At its General Meeting Tuesday, October 19th, the South River Federation <http://www.southriverfederation.net> presented an award and gift of appreciation to Kincey Potter for her seven years of service “without parallel” as President and Chairman of the watershed protection organization. Kincey will remain on the Board of Directors of the Federation, but By-Laws call for term limits after six years of service as an officer.
During the period that Kincey has been engaged in the Federation, it has grown from a totally volunteer organization, to serving as the host of the South River Keeper (Diana Muller), with an Executive Director (Erik Michelsen), and volunteer coordinator and general factotum (Cindy Wallace). Budgets have grown from around $60,000 per year to several hundred thousands of dollars this year, counting several large capital projects.
In spite of representing one of the smallest watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay, the Federation has become a major spokesman for watershed protection and Chesapeake Bay restoration issues, both within Anne Arundel County and for the state of Maryland.
The enlistment of a highly professional staff, and strong Board support encouraged Kincey to organize all Federation stakeholders to cooperate in the formulation of a long-term strategy for the Federation that emphasizes:
1) commitment to a water quality monitoring program without equal in the Chesapeake that is
2) directly linked to the implementation of major (multi-million dollar) sub-watershed mitigation and restoration programs that will serve as
3) models that can be used throughout the region for achieving measurable improvements in water quality, and making significant improvements in overall environmental conditions throughout the Bay.
The strategy has been well-received by donors, and has provided the Federation with added leverage and credibility in financing the development and promotion of major capital projects at selected sites in the watershed. Even in initial implementation, the Federation activities are revealing new insights into Bay pollution models and the important contribution that the communities of the middle Chesapeake Bay make to increasing Bay pollution (instead of being mostly recipients of upstream polluters, as embedded in current Bay models).
At the award presentation, Kincey expressed her profound thanks for the South River Federation recognition, and her continuing pleasure at working with the energetic volunteers, board and staff of the South River Federation. She is, however, also well embarked on other environmental initiatives. She is actively working in the political campaign to elect Chris Trumbauer to the Anne Arundel County Council. Chris served with Kincey as vice chair of the South River Federation for several years, and is now the River Keeper in the adjacent West and Rhode Rivers. Apart from personal friendship and respect for Chris, Kincey believes it is essential that the County Council increase its understanding of basic environmental realities in this coastal county’s 531 miles of shoreline.
Kincey is also one of the joint leaders of the first local chapter of the political advocacy group Maryland League of Conservation Voters, being organized in Anne Arundel County, and she has taken on responsibilities to help organize the new Watershed Stewards Academy being organized to train residents in basic stormwater management practices, such as rain barrel installation, rain gardens, and other water retention measures.
Observers of Kincey Potter’s career — both “professional” until her 2002 retirement as a manager of large information system development projects, and also her “volunteer” career in the Annapolis area, highlighted by the South River Federation award — are impressed by the appropriateness of the quotation she has used in her e-mail signatures:
”It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”— Winston Churchill
South River Federation Chair Ray Strong and River Keeper Diana Muller present the plaque and clock award to former Chair Kincey Potter