Weather and tides

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The Severn is crossed by two bridges. One, known as the Severn River Bridge or Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, carries US 50/US 301/MD 2 and was first built in 1886. The other carries MD 450, and is now officially named the “US Naval Academy Bridge” because its south end is near the academy. The latter bridge was built as a drawbridge in the late 1920s and replaced with the current high span in 1994. There used to be a railroad trestle between the two current bridges, built in about 1887 for the Annapolis and Baltimore Short Line Railroad (which became part of the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway), that was removed after 1968 when it was declared unsafe.
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Smith's Marina on the Severn River

The Severn has a watershed area (including the water surface) of 81 square miles (210 km2), or 69 square miles (180 km2) of land. Thus, its total watershed area is 15% water. From its headwaters in western Anne Arundel County, the river enters the Chesapeake Bay at the major port city of Annapolis, also the capital of Maryland.

Most famous for the United States Naval Academy campus situated at the mouth of the river, the Severn provides an access point to the Chesapeake Bay for fishermen, hobby boaters, and Midshipmen. Its nontidal portion is called Severn Run, which has several branches, including Jabez Branch. Several of its creeks drain highly developed areas, including Weems Creek and its nontidal portion Cowhide Branch, which drain most of the Annapolis Mall and the Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Almost all of the tidal creeks and coves on the Severn are named, along with many of the nontidal creeks that drain to them, as the result of a project started in 2001 by the Magothy River Association, working with the Severn River Association, and funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The late Colby Rucker was very helpful with finding the names. Some of the names are only shown on the map produced by the Severn River Association in 2005.


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