Maryland’s Anne Arundel county builds an environmental restoration economy

Since its inception in the middle of 2013, the Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (Maryland) has been growing its capacity to implement water quality improvement projects throughout the county and putting projects in the ground.

In that time frame, the county has been able to make significant progress on an over $30 million backlog of conventional stormwater infrastructure repairs, replacing or rehabilitating over 258 storm drains and culverts from Brooklyn to south county.

In that same time frame, the county has completed over 70 water quality improvement projects, including 54 stormwater pond retrofits, nine outfall repairs, and seven stream and wetland restoration projects.

These projects are designed to mimic natural ecosystems, such as wetlands or groundwater recharge areas, where stormwater runoff can be slowed down and allowed to soak into the ground or be cleaned by plants and other biological processes.

We also continue to look for innovative and cost-effective ways to clean up the county’s streams, creeks and rivers. To that end, we have recently released a request for proposals seeking private-sector partners to undertake water quality improvement projects within the county, on private lands

As a part of the County’s effort to help reduce stormwater pollution that drains into our rivers and enhance aquatic habitat, the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program’s stormwater restoration strategy is focused on three key areas:

  • Stormwater Facility Retrofits – Existing facilities, such as dry ponds, detention ponds, or infiltration basins that have failed will be rebuilt to optimize their pollution reduction capacity and provide an array of ecosystem benefits.
  • Stormwater Outfall Repair – Eroded or failing stormwater outfalls will be reconstructed into systems that can move high flows as well as provide enhanced water quality and habitat enhancements.
  • Stream Restoration – Stream erosion is the largest contributor of sediment and phosphorous to our local rivers. Restoring degraded streams will provide significant benefits to water quality, flooding, and provide ecological benefits.

The goal of this request is to expedite the improvement of local water quality by kick-starting an environmental restoration economy that can work in concert with the county’s own restoration efforts. ¬†This program is one of the first of its kind in the region.

See full Capital Gazette article by Erik Michelsen.

See website for Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program + photo credit.

See website for The Restoration Economy, the book advanced restorative development worldwide.

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