south river restoration

Flat Creek's "Gravely Grand Canyon" is one of the fastest eroding tributaries in the South River watershed, with over 11,000 linear feet of highly incised and unstable channels.

Stream banks are 6.9 feet high on average and as high as 18 feet in some areas. The project will begin on community property owned by the Gravely Community Association and end on the County-owned Kings Branch Flat Creek Greenway Natural Area. Restoration is planned for 3,270 linear feet of stream channel. The project area drains 208 acres, of which 17 are impervious. The project, when constructed, will prevent 2,060 pounds of nitrogen, 697 pounds of phosphorus, and 40.5 tons of sediment from entering the South River each year as well as create and enhance habitat.


Sediment, or dirt, is the number one pollutant for the South River both by volume and by impact to wildlife. High concentrations of sediment and nutrients coming off the land cause the water to be cloudy and prevent sunlight from reaching the bottom of the shallows. Without sunlight, the grasses cannot grow, and if the grasses do not grow, then there is not enough oxygen or habitat.  Additionally, sediment serves as a vehicle for nitrogen and phosphorus carrying it into the river.  Over the years, stormwater has carved a deep gully through the woods.  The sediment that used to be in that gully, is now in Flat Creek and the South River.


With the Watershed Assistance Grant, the Federation has hired a professional design firm to design a restoration project to abate the erosion and reconnect the floodplain where possible.  Following construction, the site will be planted with thousands of native plants. This will prevent further erosion entering Flat Creek after each rainfall, and allow water to re-enter the system through groundwater.  In addition to the water quality benefits, this project will create and enhance wetland habitat for native flora and fauna.

The pictures below show large gullies, carved from the surrounding stormwater runoff. 

gravely     Gravely 2    DSC 0825

The Federation has secured design funding and is currently working on obtaining construction funding.


Project Funded By:

CBT BayPlate Logogif 2010


Featured Projects

  • Annapolis Harbour Center Stream and Wetland Restoration

    The Annapolis Harbour Center Stream and Wetland project improved habitat, increased floodplain connection, and prevents bed and bank erosion. This particular project focusesd on controlling flows and providing habitat at the bottom of existing outfalls, through the use of a step-pool storm...

  • Broad Creek - Health Department Gully Restoration Phase 1

    This restoration project restored stability and functions to a 950  linear feet ephemeral gully that flows to the East Branch of Broad Creek.  The channel was highly unstable, leading to excessive delivery of sediment downstream during even minor storm events. By stabilizing the gully and...

  • Church Creek Headwaters Restoration

    There are four primary tributaries feeding Church Creek, one of the most highly degraded sub-watersheds on the South River.  One of them, the Wilelinor Stream Valley was restored in 2003 by Anne Arundel County and the Maryland State Highway Administration using sand seepage stream and wetland...

Current Projects

  • Bacon Ridge Natural Area

    Background: The Bacon Ridge Natural Area (BRNA) is a County owned Natural Area in Crownsville, MD. The area consists of over 700 acres of forests, streams, and wetlands, including portions of the Crownsville State Hospital property. The Federation strongly advocated for the permanent protection of new...

  • Beards Creek: Killarney House & Neighbors Community BMPs

    Killarney House Stream Restoration Project With "Live Green, Eat Irish" as their motto, a roof covered in solar panels, and a small farm out back, the Killarney House Irish restaurant is committed to being environmentally responsible. In 2015, Killarney House owner Anthony Clarke reached out to...

  • Broad Creek - Health Department Gully Restoration Phase 2

    This restoration project will restore stability and functions to a 750  linear feet ephemeral gully that flows to the East Branch of Broad Creek. Like the nearby gully restored in May of 2018, this channel is highly unstable and leading to excessive delivery of sediment downstream during even minor...

  • CAT - South Rain Garden

    The Federation is constructing a stormwater bioretention cell on the campus of the Center of Applied Technology – South (CAT-South), a magnet program of Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) located in Edgewater, Maryland. This project will address flooding issues experienced outside one of...

  • Gravely - Kings Branch 'Grand Canyon' Restoration

    Flat Creek's "Gravely Grand Canyon" is one of the fastest eroding tributaries in the South River watershed, with over 11,000 linear feet of highly incised and unstable channels.

  • Holly Hill Harbor Restoration

    The project was identified by the West/Rhode Riverkeeper for retrofits due to the frequent high bacteria levels that were found in weekly bacteria samples conducted just outside of the property. These elevated levels highlighted the need to prevent polluted stormwater from entering the river.

  • Living Shoreline Projects

    The South River Federation has worked with a number of communities on the River to replace bulkhead and revetment with natural “living shoreline” projects. These projects rely less on structural materials, such as rock and lumber, for stabilization, and instead work with the wave energy on the...

  • Turnbull Estates BMP & Living Shoreline Project

    South River Federation (SRF), in partnership Turnbull Estates community, Edgewater, MD, is seeking to couple a community bioretention project with an innovative living shoreline restoration approach, utilizing the native oyster Crassostrea virginica along with conventional methods (segmented sills)....