West/Rhode Riverkeeper Jeff Holland started in 2013. In 2019, the West/Riverkeeper organization merged with South River Federation to become Arundel Rivers Federation, home to the West/Rhode and South Riverkeepers. Jeff has a background in non-profit management and public relations. He served as Executive Director of West/Rhode Riverkeeper from 2013 to 2018, Executive Director of the Captain Avery Museum in Shady Side in 2013, and the Executive Director of the Annapolis Maritime Museum from 2001 – 2012. Governor Martin O’Malley appointed him as a Maryland delegate on the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Program in 2011. A singer and songwriter inspired by the Bay, Jeff was named “Poet Laureate of Eastport” in 1994 and was a founding member of the Chesapeake folk music groups Crab Alley and Them Eastport Oyster Boys.
West/Rhode Riverkeeper works to improve the health of the rivers:
River Patrols for Pollution
West/Rhode Riverkeeper patrols rivers to look for sources of pollution, critical area violations, and other illegal activity that can harm our environment. And also occasionally take to the sky to observe our rivers from small planes.
Water Quality Monitoring
West/Rhode Riverkeeper operates a volunteer water quality monitoring program during the underwater grass growing season (April – October). They sample weekly for important indicators of river health, such as dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, and water clarity. It is critical to monitor for water quality in order to accurately assess the condition of our rivers. They also monitor bacteria levels in the summer months. West/Rhode River Report Card.
West/Rhode Riverkeeper conducts Watershed Assessments for the West and Rhode Rivers. These Assessments, in partnership with the Center for Watershed Protection, help develop a game plan to take specific actions to improve the rivers’ health. They walk the streams, neighborhoods, schools, and boatyards all across the watershed to do an assessment of the current conditions and potential for restoration. This work resulted in a prioritized list of actions to take to help clean up the rivers.
Pumpout Boat “HoneyDipper”
Arundel Rivers Federation offers pump-out service for recreational boaters on the West, Rhode and South Rivers. This program is supported by a grant from Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Call to get your holding tank pumped out.
Oysters are an important natural resource. They filter the water and oyster reefs provide habitat for other aquatic life. Sadly, the number of oysters in the Bay is near 1% of the historic levels. To help bring more oysters to rivers West/Rhode Riverkeeper partners with two programs, the Marylanders Grow Oysters Progam in the Rhode River and Project Oyster West River (POWeR) in the West River. With both of these programs they work to get the public involved in taking care of their own “mini oyster reef” where wildlife of all kinds thrive.