Meet the South, West and Rhode Riverkeeper

Jesse IliffJesse Iliff is an attorney who obtained his juris doctor with a certificate of concentration in environmental law from the University of Maryland, Carey School of Law. A native of Arnold, Maryland, he interned with the Office of the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit while studying for the bar exam before litigating a variety of cases in state and federal court after entering private practice in 2010.

While in law school, Jesse earned a Public Service Award for designing a pro bono project for environmental law students to assist in litigation regarding unsound wastewater treatment and retention practices by surface mining companies in West Virginia. Jesse also served as co-executive of the Maryland Environmental Law Society, designing and implementing conservation and fundraising programs for the student organization. In addition, he completed an Asper Fellowship with the Anne Arundel County Office of Law’s natural resources division.

Before joining the South River Federation, Jesse provided pro bono counsel and representation to several community groups and non-profit organizations through the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, most notably securing a permit from the Maryland Department of Environment to construct a living shoreline for the Pines Community Association on the Severn River in 2014. In his spare time Jesse enjoys softball, boating, hiking and cross country skiing with his wife Abbey and their son Baxter and daughter Willow.

River Patrols for Pollution

West & Rhode Riverkeeper patrols our rivers to look for sources of pollution, critical area violations, and other illegal activity which can harm our environment. We also occasionally take to the sky to observe our rivers from small planes and drones.We can’t see everything. If you observe or suspect illegal activity is occurring, please report it to us.


South River Patrol Boat

This 24 foot center console Carolina Skiff stops at almost 20 sites to collect water quality monitoring data.




West & Rhode River Patrol Boat

This 18-foot center-console runabout is a Seagull Nautico Power Cat built in 2000 and donated by Dave Prosten of Mashpee, Massachusetts (formerly of Annapolis, Maryland) in 2015. The newly-refurbished 90-hp Evinrude E-Tec outboard engine was donated in 2017 by BRP/Evinrude and the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) of Annapolis. It’s installation was donated by Brian Conner (left) of Rhode River Marina. John Adey, president of ABYC, is on the right.



Pumpout Boat

Our Pumpout Boat can be seen on the rivers on weekends in May through October. A 22-foot C-Hawk, the pumpout boat was purchased with a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which continues to fund the operating costs of the pumpout program.