State of the Magothy

Annually each Spring, the Magothy River Association delivers a “State of the Magothy” address. This program is open to the public and provides the community an opportunity to learn about the health of the Magothy and what MRA volunteers are doing to protect and preserve the river for generations to come.

This year’s event was held on April 5th at Anne Arundel Community College. Dr. Sally Hornor presented on the Magothy River Index, and Caitlin Sporik, of Bayland Environmental Designers, spoke on the multi-faceted restoration projects for Mill Creek. 

To download the 2023 report click here.

For questions or more information, please contact

Oyster Restoration Program

Did you know? A single adult oyster can filter pollutants from 50 gallons of water per day! They also provide critical habitat for many critters that live on the bars. A typical oyster bar has at least 15 different invertebrates and small fish that live within the crevasses of the bars. This is why oysters are so important to the health of the Magothy River and the Chesapeake Bay.

MRA is one of the few organizations in the Chesapeake that runs a comprehensive oyster program. The program includes an oyster nursery, reef restoration and dive monitoring.

Due to the collapse of the Key Bridge, oysters from Port Covington Marina that were destined for the reefs surrounding Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River, have been relocated to a sanctuary in the Magothy River. The Magothy Oyster Sanctuary consists of 5 major oyster restoration sites, which include: Chest Neck Point, Ulmstead Point, Rock Point, Dobbins Hill and Persimmon Point. MRA volunteers will begin ferrying out the bushels of oysters from Port Covington to the Rock Point sanctuary in late May.

Last summer the MRA partnered with the Jolly Dolphin in the 4th annual Great Chesapeake Bay Virtual Schooner Race to raise money for the Oyster Restoration Program. We sailed over the finish line in second place, doubling our race goal! However, we still have a long way to go in order to fund restoration of all our reefs.

Please consider donating to our Oyster Restoration Program today! Click on the donate button on our homepage. We are also looking for CORPORATE SPONSORS. For more information on this project please contact For information on our Corporate Sponsorship Program, please contact Nick Spadaro at

Thank you for your support!

Noah’s Reef

This spring, the Magothy River Association was part of a large effort to add 200 additional reef balls to Noah’s reef off Dobbins Island! Reef balls help restore fish habitat in the Magothy. Thanks goes to these groups for making it possible to deploy the reef balls within a short window of opportunity: Coastal Conservation of Maryland, Cossentino Contracting, Maguire Marine Construction, Cypress Marina, and Twin Harbors Marina. Special thanks to MRA volunteer, Mike Maquire for coordinating the effort and getting the job done.

The MRA is proud to support the Coastal Conservation of Maryland reef ball project and now has a special MDE permit to deploy these reef balls off Dobbins Island. This permit will allow MRA to partner with local schools, giving students the opportunity to build reef balls and get involved HANDS ON with Bay restoration activities.

Arbor Day 2024

On April 26th, the Magothy River Association celebrated Arbor Day with students from St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Severna Park by planting 6 trees at Lake Waterford Park. MRA donated 3 Virginia Pines and 3 Virginia Sweet Spire trees to replace a number of Champion trees that were recently lost along the park’s “Champion Trail.” One tree was planted in remembrance and honor of long time MRA volunteer, Steve Troy. MRA hopes to expand this event by inviting more schools to participate and become champions of saving the earth, one tree at a time.

The first Arbor Day was held in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, where more than a million trees were planted. The idea “grew” from state to state and on April 15, 1907 President Roosevelt issued an Arbor Day proclamation to the school children of the United States, brining Arbor Day to the classroom. It was not until 1970 that Arbor Day was recognized nationally, thanks to President Nixon. Today Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April as a day to promote environmental awareness and conservation efforts.

Latest MRA Living History Video

In December 2023, MRA volunteers released the latest living history video on “Goska’s Liquor store” which is located on historic RT 648. This is a wonderful 5 minute video describing some of the local history surrounding this store in Severna Park. Click here to watch.

You can find links to our other Living History videos under Projects>Living History. MRA volunteers are currently working on living history videos for Asbury church and Woods church.

Working together we can protect and preserve the Magothy for generations to enjoy.

Fort Grey, Mount Misery

Mount Misery is a hill located in Severna Park that served as a strategic military outpost for the Union during the Civil War. This little known piece of local history has recently been brought to life by MRA volunteers who have been advocating against its development. As part of its continuing efforts to protect the watershed and tell untold stories, the MRA produced a short video about Mount Misery. In addition, a new sign was recently installed along the B&A trail between Round Bay Rd. and Hoyle Ln. to commemorate the location. The signage was done in collaboration with Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources and Parks & Recreation departments. Please stop to check it out on your next walk, bike or run!

Special Event

On Wednesday, March 20th the Magothy River Association hosted a very special event, allowing YOU to virtually tour the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) campus. Get an inside look at the important environmental research happening there!

Headquartered on the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, SERC’s 2,650-acre campus spans forests, wetlands, marshes, and 15 miles of protected shoreline. The site serves as a natural laboratory for long-term and cutting-edge ecological research.

The MRA will play a role in one of those projects, Chesapeake Water Watch. Along with other local river organizations, MRA volunteers will collect water quality data. These measurements will be used by researchers to help “train” NASA satellites to accurately monitor the Bay.

Monthly Meetings

The MRA meets the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm. Please check our Facebook Page for up-to-date announcements and other timely information or contact

Meetings are held via Zoom or at the Berrywood Community Clubhouse, 2nd Floor, at the intersection of Berrywood & Hartman Drives, Severna Park and are open to the public.

Directions: Rt. 2, Ritchie Highway to Severna Park. Take B & A Blvd east (Rt.648) [@ Joe’s Seafood]. Right on Berrywood Drive. Clubhouse is on the right just past Maureen Lane.

MRA Annual Picnic – 2023

The Annual Meeting and picnic of the Magothy River Association will be held at the Gibson Island pavilion on Sunday, September 24, from 12:00 – 2:30. The MRA will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks; please bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share.
There will be a short business meeting around 1:00 to meet next year’s officers (Paul Spadaro, President; Sally Hornor, Vice President; Russ Stevenson, Vice President, Government Affairs; Ted Connell, Treasurer; Karen Royer, Recording Secretary; and Andrea Germain, Corresponding Secretary) and discuss ongoing activities.
Gibson Island is a gated community and all attendees at the MRA annual meeting must be registered with the guard. Therefore, it is essential that you RSVP no later than September 15 if you plan to attend. Please leave a message with Karen at Space is limited and attendance will be on a first-registered basis, so I urge you to RSVP as soon as possible.
I hope you’re able to attend. If you still need to pay your membership dues for the year, please click on the “BECOME A MEMBER” link on the homepage. Dues and donations are both tax deductible! $25 for an individual. $35 for an organization. Thank you in advance for your support!