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Operation Clearwater

Woman in olive tanktop standing on a beach holding a 3 foot rod attached to a clear bottle


Severn River Association's "Operation Clearwater" monitors summer river water quality as indicated by the presence of microorganisms.

Staff at the Environmental Center have participated in a program started by the Severn River Association 27 years ago entitled "Operation Clearwater". This program's goal is to monitor the microbial water quality at bathing beaches and marinas throughout the Severn River watershed. Dr. Sally Hornor, of the Biology Department and Environmental Center, has served as the scientific director of this program for the past 12 years. Water samples at waterfront communities are collected weekly between mid-May and the end of August, and enumeration of microorganisms associated with poor microbial water quality is performed at the Environmental Center.

Samples are collected on Wednesday mornings by a student employed by the Environmental Center to work on this project. Water is collected in sterile bottles from piers or beaches and kept on ice until all samples are returned to the lab by mid-day.

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