South, West & Rhode Riverkeepers to Become One

Two watershed nonprofit organizations in Anne Arundel County are set to join forces later this month.

The South River Federation and the West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc. have been working closely together for years, and now they plan to officially merge to become the Arundel Rivers Federation. The unified nonprofit will focus on “using science, restoration and community action to make the South, West and Rhode Rivers cleaner and healthier.”

Says Tom Reinert, Chair of the South River Federation’s Board of Directors, “Formally consolidating the two organizations into the Arundel Rivers Federation will benefit the health of both river systems. We will reduce administrative costs, strengthen our restoration capacity and provide our two Riverkeepers with greater clout to protect, preserve and restore the rivers we love.”

The Board of Directors of each organization voted to consolidate them last week, and now the South River Federation’s annual membership meeting on October 30 will be the final step for approval.

The future Arundel Rivers Federation will keep both organizations’ riverkeepers. They hope that by uniting as one, the groups will gain a bigger political influence, since they already share the same elected leaders. The Federation will be the largest regional watershed organization in Anne Arundel County, covering nearly 53,000 acres of watershed.

-Meg Walburn Viviano