Severn River Commission

The Severn River Commission provides counsel and advice to Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis and The State of Maryland, concerning matters related to the Severn River and its watershed.

The Severn River Commission was created in 1984 by the Anne Arundel County Council and the Annapolis City Council to provide advice to these bodies on policies to enhance and protect the natural, historic and scenic quality of the Severn River watershed. It consists of nine voting members and up to five ex-officio non-voting members who meet once a month. Seven of the voting members are appointed by the Anne Arundel County Executive, and two are appointed by the Mayor of Annapolis. Members serve staggered 3-year terms.

The Severn River Commission meets at 4 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month in the Severn Room, 4th floor of the Anne Arundel County Heritage Office Complex, 2664 Riva Rd., Annapolis. The meetings are open to the public. Public input on matters pertaining to the natural, historic, and scenic qualities of the Severn watershed is permitted at beginning and end of each meeting, input limited to three minutes per speaker. The Commission is particularly interested in hearing on issues related to current or future legislation or government policies.

As stipulated in its charter, the Severn River Commission compiles a report of its activities every two years. Biennial reports covering the period 1995-2008 are available on line. Minutes of monthly meetings since the last biennial report are also available on line. Implementation of the Severn River Watershed Management Master Plan and protection of Jabez Branch remain the Commission's highest priorities. The plan has examined the health of streams in the Severn River watershed, assessing the present and future storm water management needs, and providing a GIS-based analysis tool for planning future development. Other ongoing Commission projects include involvement in updating and evaluation of Articles 16, 17, 18 (storm water management, flood plain, land use.)

E-Mail Contact

The Severn River Commission encourages electronic input from the public as an alternative to attendance at Commission meetings. Citizens are invited to offer their input on Commission issues, and express their concerns and questions on environmental matters relating to the Severn River and its watershed. Questions about material on the Commission web site are also welcome. 

Different Organizations - Different Agenda

The Severn River Commission (SRC), the Severn Riverkeeper, and the Severn River Association exist to protect the Severn River watershed. However, very often one is confused with the other despite each having very different roles to fulfill. This is an attempt to help differentiate between the three and to explain what the SRC does. 
The Severn River Commission was created by County Council Resolution 130-84 and City of Annapolis Resolution 55-84 as a result of a decision by the State General Assembly to designate the Severn River and its tributaries as a State Scenic River – one of nine rivers chosen for such designation in Maryland. The Scenic Rivers Act of 1978 instructed the local governing bodies to establish boards to advise on how to protect and enhance each river’s natural, scenic and cultural heritage. Thus the Severn River commission was created. The County and City resolutions charged the SRC to provide counsel and advise on policies, laws, rules, and regulations which the SRC believes may have an impact on the Severn River watershed. Its official advisory role and official nature set Severn River Commission apart from the Severn River Association and other Severn River groups. 

The Severn River Association is a dues paying, non-profit activist organization, representing over 60 communities in the watershed.  Through SRA”s Stormwater Action Fund, they support communities’ efforts to reduce pollutants running into the Severn via improved stormwater management techniques. 

The Severn Riverkeeper is a separate non-profit, designated by the National Waterkeeper Alliance to preserve and protect the Severn River, which concentrates on water monitoring and securing grants for large scale restoration projects..   
In its role as an advisory body, the SRC has been involved in legislative and regulatory procedures concerning critical and decisive issues affecting the well-being of the entire watershed. Of particular concern is the projected deforestation of the watershed. Currently, 33% of the Severn River Watershed is forested, however, the projected forest cover could be reduced to 6% with current zoning if total build out occurs.  Another major area of concern is water quality and the SRC is leading efforts to designate portions of the Severn as No Discharge Zones as well as encourage restoration and protection efforts in the Jabez Branch and Severn Run areas of the headwaters..

The Bylaws are amended from May 14, 1985 as Revised and Adopted July 7, 2005        

Resolutions Creating the Severn River Commission        
County Council Resolution R130-84 Creating the Severn River Commission        
Annapolis City Council Resolution R55-84 Creating the Severn River Commission        
County Council Resolution R47-87 Reestablishing the Severn River Commission        
Annapolis City Council Resolution R50-89

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