier-based oyster growers who raise baby oysters to restore an oyster reef at the foot of the Rt. 50 Bridge

  • support Operation Clearwater to monitor bacteria levels at our river beaches

  • conduct water quality monitoring of the river’s water column

  • clean up our river banks during Project Clean Stream every year, and

  • develop the Save Our Shorelines Toolkit to preserve habitat on our river beaches.

Help us Treasure The Severn!

More information

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