Chesapeake Bay Trust Blog & News

Kent Island Beach Cleanups Unveils Educational Environmental Sculpture

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Images courtesy of Kent Island Beach Cleanups.

“Many Hands of the Chesapeake” project illuminates the detrimental effects of single-use plastics; Mentorship program advances nonprofit’s mission

Last month, the Trust was honored to help Kent Island Beach Cleanups (KIBCU) celebrate the culmination of their “Many Hands of the Chesapeake” project, an environmental art sculpture commissioned by KIBCU and created by local artist Lucy Kruse from trash and debris collected during KIBCU’s beach cleanup events.

The project was funded by a grant from the Trust’s Community Engagement Mini Grant program, which funds activities that enhance communities and engage residents in activities that improve natural resources.

KIBCU also participated in this grant program’s unique Mentorship Program, established by the Trust in recent years to expand the circle of viable grant applicants. Through this program, KIBCU was paired with the National Aquarium, which served as a mentor to the small nonprofit throughout the project development and grant application process. In turn, the National Aquarium, an established grantee with a track record of successful applications, is eligible to apply for funding through the mini grant program.

“As a grassroots organization, we were very lucky and thankful to have had the opportunity to be mentored by the National Aquarium for the Community Engagement Mini Grant program. The growing issue of marine debris, specifically single-use plastics is a major concern for both KIBCU and the Aquarium,” said KIBCU President and Founder Kristin Weed. “Everything seemed to fall into place perfectly when, unbeknownst to us, the Aquarium joined the Aquarium Conservation Partnership where they started a campaign titled ‘In Our Hands’ where participating aquariums are beginning to shift away from single-use plastics at their facilities. In the meantime, we named our grant project ‘Many Hands of the Chesapeake’ focusing on educating our community on the detriment of single-use plastics. This joint partnership allows us to tackle this problem on both a small and large scale, all with a common goal to reduce pollution in our waterways. We believe this mentorship program allowed us to gain a better understanding of the grant application process, along with opening doors for additional partnerships with other like-minded organizations in our area.”

Kent Island Beach Cleanups was established in 2012 and now organizes a season’s worth of beach cleanups each year throughout Kent Island from March through November. The amount of trash required for the “Many Hands” sculpture was collected during a single cleanup in the spring of 2018. The sculpture is currently on display at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education and will travel to 14 schools throughout the county along with educational materials on the detriments of single-use plastics and the importance of protecting the environment.

The Community Engagement Mini Grant Program is currently open and accepting applications on a rolling basis.

To read more about Kent Island Beach Cleanups, visit their website. To read more about the “Many Hands” project, check out these articles.

Outdoor Enthusiasts Have Yet Another Way to Give Back

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Photo: Maryland DNR/Larry Hindman

Partnership with Maryland Department of Natural Resources Establishes Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund

Anglers, boaters and hunters who purchase their licenses or registrations from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources have a new way to contribute to give back to natural resources they enjoy and love. In partnership with the Trust, the department announced a new voluntary option in the online checkout for the Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund.

Funds generated by the new program will be distributed as grants for on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects that seek to enhance habitat and water quality as well as programs aimed at getting K-12 students outdoors. Grants will be provided to nonprofits in support of environmental and natural resources priorities throughout the state, from the Youghiogheny to the Coastal Bays.

“Our citizens and customers shared our commitment and passion for the great outdoors, and are great advocates and stewards in the conservation, protection and wise use of our state’s lands and waters,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Thanks to our strong partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, we can provide our customers with an easy and simple way to give back to nature’s bounty.”

Grants from the Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund will support projects as small as $100 to over $500,000 made to community and environmental organizations as well as research and watershed groups.

“We are thrilled to make stronger connections between the fishing, hunting and boating communities, and improvement of the resources they enjoy,” Chesapeake Bay Trust Executive Director Jana Davis said. “The evidence is mounting that being outdoors is good for all of us: We want these communities to have an option not just to enjoy their outdoor activities, but the opportunity to take part in restoring and protecting outdoor resources.”

All contributions will be tax deductible. Contributors over $10 will have the option of enrolling in a “Perks Program,” which offers discounts and preferred parking at local businesses throughout Maryland.

Examples of projects supported by the Maryland Outdoor Recreation and Clean Water Fund include:

  • Boating field trips
  • Eel, oyster, shad, terrapin, trout and other raise-and-release programs for students
  • Living shoreline projects, including access for canoes and kayaks
  • Local sustainable seafood projects
  • Research to improve efficacy of stream restoration practices
  • Trout stream restoration projects
  • Wetland restoration projects

For every $20 contributed, one tree can be planted and one student can receive an outdoor field trip.

Funds will be managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Trust.

Learn more about this program at www.cbtrust.org/mdoutdoors.

Project Highlight: Narragansett Parkway’s Micro-bioretention Areas in the City of College Park

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City of College Park, Maryland, installs two micro-bioretention areas to treat stormwater runoff along Narragansett Parkway.

Impervious surfaces, such as driveways and parking lots, prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs off these surfaces and carries pollutants that it has picked up along the way. This untreated stormwater runoff flows into storm drains and into our waterways, resulting in polluted streams and rivers that negatively affect aquatic wildlife and human health and safety.

Currently, the stormwater runoff from the neighborhoods and surrounding streets along Narragansett Parkway and Muskogee Street in the City of College Park are collected in inlets along the curbs and at intersections. The stormwater runoff flows directly into the rock-lined channel in the middle of Narragansett Parkway until it reaches Indian Creek.

In order to treat the stormwater runoff and remove pollutants, the City installed two micro-bioretention areas totaling 316 square feet at Narragansett Parkway and Muskogee Street, next to a local park.

This project was funded in part by the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program, a partnership between the Trust and the County, which aims to improve water quality in the County’s waterways, improve communities, and engage County residents in the issues associated with stormwater runoff pollution.

Micro-bioretention areas, also referred to as rain gardens, capture stormwater runoff and allow it to pond temporarily. The plants in the micro-bioretention are native species that are adapted to the site’s soil and light conditions and help filter the runoff. Treated water that is not absorbed or taken up by the plants is released to the storm drain system by an underdrain. This location was selected due to its high visibility and educational value to the community. In addition, this location was ranked as one of the top five priority restoration areas in the Indian Creek Subwatershed Restoration Plan.

The City installed educational signage at the site that provides information about the micro-bioretention area. One of the signs includes a QR code that links to the Prince George’s County Clean Water Partnership. The use of signage that provides smartphone links to the County’s website and stormwater restoration programs provides a highly effective method of communication and education to residents.

This project provides an opportunity for local residents to learn about stormwater benefits and shows how stormwater controls can be integrated into the landscape at the neighborhood level.

The Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program is currently open and accepting applications. 


Educational signage installed at the site provides information about the micro-bioretention areas. Click on the image to get a closer look.

Project Highlight: Borough of Chambersburg’s Rhodes Drive Reconstruction and Bioretention Basin

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These little projects matter.

Richard L. Alloway IIPennsylvania State Senator

“Green Streets” grant helps Borough upgrade central emergency route while improving water quality

This week the Trust joined the Borough of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in celebrating the dedication of their Rhodes Drive Reconstruction and Bioretention Basin project, which was funded in part through a Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant.

Rhodes Drive is centrally located within the Borough, adjacent to the local library, a senior living facility, and a municipal parking lot. Although it is a one-way street, the Chambersburg Emergency Services Department uses the road to respond to calls on the south side of the Borough, with emergency vehicles traveling the street 15-20 times a day. Therefore, it is crucial that Rhodes Drive remains safe and accessible. It is also an important community asset; when it is not being used as an emergency route, it serves as a staging area for several charity run/walk events, Borough parades, and other events.

Prior to initiating this project, Rhodes Drive was in extremely poor condition—inspections revealed significant heaving (a serious issue for an emergency route) and multiple stormwater inlets that discharged directly into Falling Spring Creek (a noted trout stream), which flows into Conococheague Creek, then on to the Potomac River, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Under the direction of the Borough’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Department, the Borough undertook a comprehensive green and gray infrastructure project to address both the structural and environmental issues associated with Rhodes Drive’s poor condition. The reconstructed roadway was funded with grants through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Franklin County Conservation District.

Funding from the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program, a partnership between the Trust, U.S. EPA Mid-Atlantic Region, City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability, with support from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, enabled the Borough to enhance the project with a bioretention basin, a stormwater best management practice (BMP) designed to catch and treat the first flush of polluted stormwater, running the full length of the street. The basin is planted with native, pollinator-friendly plants that will help to absorb nutrients before the water runs into the adjacent stream. The Green Streets funding also enabled the Borough to replace the sidewalk with a winding park path of permeable pavers, which removes impervious surface, enhances the adjacent park, and improves access to the green space for the residents of the nearby senior living facility.

Rhodes Drive is now the first official “Green Street” in the Borough, which has plans to continue incorporating green infrastructure into future projects.

According to Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill, “the Borough is hoping to set a positive trend and important precedent with the Rhodes Drive infrastructure improvements, as the project was the first MS4 Department storm sewer project to incorporate “green” BMPs. We want to demonstrate how public works projects can be effective and good for the environment.”

Learn more about the Borough of Chambersburg and the Rhodes Drive project here and here.

Learn about the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program here.

Project Highlight: Greenbelt Homes, Inc.’s Rain Garden at 20 Court Ridge

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A stone diaphragm intercepts, captures, and directs stormwater runoff from the hillside and parking lot to a rain garden that slows, filters, and absorbs the runoff.

Community installs new stormwater best management practice that reduces stormwater runoff, erosion, and flooding.

Communities all across the Chesapeake Bay watershed face stormwater-related issues that range from poor drainage to flooding. The Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI) community in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is no exception. GHI is a housing cooperative comprising of 1,600 homes built in the 1930s and 1940s. In the last 70 years, the surrounding area’s topography has significantly changed, with a dramatic increase in the amount of impervious surfaces created due to urban development. Impervious surfaces, such as pavement and roofs, do not allow water to infiltrate into the ground, resulting in large volumes of stormwater runoff that carry increased amounts of pollutants into local streams and rivers.

To help reduce stormwater runoff and pollution to our waterways, communities can implement a variety of stormwater best management practices on their property. In 2016, GHI applied for and received a grant award through the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program to install a stormwater best management practice comprised of a stone diaphragm, stone swale, and rain garden at 20 Court Ridge Road. The 20 Court Ridge housing units are located at the bottom of a hill adjacent to a large parking lot. Previously during rain events, stormwater runoff would flow freely down the hill, often causing flooding in the homes’ crawlspaces, walkways, and common areas. After the installation of the new system, completed earlier this year, the GHI community has noticed significant improvements. Now, the stone diaphragm prevents stormwater runoff from flowing directly to the housing units by intercepting and capturing the runoff. The stone diaphragm carries the runoff downhill, then through underground pipes across the parking lot, and finally into a stone swale and rain garden. The rain garden slows, captures, and filters stormwater runoff using plants and soil mixes that mimic natural filtering processes that remove pollutants. The rain garden features a variety of native plants, such as butterfly milkweed and beardtongue, that are adapted to local site conditions, and therefore require less maintenance, watering, and fertilizer. In addition, native plants attract pollinators and other wildlife, such as butterflies and birds, to the rain garden, resulting in a beautiful outdoor space for residents to enjoy.

Congrats to GHI for the successful implementation of their first major stormwater best management practice and for their commitment to improving our waterways!

This project was funded by the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program, a partnership between the Trust and the County, which aims to improve water quality in the County’s waterways, improve communities, and engage County residents in the issues associated with stormwater runoff pollution.

The Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program is currently open and accepting applications. 

Welcome Chesapeake Conservation Corps Class of 2019! And congrats to the Class of 2018!

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Maryland's future is bright green.

Maryland Environment Secretary Ben GrumblesGraduation speaker for the Chesapeake Conservation Corps Class of 2017-2018

This week the Trust celebrated the incoming and outgoing Chesapeake Conservation Corps classes with the annual “Passing of the Golden Shovel” ceremony, a focal point of a day of celebration and training held at YMCA’s Camp Letts in Edgewater, Md. At the event, the 38 2018-2019 Corps participants met their host organizations to learn more about their job responsibilities for the upcoming year. The ceremony also served as a graduation for the 42 members of the outgoing Corps class who wrapped up their year of service this month. The day’s guest speakers included Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.; Senator John Astle; Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles; John Quinn, Director of Governmental and External Affairs, BGE; Ernestine White, National Youth Employment Programs Coordinator, National Park Service; and Trust Board Chair Ben Wechsler.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps is a green jobs program created by the Maryland Legislature to educate and train the next generation of environmental stewards. The program matches young people ages 18-25 with nonprofit and government organizations for paid, one-year terms of service, focused on improving local communities and protecting natural resources.

During their year of service, Chesapeake Conservation Corps members gain valuable on-the-job experience as they work to advance environmental conservation, K-12 education, energy efficiency programs, sustainable agriculture practices, and a host of other environmentally-focused initiatives.

“The Chesapeake Conservation Corps’ impact on our communities and our environment multiplies with each new class of Corps members,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., the initiator of the program in 2010. “We have reached a point where members of the Corps’ first classes are now leaders in environmental organizations throughout our region. I am proud of the investment we are making in them and the future of the green economy in our state.”

The program has a consistent track record of placing graduates in full-time positions upon completion of the program, with many Corps members in each graduating class hired directly by their host organizations, often into brand new positions.

“Since its creation, the Chesapeake Conservation Corps has been a launching pad for environmental careers throughout our state,” said Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “It is vital that we continue to grow our green workforce through programs like this. The work that these young people are undertaking and the issues they are trying to address are critical to the health and future of our environment and natural resources. The department has been fortunate to host a number of bright and talented Corps members over the years. We have seen firsthand that the training they receive is top-notch and their energy and enthusiasm is boundless.”

The program has become more popular with potential host organizations each year since its initiation in 2010 because of the quality of the young people who serve.  Three times as many host organizations seek Corps members than resources can support.  The Corps members’ stipends are supported by the Chesapeake Bay Trust (and the Bay Plate license plate program) and their partners, providing host organizations with added capacity at little added cost.

Partner funders include the State of Maryland, BGE an Exelon Company, and the U.S. National Park Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Adkins Arboretum, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, South River Federation, and Maryland Coastal Bays Program also contributed matching funds for the program this year.

“The National Park Service is proud to once again be supporting the Chesapeake Conservation Corps,” said George McDonald, U.S. National Park Service Youth Programs Manager. “These young people are embarking on a truly unique career-building experience that will ultimately benefit all of us as they learn and teach others the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation.”

“BGE has been a proud supporter of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps for many years because we care about the health of our communities and our natural resources,” said John Quinn of BGE, a key funder of the program.  “We understand the importance of developing leaders who value our natural resources and have the experience and perspective to be good stewards. The Corps program prepares young people to enter the workforce in all sectors: nonprofit, government, and corporate as well.”

During the course of the year, Corps participants work directly with their host organizations, receive extensive job trainings hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and gain experience in grant writing and project management through a capstone project.

“Continuing the progress that has been made in restoring the health of the Chesapeake depends on educating and training the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Jana Davis, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The Chesapeake Conservation Corps prepares young people with the skills and experience that are needed to keep the momentum going.”

The 2018-2019 Chesapeake Conservation Corps class includes the following individuals and their host organizations:

  1. Travis Anthony, National Aquarium, Baltimore City
  2. Michael Bowman, U.S. National Park Service, Anne Arundel County
  3. Kaila Cavanaugh, Accokeek Foundation, Prince George’s County
  4. Emily Castle, Adkins Arboretum, Caroline County
  5. Evan Claggett, Environmental Concern, Talbot County
  6. Megan Davis, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Biological Stream Survey, Anne Arundel County
  7. Jennifer Duvall, Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Howard County
  8. Brianna Fragata, Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Worcester County
  9. Leah Franzluebbers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Anne Arundel County
  10. Brittany Furlong, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Biological Stream Survey, Anne Arundel County
  11. Justin Gallardo, Uptown Metro Ministry Group, Baltimore City
  12. Sarah Grossweiler, Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore City
  13. Thomas Heffernan, Living Classrooms Foundation, Baltimore City
  14. Lucy Heller, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Anne Arundel County
  15. Kelly Johnson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Anne Arundel County
  16. Andrew Jones, Town of Edmonston, Prince George’s County
  17. Shayna Keller, South River Federation, Anne Arundel County
  18. Jay Kinnaman, Maryland Environmental Service, Anne Arundel County
  19. Alexander Kirchhof, Mayor and City Council of Cumberland, Allegany County
  20. Amy Kochel, Susquehanna Heritage Corporation, Pennsylvania
  21. Connor Liu, The Nature Conservancy, Allegany County
  22. Jamie Mancini, Sultana Education Foundation, Kent County
  23. Rory Maymon, Maryland Department of the Environment , Baltimore City
  24. Syler Merski, Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Calvert County
  25. Jesus Munoz Buenrostro, Southeast Community Development Corporation, Baltimore City
  26. Kelly Peaks, University of Maryland, Environmental Finance Center, Prince George’s County
  27. Rachel Plescha, ShoreRivers, Talbot County
  28. Arianna Russo, Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Worcester County
  29. Marissa Sayers, Central Baltimore Partnership, Baltimore City
  30. Cheyenne Sebold, C&O Canal Trust, Washington County
  31. Dominic Serino, Audubon Maryland-DC, Baltimore City
  32. Justin Shapiro, National Wildlife Federation, Anne Arundel County
  33. Nathaniel Simmons, Adkins Arboretum, Caroline County
  34. Bradley Simpson, Audubon Naturalist Society, Montgomery County
  35. Alexa Stillwell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Anne Arundel County
  36. Thomas Urban, Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks, Howard County
  37. Tanisha Washington, Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Baltimore City
  38. Olivia Wisner, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR), Anne Arundel County

Now Open! Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program

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The Prince George’s County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announce the fifth year of our partnership for the Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program. This grant program supports projects that provide community engagement while treating and controlling stormwater. The goal of this program is to improve communities, improve water quality in the County’s waterways, and engage County residents in stormwater solutions.

This year’s program focuses on water quality implementation projects (requests for $50,000 up to $200,000) and tree planting projects (requests for $50,000 up to $150,000).

Please refer to the application package found on the grant program page for additional details and application instructions and requirements. The deadline to apply is September 27, 2018 at 4pm. 

In addition, the Trust would like to thank the grantees shown in the video above for sharing their projects and experiences, and providing insight on the impact that the projects had on their community. More information on each of the grantees highlighted in the video is below.

  • Anacostia Watershed Society collaborates with Prince George’s County Public Schools and other partners for the Treating and Teaching program to install stormwater solutions and outdoor classrooms on school campuses and train the facilities staff to maintain the assets.
  • Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization Community Development Corporation developed the Go Green! Plant Trees! program to increase tree canopy in residential neighborhoods by providing native trees to homeowners and educating the community about the value of trees.
  • End Time Harvest Ministries conducted their Wellness Ambassadors Environmental Health Program to engage youth in the community through tree planting projects, stormwater education, and green-job skills programs.
  • Global Health and Education Projects developed the Family Tree Adoption Program to educate the community about the importance of trees and to provide native trees and shrubs to private homeowners in the County.
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake collaborates with faith-based organizations to provide training and workshops for faith leaders to increase citizen awareness of and engagement in stormwater management and watershed protection actions.
  • Neighborhood Design Center developed the Stormwater Savvy program to help small municipalities, schools, and community organizations create action-oriented design plans that help to improve water quality and increase community engagement with their landscape.

Learn more about these and other projects funded by this grant program on our grant projects page.

Project Highlight: Prince George’s County and Maryland’s First Bandalong Litter Trap

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The Trust had the opportunity to join Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Anacostia Riverkeeper, the City of Mount Rainier, and other community members in celebrating the installation of the first major litter trap in Maryland in Arundel Canal, a tributary of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River in Mount Rainier.

The innovative litter trap, a type widely used throughout Australia and Asia, is designed to capture litter and debris that has been discarded onto roadways and transported by rain and wind into storm drains.

Litter left on roadways, in parks, and in other parts of Prince George’s County communities is unsightly and can cause human health issues. During big rain events, the litter makes its way to Prince George’s County waterways over land and through the sewer system. When the litter enters our waterways, the water can become polluted, harming the creatures who live in an around the waterways, contaminating the fish we consume, and creating potential hazards for swimmers and other recreational users.

In an effort to safeguard community members and help remove some of the in-stream litter, the Anacostia Riverkeeper and the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment teamed up to install the County and Maryland’s first in-stream litter trap in the City of Mount Rainier, located at the corner of Arundel Road and 30th Street in the Arundel Canal.

The litter trap system chosen for the site is known as the Bandalong Litter Trap. The trap’s unique design requires no mechanical assistance, relying only on the water’s natural current, offering an economical way to capture floating litter before it reaches the Anacostia River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes marine debris.

The Anacostia Riverkeeper will subcontract the litter trap collection to Joe’s Movement Emporium who will remove the litter from the trap, which can then be sorted and weighed by litter type so that the litter reduction statistics can be recorded and shared with the community members and County partners. The trap is safe for fish, waterfowl, and other aquatic life. In addition to the litter removal, the litter trap site in Mount Rainier will serve as an important education site, informing community members and visitors about the importance of properly disposing litter.

The installation of the litter trap was funded by the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program, a partnership between the Trust and the County, which aims to improve water quality in the County’s waterways, improve communities, and engage County residents in the issues associated with stormwater runoff pollution. The Anacostia Riverkeeper has received another grant award to install a second litter trap of this type in another tributary of the Anacostia River in Prince George’s County later this year.

The Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program is currently open and accepting applications. To learn more and to apply, click here.

Contact the Anacostia Riverkeeper to learn more about this project or to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Project Highlight: Twin Harbors Living Shoreline

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Community replaces failing bulkhead with natural living shoreline to improve water quality and create wildlife habitat

The Trust recently had the opportunity to celebrate the completion of South River Federation’s Twin Harbors Living Shoreline & BMP project at a ribbon cutting ceremony and barbeque with the residents of Twin Harbors, a waterfront community located in Arnold, MD.

This project, initiated by the Twin Harbors community and South River Federation, was funded in part by a grant from the Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Program, a partnership between the Trust and Anne Arundel County Government.

Faced with a failing bulkhead, the community worked with South River Federation to replace approximately 390 linear feet of existing bulkhead with a living shoreline along Mill Creek of the Magothy River.  The project complements the community’s nearby 187 linear foot shoreline installed two years ago with funding from a Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini Grant.  Additionally, this project includes a 4,200 square foot bioretention facility located between a parking lot and the shoreline to capture runoff, as well as 0.25 acres of voluntary reforestation. (Note: The cost of reforestation was not included in the grant award.)

This restoration will create a stable shoreline that will work to improve water quality, reduce erosion, and create habitat where there has not been any for decades.  Through a dense native planting and use of woody debris, South River Federation will work to achieve new habitat zones to support a variety of Bay flora and fauna.

The above photos, provided by shoreline contractor Maguire Marine, show the stunning before and after.

Congrats to the Twin Harbors community for their continued commitment to the health of Mill Creek and Dividing Creek! And Congrats to South River Federation and their partners Maguire Marine, Ciminelli’s Landscape Service, and Restoration Resource Group for a job well done!

Read more about this project and the South River Federation’s work here.

Learn more about the Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Program here.

Project Highlight: Rock Creek Conservancy’s Crabbs Branch Conservation Landscaping

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Innovative Stormwater Solution Demonstration Site for HOAs in Montgomery County

The Trust spent a fantastic morning celebrating the completion of Rock Creek Conservancy’s Crabbs Branch Conservation Landscaping project in the Derwood Station 2 neighborhood of Derwood, Maryland. This project was funded through the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration & Outreach Grant Program, which is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and the Trust.

Planning for this project, which will prevent thousands of gallons of stormwater from flowing directly into Crabbs Branch, was originally initiated by the Derwood Station 2 Homeowner’s Association in 2015, but remained in the planning stage because of lack of funding. The HOA’s partnership with Rock Creek Conservancy and the support from Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and the Trust enabled them to move forward.

As a nonprofit, grant-making organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the natural resources of the Chesapeake region, it is our mission to engage as many people as possible in natural resources issues through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration projects. Projects like this one, one of the largest ever funded through the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration & Outreach Grant Program, exemplify this mission.

Not only is the Crabbs Branch Conservation Landscaping project a great example of nature-based solutions to stormwater pollution, but it demonstrates the power of community-based, green infrastructure projects.

The conservation landscaping project will not only help clean and reduce stormwater runoff into Crabbs Branch, which is a tributary of Rock Creek, but it will educate the community, provide a beautiful, useable community space, and will help rally and engage others in clean water issues as it serves as a demonstration site and model for other HOAs throughout Montgomery County.

While on the surface this project may seem narrowly focused on solving a problem for one community, its implications and impact for the wider watershed are vast.

We are proud to partner with Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection to support projects like this. We commend Rock Creek Conservancy, Darlene Robbins, the landscape designer, and the construction team from J & G Landscape Design for a job well done! It was a pleasure to help you celebrate!

Read more about the Crabbs Branch Conservation Landscaping project (be sure to check out images of the design plan and stunning “before” photos) here.

Read more about the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection here.

Learn  about the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration & Outreach Grant Program and how it could help your organization here.