Environmental News

June 02, 1991

Weems may reopen

Closed for more than a week due to a sewage spill. Weems Creek may reopen for swimming and other water sports tomorrow, a Health Department spokesman said.

Emergency closings, openings and other water quality information is available to county residents through a new Health De-partment telephone service.

The recorded information line was switched on Memorial Day weekend in response to Severn River residents who wanted easy access to the Health Department's weekly water quality test results.

This week, the recording announced the closing of Weems Creek from Rowe Boulevard to its headwaters because a sewer main overflowed May 25.

Spokeswoman Evelyn Stein said tests suggest the potential health hazard will have passed by tomorrow.

The 24-hour information line reports weekly test results from the Health Department's 66 monitoring stations. The tests show the amount of fecal coliform, a bacteria that indicates the presence of feces from warm-blooded animals.

Stein cautioned that the presence of fecal coliform does not itself represent a hazard.

The primary threat is from human, rather than animal wastes.

The service received more than 400 calls during its first week, she said.

The water quality information line number is 222-7999.

SRA to educate

The Severn River Association wants to save the environment through the education.

The umbrella group for 101 neighborhood organizations within the river's 70-square-mile watershed has organized the Severn River Association's Education Endowment Fund.

SRA leaders hope to raise $10,000 from the community and use the annual interest to award $500 to $600 scholarships for environmental sciences at Anne Arundel Community College or research projects.

SRA President Stuart Morris said the association modeled the scholarship program after one operated by the Magothy River Association.

The Magothy River Association, whose endowment awards two scholarships annually, contributed the first $100 toward the SRA's endowment.

"Our sister organization had an excellent idea and we thought it was something we could do," Morris said.

Contributions can be made to the Severn River Association, designated for the Endowment Fund and sent to P.O. Box 146, Annapolis, Md. 21404.

Conservation book

The Severn River Association is publishing a "Backyard Conservationist's Notebook" again this year.

The citizen's guide to combating water, air and land pollution at home was first printed for Earth Day 1990.

The 24-page booklet guides readers through 16 areas of their home and community, offering 16 tips on how to conserve energy and reduce pollution in each.

It also lists county environmental groups, state and local enforcement agencies and emergency numbers.

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