New Boat starts 2017 Off Right for the Back Creek Conservancy

Back Creek Conservancy's new water monitoring boat following her New Year's Day delivery. Photo by Rick Kissel

Back Creek Conservancy’s new water monitoring boat following her New Year’s Day delivery. Photo by Rick Kissel

On New Year’s Day the Back Creek Conservancy took a great leap forward in its ability to monitor Back Creek and the Severn River mouth. Thanks to the generous donation  of Chris and Carolyn Groobey, we now own a 13-foot aluminum launch that offers safe, year-round access to the eight water quality monitoring sites on Back Creek.

Originally built in New Zealand as a yacht tender and  life raft, the launch will also enable us to reach the shoals off of Horn Point, the sewer plant discharge point off of Chesapeake Harbour, and the NOAA buoy at Greenbury Point. Lorie Stout (standing on the dock in the photo) drove it to its new home at Port Annapolis Marina.

Thank you to the Groobeys for this generous gift and greater ability to monitor our favorite creek. Happy New Year!


Finding the Mattie F. Dean in Back Creek



The Back Creek Conservancy, in partnership with the Ocean Research Project, is launching the Schooner Mattie F. Dean Expedition to locate and if possible to identify wooden sailing vessels abandoned in Back Creek, Annapolis, at the end of the sailing era, between 1933, when the Hurricane blew open the mouth of Back Creek, to the early 1970s, when the boat shows began. The number, location, and the extent of the remains of these vessels is unknown.


Where on Back Creek Do We Do Water Quality Monitoring?

Back Creek water samplingAs the Back Creek Conservancy becomes more well-known in the community, we have been fielding questions about our water quality monitoring and where exactly we’re testing.

Yesterday, our board president David Barker and interns made a technological breakthrough to help show the public where we’re working. Check out this interactive story map and click on the eight sampling sites. More to come about results later…


A Little Fun, a Little Marine Debris

Looks like Back Creek Conservancy board president David Barker and his wife Lisa Borre set out this weekend on Back Creek for a little fun, a little marine debris pickup. Below you’ll find the photos. Our next Marine Debris Monday is August 8, so please join us and invite friends with small boats.


50 Cheers for 50 Volunteers


All photos by Lisa Borre

Fifty or more cheers for the 50 volunteers who showed up Saturday, April 2, on a gloomy morning to pick up trash for Project Clean Stream—which Bay-wide had more than 50,000 volunteers. The 50 who signed up through Back Creek Conservancy are the ones we’d like to give a special thanks to. This is our first big volunteer event, so to have four dozen people show up in the rain to clean up the shorelines of our creek is pretty darned special and makes us proud to live in this community.

Among the volunteer base were 11 students, many neighbors and friends, a handful of board members (and one very helpful mom of a board member), seven SpinSheet staffers, and a whole lot of friends who love their home creek.

Betsy Love and Daniel Walton organized their own Project Clean Stream event at the shoreline of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, mainly using a dozen midshipmen for the heavy lifting. They picked up about 2/3 of a truckload of trash bags and metal debris, out of the four truckloads in total that were collected from Back Creek. Love and Walton are both Master Watershed Stewards, and this effort marks the beginning of a promising collaboration between the conservancy and this gifted group of highly trained community leaders.

DSC_0921_50pWe picked up 1743 pounds of trash in 115 bags in one morning! (The final tally came closer to one ton!) The booty included two bikes, two shopping carts, two tires, four auto batteries, an ancient radio, a safe, a headliner for car, a mossy backpack, a full can of Coors Light, Styrofoam cups, and more plastic bags and bottles and cigarette butts than we’d care to discuss.

Did we mention we uncovered a crime scene and discovered a wad of Canadian currency and many passports? See what goodies you may find when you volunteer?

Lorie and David with the 1750-pound heap of trash we collected from the Back Creek shores.

Lorie and David with the 1750-pound heap of trash we collected from the Back Creek shores.

Special thanks should go out to Lorie Stout, who singlehandedly organized the volunteers, created the cleanup action map, and took care of the registration table. Our board president David Barker manned the pickup truck with a smile on his face, and his wife Lisa Borre took the great pictures shown here.

For you kayakers, paddleboarders, and small boat enthusiasts, we will plan an on-the-water cleanup when the water warms up. Next up on our volunteer opportunity schedule is Greenscape on Saturday, April 23. If you’d like to help do some planting and beautification around Back Creek that day or volunteer for future events, sign up for our email list at the righthand side of this page.