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South River Federation embarks on stream restoration project in Annapolis

| November 24, 2016, 11:19 AM

Annapolis Seal FlagMayor Michael Pantelides announced that the South River Federation is restoring a stream on Annapolis Conservation property, off of Bywater Road, that will provide for approximately 1,500 linear feet of stream stabilization.

The Bywater Gully Restoration Project, drains to Church Creek, the most impaired tributary to the South River.  The project site is currently a major source of sediment falling into Church Creek, with some gullies eroded by as much as 15 feet, while containing many pockets of historic and modern trash dumping. 

“The city of Annapolis will have a new stormwater permit soon, requiring the city to reduce the pollution discharged into the Chesapeake Bay,” Mayor Pantelides said.  “We will have to treat 20 percent of the impervious surface in the city, or about 280 acres, and today we are celebrating one of the first projects that will help us meet that goal.” 

This $778,000 project will provide approximately 1,500 linear feet of stabilized stream system and more than 30 upland retrofits to help reduce polluted stormwater from entering this stream section.  This project is fully funded through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. 

“This partnership between the state, city and community is an example of creative collaboration on Chesapeake Bay restoration,” said Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Joanne Throwe. “The department, through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, has directed over $295 million to support stream restoration projects across the state just like this one on the South River. These projects enhance local water quality, increase habitat and improve the health of the watershed.”

The Bywater Gully Restoration Project has 2 elements:

  1. Restoration of the eroded banks of the stream, creating step pools to slow the water down and to allow sediment to settle out
  2. Installation of underground stormwater tanks on the Bywater Mutual Homes property to collect the roof runoff

The Federation has partnered with Brightwater, Inc. to design and construct this project.  While the Federation is interested in the ecological uplift that this restoration project will provide to the South River, they have also been working closely with the Bywater Mutual Homes Community to gain an understanding of their community’s needs, such as conducting a community mapping exercise of areas where water commonly pools.

“This is a win-win project,” South River Federation Executive Director Kate Fritz said.  “The excess water troubling an underserved community is being addressed and the fish and oysters downstream will have cleaner water.  “We are fortunate to have great community involvement. The Federation has held two Project Clean Stream trash pickup sites at the location just in the last two years, engaging over 30 volunteers to help clean-up this site, including neighboring Kingsport residents and Navy Academy Midshipmen.” 

Mayor Pantelides, Alderpersons Jared Littmann and Sheila Finlayson, Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Joanne Throwe, South River Federation Executive Director Kate Fritz, representatives from the Annapolis Office of Environmental Policy, and local environmentalists all gathered today to applaud this project.

For the last five years, the South River Federation has been working on the Church Creek Initiative, which is focused on restoring all of the major eroding stream segments and reducing nutrients in the Church Creek watershed. 

In the last 15 years, the Federation has installed 14 significant restoration projects on the Creek, investing more than $4 million, including the $1.5 million headwaters project located off of Aris T. Allen Boulevard, and most recently the $500,000 restoration project at the Harbour Center off of Route 2.  

Category: Local News, NEWS

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