Chesapeake Bay Program Urban Stream Restoration FAQs

2017-11-07T13:23:55+00:00 November 6th, 2017|

By Lisa Fraley-McNeal and Bill Stack Stream restoration is a billion-dollar industry across the nation and is expected to grow exponentially to address water quality needs. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed alone, approximately 700 miles of stream restoration projects are expected to be implemented to achieve the nutrient and sediment load reductions defined by the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Schueler and Stack, 2014). The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) convened an Urban Stream Restoration Expert Panel that was co-chaired by the Center for Watershed Protection and the Chesapeake Stormwater Network (CSN) to develop nutrient and sediment crediting protocols for stream restoration. The [...]

Helping the Nation’s Capital Reduce Sediment Pollution

2017-11-07T13:21:02+00:00 October 27th, 2017|

By Laura Gardner, Water Resources Engineer According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sediment is the most common pollutant found in America’s rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. Soil erosion can create sediment, and when it becomes part of polluted runoff, it can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife. About 70 percent of soil erosion is caused by human land use, particularly construction activities. [epa.gov] Fortunately, the District of Columbia is committed to finding solutions to the sediment problem. The District requires a Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Plan as part of the permit process for [...]

Public-Private Partnerships for Stormwater: Are We Sacrificing Innovation and Quality for Lower Costs?

2017-10-19T11:20:28+00:00 October 19th, 2017|

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have become a popular method in recent years for Maryland county governments to meet their stringent Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals brought about by the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  In order to meet the WIP goals, MS4 permits for Maryland’s 10 Phase 1 counties require that each effectively restore 20% of their untreated impervious area (Maryland Department of the Environment, 2014).  Prince George’s County’s Clean Water Partnership was the first PPP program, with a stated initial goal of retrofitting over 2,000 impervious acres on public and private land over a three-year period (Clean Water [...]

Solutions to Polluted Runoff in Maryland’s Overlook and Epping Forest Neighborhoods

2017-09-26T14:57:47+00:00 September 26th, 2017|

The Center recently wrapped up work with two Maryland neighborhood associations to develop stormwater management plans for their communities.  With each project, the work entailed conducting a field assessment of stormwater retrofit opportunities; prioritizing the resulting projects based on cost-effectiveness, impervious area treated, property ownership and community interest; and developing conceptual designs for the top-ranked retrofits. Both projects were funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Overlook Neighborhood The Overlook neighborhood is a community of approximately 100 properties in Bethesda, Maryland. The Center worked with the Overlook Homeowners Association and the Little Falls Watershed Alliance to identify stormwater retrofit project opportunities [...]

Spreadsheet Tools for Estimating Watershed Pollutant Loads and Load Reductions

2017-10-04T13:11:16+00:00 September 14th, 2017|

One of the basic steps in developing a watershed plan or a municipal pollution reduction plan (to meet TMDL or MS4 requirements) is to estimate the current pollutant load for the area of interest and the projected load with future development and implementation of best management practices (BMPs). Two key evaluation factors in the section of BMPs to meet pollutant reduction goals are cost and pollutant removal effectiveness. The Center has developed two tools that assist with this work: the Watershed Treatment Model and the Clean Water Optimization Tool.  These two spreadsheets allow customization by users and are free and [...]

Trees and Stormwater Runoff

2017-10-03T07:35:27+00:00 September 11th, 2017|

What is Stormwater Runoff and Why Do We Need to Reduce It? Stormwater runoff is rainfall that flows over the ground surface. It is created when rain falls on roads, driveways, parking lots, rooftops and other paved surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. Stormwater runoff is the number one cause of stream impairment in urban areas. Where rain falls on paved surfaces, a much greater amount of runoff is generated compared to runoff from the same storm falling over a forested area. These large volumes of water are swiftly carried to our local streams, lakes, [...]

Agricultural BMP Research Needs

2017-09-22T11:41:09+00:00 August 31st, 2017|

I was asked by Karen Cappiella, the Center’s Research Director to write a blog on research needs related to agricultural BMPs. I figure she chose me because of my agrarian roots having started my career many moons ago working for one of the local Soil Conservation Districts. Also, I happen to be a team member on a project that we are doing for the Walton Family Foundation to help improve the nutrient reduction strategies in the upper mid-west. These strategies were developed in response to the call for action by the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force. Part of our [...]

Upper Neuse River Basin Credit Study and Credit Tool Development

2017-09-15T13:49:27+00:00 July 21st, 2017|

The Center recently wrapped up development of a Nutrient Credit Tool that allows jurisdictions in North Carolina’s Falls Lake Watershed to report implementation of Nutrient Credit Practices and track cumulative progress toward nutrient load reductions to protect local drinking water supply. The Upper Neuse River Basin is located in the Piedmont of North Carolina with an area of 770-square mile area draining to the Falls Lake Reservoir; Raleigh’s primary source of water. The Falls Lake Watershed is affected by excess nitrogen and phosphorus from urban and suburban development, wastewater treatment plants, and agriculture. Jurisdictions within the Falls Lake watershed are [...]

CWP Participates in Life-Changing Green Jobs Training Program

2017-09-18T09:26:30+00:00 June 26th, 2017|

This month, I’ve had the pleasure of working with eight Baltimore City residents in an inaugural training program to build successful careers in the “green” stormwater industry. The Clean Water Certificate Training Program launched in Baltimore City, thanks to a partnership between Civic Works and CWP. Funding for the program was provided by The Campbell Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts. The program, developed by CWP, included classroom learning, hands-on activities and field-based assessments to allow program participants to acquire core skills and knowledge in the construction, maintenance and inspection of green stormwater infrastructure. The three-week program, which ended [...]