Restoration Research Award Program

The Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office, and other partners announce a Request for Proposals for its Restoration Research award program. The goal of this research program is to answer several key restoration questions that are a barrier to watershed restoration project implementation. Funding partners hope that answering these questions will ultimately lead to increased confidence in proposed restoration project outcomes, clarification of the optimal site conditions in which to apply particular restoration techniques, information useful to regulatory agencies in project permitting, and information that will help guide monitoring programs. This program supports the Pooled Monitoring Initiative that is designed to connect key stormwater and stream restoration questions posed by the regulatory and practitioner communities with researchers.

What this funds: Research to address one or more of the key restoration questions listed in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

Who can apply: Both not-for-profit entities (academic institutions, non-profit organizations) and for-profit entities are permitted to apply.

How much can be awarded: Funding partners have allocated approximately $1,000,000 for this research program. Literature reviews will be funded at up to $50,000 and there is no cap for research projects.

Is match required? Match is encouraged but is not required.

Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s applications are all submitted though an online system. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact this program’s manager, Sadie Drescher at 410-974-2941, ext. 105.

Program Status: CLOSED

To view the most recent RFP, click here.

Deadline: was February 21, 2019, at 4pm

Application Unavailable

Currently closed. Check back for updates.

Manage an Existing Grant

Manage an existing grant or continue an application

Questions & Technical Support

Sadie Drescher
(410) 974-2941 x 105

Additional Information

We are interested in pursuing question 9 as a potential research topic but we are interested in how the previous study was able to work in the wet during the instream work. Would you be able to give us more information on how the previous research team was able to get around the typical permit requirements to work in the wet?

MDE is supportive of this research question and has helped in the past and agreed to do this again to work with any successful research team to make sure they conduct work in the wet for research. In addition, MDE said it would make it easier to allow work in the wet if the streams are use I as opposed to use III natural trout waters.​ Let me know if you have any other questions. Also, MDE is part of the Pooled Monitoring Advisory Committee but not one of the funding partners (i.e., would put funding toward a successful award).

Is there a list of project sites for potential study?

This year the MD DNR has provided sites listed in the DNR Trust Fund Restoration Mapper website which is online at (contact for more details about the DNR sites)

In addition, previous lists have been provided which are located under the “Additional Resources” tab and are listed under the “Potential Project Lists” of this Restoration Research website.

Finally, we will add any other project lists to this website while the RFP is open.

Are federal agencies allowed to apply as the prime applicant?

Yes, this RFP is open to all types of organizations.

My organization is outside Maryland and outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Can I apply?

Yes. Several of the funding partners can support organizations outside Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We are looking for the best applications that will address/answer the research questions posed in the RFP.

The research team includes partners vs subcontractors, so how do we address question 8 for contractual work?

If awarded with federal funds the project must demonstrate “good faith efforts” in selecting subcontractors as outlined in the RFP. However, we recognize that these research projects may include partnerships that are outlined in the application and who were identified in order to robustly answer the research question(s).

Request YearAward AmountOrganizationProject TitleProject DescriptionFinal Products (TBA)Primary Contact
2018$289,903University of Maryland Baltimore County Quantifying the cumulative effects of stream restoration and environmental site design on nitrate loads in nested urban watersheds using a high-frequency sensor networkAnalyze high-frequency nitrate and streamflow data from nested watersheds in suburban Baltimore to test how well the treatment train works, how much connectivity between the stream and riparian area will reduce nitrogen, and how impervious area and infiltration practices impact the results.Dr. Claire Welty
2018$177,555Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Effectiveness of stormwater management practices in protecting stream channel stabilityTo evaluate the impacts of traditional and stormwater management practices on channel stability, using two extreme development watersheds with high quality data that will be modeled using a watershed model (SWMM) and a channel evolution model (CONCEPTS). Study results will compare the impact of traditional and practices on channel stability to provide insight into the causes of and potential solutions to channel degradation.Dr. Theresa Thompson
2018$62,459University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Determining realistic expectations for ecological uplift in urban stream restorationsThis research will identify realistic ecological outcomes in urban stream restorations by developing a benthic macroinvertebrate tool to that can be used for planning to determine better successful factors and ultimately better success at the sites selected. Dr. Robert Hilderbrand
2017$199,990South River FederationAssessing Watershed-scale Restoration Effectiveness: Treatment Impacts and Monitoring RequirementsThe South River Federation and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center will evaluate the cumulative performance of multiple Best Management Practices (BMPs) at a subwatershed scale. The research team will compare watershed-level discharges of sediment and nutrient pollutants from seven interconnected, restored subwatersheds of Church Creek. Jennifer Carr
2017$200,000Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.Using a Novel Research Framework to Assess Water Quality Impacts of Urban TreesThis research team will quantify the stormwater treatment value of trees across urban forest types. The project will identify urban forest characteristics that influence the water and ecosystems and determine whether more complex urban forest types result in greater runoff volume reduction. Dr. Neely Law
2017$199,314University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Long-term impacts of living shorelines to Sub Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) habitats in the Chesapeake BayThis project will assess the long-term performance of living shorelines, a practice of using natural shoreline habitat to prevent erosion rather than hard shoreline armor, as well as their potential impacts to adjacent seagrass beds.Dr. Cindy Palinkas
2017$198,332University of Maryland College ParkTree Trade-Offs in Stream Restoration Projects: Impact on Riparian Groundwater QualityPredicting the impact of tree removal associated with stream restoration on riparian water quality remains a challenge. This project will quantify the effects of riparian deforestation on groundwater quality across urban restored, degraded, and forested reference sites. Dr. Sujay Kaushal
2017$180,408Versar, Inc.An Evaluation of Forest Impacts as Compared to Benefits Associated with Stream RestorationThe goal of this project is to better understand the impacts of stream restoration on forest resources. The research team will inventory trees, understory vegetation, and reptiles and amphibians to determine whether there are any potentially negative impacts as a result of positive stream restoration practices.Ginny Rogers
2016$217,322Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityImproving Success of Stream Restoration Practices – Revised and ExpandedThis project will improve our understanding of the conditions under which stream restoration practices “fail,” with the long term goal of improving the overall application, design, and review of stream restoration projects. Information from this study will provide guidance on factors that indicate the risk of project failure, such as watershed size or impervious land use or channel specific stream power or relative floodplain width. Dr. Theresa Thompson
2016$177,329University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Evaluating the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Novel Stream Restoration Designs for Coastal Plain Streams in Maryland: Integrating Existing and New Data from Stream Restoration MonitoringWe propose to synthesize an extensive hydrochemical database from stream restoration sites in MD and DC to answer key questions pertaining to restoration effectiveness, sustainability, and ecological habitat condition. Stream restoration types include regenerative stream conveyance, step-pool conveyances, and valley restorations /stream-wetland complexes. We will address several questions and hypotheses. Our primary focus will be to determine the impact on nutrient and sediment loads of different stream restoration approaches. We hypothesize that results will be highly variable among restoration techniques, but that most designs will result in quantifiable reductions in nutrient loads.Dr. Solange Filoso
2016$199,992Towson UniversityDetermining the effects of legacy sediment removal and floodplain reconnection on ecosystem function and nutrient exportLegacy sediment removal and floodplain reconnection projects decrease floodplain elevations and increase groundwater levels, potentially increasing nitrogen cycling and habitat for native wetland plant species and decreasing erosion of phosphorus laden sediments. The proposed study assesses the efficacy of four legacy sediment removal and floodplain reconnection projects that range in impervious cover and vary in length by a factor of 4.5. By sampling within longer projects at several locations, we can determine the relationship between project length and degree of mitigation and whether this relationship varies with the amount of impervious surface in the watershed.Dr. Vanessa Beauchamp
2016$43,949University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Optimizing sampling frequency and monitoring design to assess the effects of storm water best management practices (BMPs) on water restorationOur project will target the design of adequate monitoring programs to assess the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs). Using representative streams from the Baltimore LTER watersheds (and others as available and applicable), we will develop sampling strategies for watersheds with variable percentage of impervious cover, accounting for the episodic nature of high and low flow. First, the project results will benefit existing monitoring programs by providing guidance for sampling strategies capable of producing reliable estimates of comparable precision and thresholds for detecting restoration activities. Second, the project will guide water quality monitoring related to MS-4 permitting and other BMP monitoring efforts.Detection of the effects of stormwater control measure in streams using a Bayesian BACI power analysisDr. Viacheslav Lyubchich
2016$175,730Carroll County GovernmentThe self-recovery of stream channel stability in urban watersheds due to BMP implementationA paired-watershed approach is proposed to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs on stream channel protection. The research will evaluate the hydrogeomorphic response of BMP implementation in headwater stream drainage areas to determine if reductions in stream energy facilitate self-recovery of stream channel stability. Results will inform recommendations to credit BMPs as a hydrogeomorphic stream stabilization technique for sediment reductions as part of the Bay TMDL. It is expected that implementation of BMPs will reduce excessive stream channel and bed erosion by reducing stream energy resulting in the cessation of erosive flows that lead to the self-recovery of channel stability.Ms. Gale J. Engles
2016$50,000AKRF, Inc.Meta-Analysis of Biological Monitoring Data to Determine the Limits on Biological Uplift from Stream Restoration Imposed by the Proximity of Source PopulationsThis study will compile the biological monitoring data at stream restoration sites in the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery. Additional data from the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) and Maryland Stream Waders, as well as the five countywide biological monitoring programs, in adjacent stream networks will be evaluated as a predictor of biological condition at restoration sites. The hypothesis is that biological uplift (using benthic macroinvertebrate IBIs and metrics, and fish where available) at comparable stream restoration sites will be lower in stream networks in poorer biological condition, with implications for restoration potential and watershed planning.Dr. Mark Southerland
2015$292,606University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Quantifying the ecological uplift and effectiveness of differing stream restoration approaches in MarylandThis proposal focuses on how different restoration approaches (floodplain, channel, and instream habitat modifications), restoration age, and their landscape context affect ecological uplift via structure (benthic macroinvertebrates) and function (whole-stream metabolism) and if uplift is detected downstream of restorations. Our partners (Montgomery and Anne Arundel Counties) will help to identify at least 40 existing restorations for our triplet (upstream, restored, downstream) sampling design in a rigorous statistical framework with sufficient power to detect differences among approaches. We anticipate quantifying maximal, potential, and realized uplift in order to identify realistic goals and expectations for differing restoration approaches.Dr. Robert Hilderbrand
2015$299,034Smithsonian InstitutionEvaluating the Performance of Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances in Urban Versus Rural WatershedsWe will measure removal of nutrients and suspended sediments by Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances (RSCs) and relate removal efficiencies to impervious surface in the watershed and the rate and variability of water inflow. Using continuous monitoring and automated sampling we will accurately measure RSC performance under a range of flow conditions in watersheds with contrasting impervious cover. We hypothesize that RSCs reduce flow variability and remove nutrients and suspended sediments with decreasing efficiency as inflow rate and variability increase. Groundwater studies at one RSC will investigate sources of dissolved iron and transfers of nutrients from surface to groundwater flow.The multiscale effects of stream restoration on water qualityDr. Thomas Jordan
2015$145,284Straughan Environmental, Inc.Biological and Suspended Sediment Disturbance: Wet and Dry ConstructionThis study will quantify how sediment load, biological impairment, and riparian disturbance are related to wet or dry construction techniques. Three stream stabilization projects in Howard County, Maryland will be divided into wet and dry construction areas (treatments), and discharge and suspended sediment will be monitored at each site. Repeated measures ANOVAs will be performed to compare wet and dry construction treatments and the upstream control with respect to suspended sediment load and benthic index of biologic integrity.Dr. Dave Merkey
2015$88,076Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityImproving the success of in-stream structuresThe overall project goal is to improve the application, design, and success of stream restoration structures. A literature review of design recommendations and the physical, chemical, and biological impacts of instream structures will be conducted. Additionally, a field-based hydraulics study on a new instream structure, regenerative stormwater conveyance, will test the hypothesis that relative bedform submergence provides better flow velocity predictions than traditional roughness coefficients. This information will be summarized in a series of design guidance fact sheets, reviewed by practicing stream restoration professionals, a peer-reviewed journal article, a project web site, and at conferences and workshops.Virginia Tech In-stream Structures Webpage

Fact Sheets: J-Hook Vane, Cross Vane , W-Weir, SPSC, Single-Arm Vane
Dr. Theresa Thompson

The Pooled Monitoring Forum is an annual forum in which the most recent restoration research is presented and discussed. At the forum, regulatory staff and practitioners will have an opportunity to ask new questions and clarify the current state of scientific knowledge. Topics include efficacy of research practices for water quality and biological resources, potential chemical impacts, and physical/geomorphic stability of stream restoration.

Stay tuned for updates regarding the 2020 Pooled Monitoring Forum! 

2019 Forum

Pooled Monitoring Forum June 12, 2019

Opening Remarks

Combined Presentations with Translation Slides

2016 Forum

2016 Forum (6/8/16)
  1. Keehner presentation and all of the presentation Translation Slides that include take-home points of the presentation and summary of “What this means for me” if I’m a regulator or if I’m a practitioner
  2. Hilderbrand-experimental design
  3. Wilcox
  4. Filoso
  5. Williams
  6. Penrose
  7. Hilderbrand-fish
  8. Agenda