Riverkeepers to Host Annual State of the Rivers Series

ShoreRivers is pleased to announce the return of its highly anticipated State of the Rivers events—a series of free presentations held each spring to inform the public about the current state of our Eastern Shore waterways and what we can all do to protect and restore them. Whether this will be your first or your 15th State of the Rivers, we invite everyone to attend, learn, and enjoy—and bring a friend, too!
Each year, between April and October, ShoreRivers’ professional Riverkeepers conduct weekly tidal sampling of more than 60 sites from Cecilton to Cambridge, then test for multiple scientific water quality parameters including dissolved oxygen, nutrient pollution, chlorophyll, and clarity. These indicators reveal the overall health of our waterways and our progress toward protecting and restoring our local rivers. ShoreRivers, statewide groups, and national agencies use this information to track trends, develop remediation strategies, advocate for stronger laws and enforcement, alert the public of potential health risks, and inform region-wide efforts toward clean water goals.
The public is invited to learn more about the results of this testing at this year’s State of the Rivers presentations, hosted around the region by the Riverkeepers themselves. Light refreshments, including local oysters, will be provided. ShoreRivers is grateful for this year’s State of the Rivers sponsors: The Packing House, the Garfield Center for the Arts, Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cult Classic Brewing, Choptank Oyster Co., Orchard Point Oysters, Ten Eyck Brewing Company, Happy Chicken Bakery, the Betterton Volunteer Fire Department, and John Andrew McCown.
Please save these dates for this year’s State of the Rivers presentations:
Wednesday, April 17, at Betterton Fire Hall, from 5:30–7pm | State of the Sassafras River & the Bayside Creeks, hosted by Riverkeeper Zack Kelleher
Thursday, April 25, at The Packing House in Cambridge, from 5:30–7pm | State of the Choptank River, hosted by Riverkeeper Matt Pluta
Monday, April 29, at Cult Classic Brewing in Stevensville, from 5:30–7pm | State of the Miles River, Wye River, and Eastern Bay, hosted by Riverkeeper Ben Ford
Wednesday, May 8, at the Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown, from 5:30–7pm | State of the Chester River, hosted by Riverkeeper Annie Richards
In addition to analyzing water quality data and communicating this information to the public, Riverkeepers use their weekly sampling as an opportunity to monitor changes along shorelines, identify potential indications of illegal discharges, and scout submerged aquatic vegetation beds. These observations, coupled with the quantitative data collected throughout the year, paint a holistic and well-informed picture of the health of each river and its tributaries. Riverkeepers work collaboratively with the community and with ShoreRivers’ other departments (including education, agriculture and restoration, and community engagement) to increase awareness of the issues, inspire behavior change, and implement practices for healthier river systems.
“Eastern Shore waterways are choked by polluted runoff from residential, commercial, and agricultural properties,” said Matt Pluta, ShoreRivers’ Choptank Riverkeeper & Director of Riverkeeper Programs. “Intentional and unintentional bacterial contamination poses risks to human health. Regular scientific monitoring for these and other pollutants is a signature component of ShoreRivers’ operations and the only comprehensive testing of our local rivers currently being conducted. Please join us at a State of the Rivers event in your area to learn what’s happening, why it’s happening, and the important ways we can work together to make it better.”
For more information about these events, visit shorerivers.org/events.