County Executive Steve Schuh recently announced two major waterway improvement projects affecting the Mayo Peninsula and South River watershed.
“Our Administration has undertaken the largest waterway improvement effort in County history,” said Schuh. “These projects demonstrate Anne Arundel County’s unwavering commitment to improving the water quality of the South River and its tributaries.”
Anne Arundel County has enacted a $250 million, six-year waterway improvement plan. The County will undertake more than 300 individual projects. The two projects affecting the Mayo Peninsula and South River Watershed are:
- Glebe Branch Stream Restoration: Glebe Branch originates within the South River Colony Golf Course Community and flows to Glebe Bay. The Glebe Branch watershed and the surrounding area have undergone a series of changes that have negatively affected water quality. The County has identified approximately 7,200 linear feet of Glebe Branch as a candidate for restoration. The primary goal of the $7.8 million project is to improve floodplain connectivity and result in a stream and wetland complex with the most potential for long-term stability. The project will also improve floodplain connectivity, alleviate bank erosion as well as enhance adjacent riparian wetlands. This project is currently in the design phase with construction anticipated for 2020.
- Turnbull Estates Living Shoreline: In a partnership between the Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP) and the South River Federation (SRF) through the Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Project, the SRF will install the Turnbull Estates Living Shoreline Project. At a cost of $110,000, the project will couple a bioretention project with an innovative living shoreline restoration approach utilizing the native oyster. Funding from the Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Project will be used to implement this new approach with two major outcomes. The living shoreline will prevent further erosion of the native beach and marsh in the Turnbull Estates Community creating an additional habitat with a structural shellfish component. Both the stormwater and shoreline components of this project will reduce sediment flowing into Glebe Creek, the home of the South River’s only designated oyster sanctuary. In addition to improving water quality for the oyster sanctuary, this project will increase the habitat value of the current shoreline by reducing erosion, bringing in hundreds of native plants, and using existing woody debris to create multiple layers of habitat. Construction is anticipated for early 2019.
The projects are managed by the Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program, which is responsible for the environmental assessment, restoration implementation, and ecological evaluation work associated with the County’s clean water obligations under its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit and the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).