New Riverkeeper Named 

Elle Bassett.

By Kathy Knotts 

The Arundel Rivers Federation has named Anne Arundel County native Elle Bassett as the new South, West and Rhode Riverkeeper. 

Bassett grew up along the South River, but has spent the past 10 years working to advance clean water solutions on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She was an education and outreach coordinator before becoming the Miles-Wye Riverkeeper for ShoreRivers in 2018. Over her career, she has worked to connect communities and youth to the water by inviting residents to join her on the rivers to monitor water quality, plant sea grasses, and restore oyster reefs. 

“Being a riverkeeper is a dream job, but being the riverkeeper for my home river is a home run,” said Bassett. “I’m excited to bring all the skills I’ve learned over my 10 years with ShoreRivers back to this side of the Chesapeake Bay and start working with my hometown communities to protect our rivers together.” 

Arundel Rivers’ Executive Director, Matt Johnston, stated, “Elle will transform everything we do for our rivers. She will bring new communities and residents of our watersheds to our rivers so that we all may take part in this fight for clean water. As one of those watershed residents, I am thrilled to have Elle as my riverkeeper.” 

Riverkeepers monitor water quality, identify sources of pollution, advocate for protection and restoration, and support environmental education and community engagement efforts within their watersheds. Jesse Iliff was the former South, West and Rhode Riverkeeper but left earlier this year to become executive director of the Severn River Association.  

“While we are certainly sad to see Elle leave, we are excited about this new opportunity for her and Arundel Rivers,” stated Isabel Hardesty, ShoreRivers executive director. “Our organizations have always worked together in Annapolis to fight for clean water, and now one of the strongest voices in that fight will be working just steps from the State House. I’m excited to see what we will accomplish together in the years ahead.” 

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