Volume 16, Issue 38 - September 18 - September 24, 2008

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A River Runs Thru It

South Riverkeeper Diana Muller takes on the challenge of saving the Bay one sample at a time.

by Diana Beechener

“I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau and save the dolphins,” says new South Riverkeeper Diana Muller. “So my professor told me to major in chemistry, since that’s the only thing that really stands up in court.”

As riverkeeper, Muller is an independent eye, monitoring the environment and helping watershed residents get their complaints heard.

“I get to do it all. I’m a third party eye on the river. I’m not affiliated with any group or government agency. So I’m open minded to everything that goes on,” Muller says. One of her main duties is making sure Anne Arundel County investigates environmental violations.

The chemist spends two to three days a week on the water, completing her own sampling from the river and assessing its health. Muller was surprised by her early results.

“There’s no industry itself on top of South River, there’s no manufacturing company here, yet it’s about as polluted as you would see if there was large industry on it,” Muller says. “And that’s par for the course for a lot of the Western Shore Maryland Rivers.”

Muller sees concerned people as the South River’s best chance for improved health. “One of my big goals this year is to increase our volunteers tremendously,” says the riverkeeper. “I want people on the boat volunteering. If anybody wants to come out and walk the headwaters with me, go out on the boat to take samples, I plan on having training sessions.”

To board a boat or help raise awareness about Anne Arundel County’s current hot issue, the impact fees bill: 410-224-3802; www.southriverfederation.net.

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