West and Rhode Riverkeeper

We work with our community to enforce environmental law, to
promote restoration, and to advocate for better environmental policy.
Contact us: 410-867-7171  ♦  4800 Atwell Rd, #6, Shady Side, MD 20764

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ChesaTreks tour to Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

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ChesaTreks Tour of Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Saturday, June 4, 2016

11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

You’ve sailed by many times, but this is your rare chance to climb on board this icon of the Chesapeake Bay, a National Historic Landmark. Meet at the Annapolis Maritime Museum for background and history, then head out by boat to the 1875 screw-pile lighthouse, the last of its kind in its original location, followed by a crab-cake, fish or chicken sandwich lunch on the deck overlooking Back Creek.

The cost is $100 per person, including lunch. Proceeds help the Riverkeeper keep the West & Rhode Rivers fishable, swimmable, kayak-able and crab-able. Reservations are required. Call  or click here.

“ChesaTreks” adventures are a fun way to explore the Chesapeake Bay with the West & Rhode Riverkeeper. We’ll host new adventures every month, each one calculated to highlight an environmental or historical treasure. We’ll bring along an expert to enlighten a small group, take a tour by boat or kayak, and then savor the experience with conversation over some local food and drink.

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Volunteer for Ride for the Rivers

r4r mbbbqThe Riverkeeper needs your help on Saturday, May 14 to help with the third annual Ride for the Rivers and the Muddy Bottom BBQ. You'll have fun -- and get a free cool T-shirt and the best BBQ, fried fish & chicken you've ever tasted (not to mention beer!) This is our #1 fundraiser for the year, so we'd really appreciate your help. Sign up for as much time as you can spare to help keep our rivers fishable, swimmable, kayakable and crab-able. 
Jeff Holland
West & Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc.
Please click here to sign up to volunteer
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Pumpout Boat to start service May 14

Pump-out Boat Service starts Saturday, May 14
call Cap'n Mike  or hail him on VHS Channel 71. 

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Pigs & Pearls at Pirate's Cove



What:    Pigs and Pearls Fundraiser for the West and Rhode Riverkeeper

Where: Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Dock Bar

4817 Riverside Drive, Galesville MD, 20765

When:  Saturday, April 30, 2016

Time:     2 – 6 p.m.

Admission:          $35 in advance or $40 at the door, kids ages 5-12 $10, kids under 4 free. Admission includes 18 tickets for your choice of oysters, BBQ, local craft beers, sodas, and a contribution to the West and Rhode Riverkeeper. Tickets can be purchased at Pirate’s Cove in Galesville, Killarney House in Davidsonville, Galway Bay in Annapolis, and Brian Boru in Severna Park.

Information:  or http://www.piratescovemd.com/

Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Dock Bar in Galesville will host a fundraiser for the West and Rhode River Keeper called Pigs and Pearls: Barbecue and Oysters! The event will highlight locally grown and harvested oysters served fresh-shucked or roasted, and pulled BBQ pork from local farms with two sauces from Pirate’s Cove Chef Steve Hardison. 

The event will feature live music by the Eastport Oyster Boys, along with guest local watermen from the West and Rhode Rivers. This is the opening day of the Pirate’s Cove Dock Bar, so the day is sure to be a fun time on the waterfront of the West River with great food, drinks, and music. Kids will enjoy Pirate and Bay themed activities including face painting and dress up. 


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Chesapeake Conservation Corps opportunity

West & Rhode Riverkeeper is one of many potential Host sites for the 2016-17 Chesapeake Conservation Corps service year. The Corps Program provides hands-on environmental, leadership and green job training opportunities for young adults through environmental, community engagement and energy conservation projects. This initiative, supported by the Trust, Constellation Energy, the National Park Service and the state of Maryland, places young adults 18-25 with nonprofit or government agencies to work fulltime in the environmental field for a one-year term of service in the Chesapeake Bay region ($16,000 annual stipend).

The purpose of the Corps is 1) to enable young adults to work with host organizations and communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region on issues surrounding the Chesapeake Bay, and 2) to provide leadership and green training opportunities for young adults pursuing environmental and conservation careers including conferences, trainings, grant writing, project management and others.  Corps members will work fulltime on projects and programs in the realms of environmental restoration, community engagement, environmental education, energy conservation, sustainable agriculture and forestry that will promote and sustain the Bay and its surrounding environment as well as provide young adults with the opportunities to gain career skills and become more engaged through meaningful community service.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust anticipates placing around 30-35 Corps Members, young adults 18-25, with nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region for a paid year of service ($16,000) beginning on August 23, 2016.  To find the application or view a list of potential Host Organizations go to http://www.cbtrust.org/chesapeakeconservationcorps.

Applications must be submitted through the Trust’s online system by April 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

For any questions about becoming a volunteer or about the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, contact Program Specialist Tara Baker,  or, ext. 102.

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BGE Osprey Watch

BGE 'Osprey Watch' calls on customers to report nests sighted on utility equipment

March marks the annual return of ospreys to the Chesapeake Bay and also the likelihood that their nests will appear on Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) electric equipment. These nests endanger the birds and may cause power outages.                                                              

There have been 123 osprey outage events since 2006, with the vast majority occurring between April and August. The most impacted areas are located along the Chesapeake Bay and include Havre de Grace, near Martin State Airport, south Baltimore, south of Annapolis, and Shady Side to Deale in Anne Arundel County.

To protect the ospreys and help BGE continue the safe and reliable delivery of electricity, the company has launched a nest identification program called Osprey Watch. Any customer who identifies a nest on or near utility equipment, such as power lines and poles, should let BGE know immediately by emailing . BGE will dispatch a trained crew to either shield the birds and nests from the equipment or remove the nest.

 How customers can help:

When you see an osprey nest on BGE equipment, report the location of the osprey nest via  and provide the following information:

If the pole is easily accessible, please send us the pole number, located on a placard near eye level on the pole.

If the pole is not easily accessible, please send us the nearest address to the pole and attach photos of the pole (taken from different perspectives if possible).

Once a nest is reported, BGE will remove the nest if no birds or eggs are present. The nest will be relocated where possible. If the nest is inhabited, deterrents will be placed on the electric equipment to shield the birds and nests and mitigate the risks of contact.

Photo from www.ospreywatch.org by K Lantz


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Poplar Island Tour

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What:  ChesaTreks Tour to Poplar Island

When:              Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hours:             7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Cost:                $100 per person, including limo transportation and crab cake lunch at Character’s Bridge Restaurant, Knapps Narrows, Tilghman Island

Reservations required. Call 410-867-7171 or click here. Or cut and paste into your browser: https://co.clickandpledge.com/?wid=116829


The West & Rhode Riverkeeper will lead a tour to Poplar Island on Wednesday, April 13, as the first of new series of “ChesaTreks” adventures.

“This is a fun way to explore the Chesapeake Bay,” says Riverkeeper Jeff Holland. “We’ll host one new adventure every month, each one calculated to highlight an environmental or historical treasure. We’ll bring along an expert to educate a small group, take a tour by boat or kayak, and then savor the experience with conversation over some local food and drink.”

The first ChesaTrek adventure will be a tour to Poplar Island near Tilghman Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “This was one of our disappearing islands,” Holland explains, “but it’s become a national model of environmental restoration.”

According to 1847 charts, Poplar Island was about 1,100 acres, but erosion and sea level rise washed away all but five acres by 1993. The Maryland Environmental Service essentially recreated the island using clean dredged material from the Port of Baltimore’s approach channels.

According to MES sources, the process involves placing, shaping, and planting some 40 million cubic yards of dredged material within a dike constructed to approximate the 1847 footprint. The first two phases of dike construction were completed by 2002, and dredged material placement began in 2001. In 2014, the project was authorized for a 575-acre expansion which is scheduled to begin as early as 2016 and will increase the total project size to 1,715 acres, allowing for a project placement total of 68 million cubic yards of material.

The restored island provides habitat for a wide array of birds, terrapins, and other wildlife. “Definitely bring your binoculars,” Holland notes. “This is a birder’s paradise.” The day’s schedule starts with a Lighthouse Limo ride from Discovery Village in Shady Side. The group will board the MES boat at Knapp’s Narrows to get out to the island. After the tour, lunch will be at Character’s Bridge Restaurant overlooking the Narrows. The menu includes crab cakes, rockfish sandwich or chicken Caesar salad and soft drinks. The limo will arrive back at Discovery Village at about 3:30 p.m.

The cost is $100 per person, including transportation (courtesy of Lighthouse Limos) and lunch. Proceeds help the Riverkeeper keep the West & Rhode Rivers fishable, swimmable, kayak-able and crab-able.

Reservations are required. Call 410-867-7171 or click here. 

Details for Poplar Island Tour


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lighthouse Limo leaves 7 a.m.

                Park at Discovery Village, 4800 Atwell Road, Shady Side, MD 20764

Tour 9 a.m. - noon

Lunch: Noon – 1:30 p.m.

                Character’s Bridge Restaurant

Lighthouse Limo leaves Tilghman Island at 1:45 p.m.

                Arrives at Discovery Village at 3:30 p.m.

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Eastport Oyster Boys SOLD OUT


The concert is sold out. 

The Eastport Oyster Boys will reunite with co-founding member, Riverkeeper Jeff Holland, at the Galesville Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 26, from 8 to 11 p.m. in a concert to benefit the West and Rhode Rivers.

Celebrating their 20th year of homegrown “Chesapeake crusin’ tunes,” Holland and fellow co-founder Kevin Brooks will reunite for this special show along with current Eastport Oyster Boys Tom Guay, Mike Lange and Andy Fegley.  This special evening will be filled with Oyster Boy classics such as “Miss Lonesome,” “Good Hat, Good Dog, Good Boat” and “Subaquatic Vegetation,” along with a bushel basket of new songs inspired by life here on the shores of the Chesapeake. 

Ticket sales will help the West & Rhode Riverkeeper keep the West and Rhode Rivers fishable, swimmable, crab-able and kayakable. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly suggested.

Beer, wine and Rhode-Keeper Rum Punch will be served for a modest additional charge. The nearby Inn at Pirate’s Cove will offer a special fixed-price menu for a pre-concert repast, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Riverkeeper.

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Franklin Point State Park nature trail


Franklin Point State Park will have interpetive water trails and hiking trails beginning this summer -- stand by for more details!

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Blackfish Screening & Discussion

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The West & Rhode Riverkeeper presents Blackfish, the documentary that changed the way the world views killer whale captivity and forced SeaWorld to scramble to save its business. A screening at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 7 – 9 p.m., will be followed by a discussion with Tim Zimmermann, one of the film’s writer/producers.

A mesmerizing psychological thriller with a killer whale at its center, Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, it compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

Tim Zimmermann is an award-winning correspondent with Outside Magazine and author of The Race. Zimmermann’s writing focuses on humanity’s relationship with the natural world, and he has reported on everything from extreme cave diving to efforts to communicate with dolphins. In 2010 and 2011, he wrote The Killer in the Pool, a deep investigation into the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, and Blood in the Water, a follow-up report which deconstructed another fatal attack by a SeaWorld orca. Those two stories became the basis for Blackfish, which Zimmermann helped write and produce.

After the screening, Zimmermann will talk about what happened after Blackfish was screened in theaters and on CNN, and explain how Blackfish ignited a grassroots protest movement that has impacted SeaWorld's attendance and profits, and forced the theme park giant to reconsider the future of its iconic Shamu Show. 

Zimmermann is also a member of the Board of Directors of the West & Rhode Riverkeeper. Proceeds from the screening will help the Riverkeeper in efforts to make the West and Rhode Rivers fishable, swimmable, crab-able and kayak-able. Admission is $15. There will be a cash bar for wine and beer.

Click here for reservations,  or call 410-867-7171.

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