Touring the site of a future waterway improvement project in Gambrills, County Executive Steve Schuh announced funding for a new, innovative public private partnership program to assist Anne Arundel County in cleaning up its more than 530 miles of shoreline.
“The waterways of Anne Arundel County are part of our heritage, and we are committed to securing them for the next generation.” said Schuh. “Despite much progress, we need to purse innovative and creative strategies to supplement our current waterway improvement program, and our newly created public private partnership program will do accomplish this goal.”
The fiscal year 2017 budget includes $5 million in funding for stormwater projects designed and constructed in partnership between Anne Arundel county government and the private sector. Vendors from the private sector will make proposals on a package of projects that will remove pollutants like phosphorous and nitrogen from the Bay.
A request for proposal for this funding will be issued in the next few weeks, as these P3 projects will help supplement the County’s robust stormwater program and help us meet our federal waterway cleanup deadlines in a cost effective and efficient way.
Current federal and state mandates could require the county to undertake more than $900 million in waterway improvement projects. The current fee in place to fund projects will support $250 million of these upgrades. The Schuh Administration is pursuing public private partnerships as one strategy to help ensure the county can meets its federal and state obligations.
The announcement took place before a tour of the one of the county’s newest, planned waterway improvement projects, Towers Branch Outfall Retrofit. The $1.9 million project will include the installation of a Step Pool Storm Conveyance (SPSC) system, which use pools to help convert surface stormwater discharges to shallow groundwater discharges via a sand and woodchip filter bed, which mitigates nutrient pollution.
By stabilizing the stream channel and stream banks, the SPSC system will enhance the ecological functions of the stream, enhance the nutrient uptake of the stream and wetland system and reduce the sediment load reaching Towsers Branch and the Little Patuxent River.
The Towers Branch project is slated for completion by late 2017.