south river restoration

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 parcels in 2009 and 2010 , as well as for increased public access to the property once those parcels were acquired and protected. Anne Arundel County continues to add acreage to the site, which sits in a sensitive area of the South River's headwaters. For more information on the Bacon Ridge Natural Area, please visit the Scenic Rivers Land Trust website or Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks page.

Restoration: Bacon Ridge Branch is a stream within Bacon Ridge Natural Area that is experiencing significant erosion and headcutting despite being surrounded by only 4% impervious cover in its drainage area. This is partially due to naturally erosive soils, but primarily a result of continued runoff from state highways and a history of deforestation, soil loss, and poor livestock management practices in past eras (hence the name "Bacon Ridge" - pigs roamed freely after the watershed was deforested). US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists have identified at least 180 active headcuts (erosion areas) within the property. Action is needed to retain the high quality wetlands and forests in this area, before they are impacted by stream channel erosion and impacts to the entire forest's hydrology.

Headcut Project 1: USFWS designed, permitted, and constructed a series of log weirs in a rapidly eroding forested headcut in September, 2014. SRF assisted by providing live plants and volunteers to help the restoration area become established and stable.

Groundwater Recharge Wetlands: In 2015, SRF and USFWS decided to partner to explore an experimental concept devised by USFWS: to collect stormwater in small wetlands and then (through pipes or a gravel layer) allow the filtered wetland overflow to travel vertically back into a highly porous soil layer, recharging the groundwater table instead of contributing runoff volumes to nearby headcuts. As of early 2016, the project is approximately 50% funded and should be constructed by late 2016.

Main Stem Stream Restoration. In early 2015, USFWS notified SRF that significant erosion was present in the main stem of Bacon Ridge Branch (an intermittent stream channel reach). The site represents roughly 2,500 linear feet of actively eroding perennial channel in a forested setting. Vertical downcutting in the stream bed is causing the active drainage of high quality forested wetlands, which will eventually convert to uplands or marginal wetlands if no action is taken. The Federation and USFWS are working to increase floodplain connection via use of valley-wide grade control structures, while still providing an active, flowing channel in its current location. This approach will provide many of the benefits of more extensive regenerative stream conveyance (RSC) approaches with a far more limited scope of disturbance to the existing forest, and at a much reduced cost.

Project Funded By:

DNRweb US Fish and Wildlife Service CBT BayPlate Logogif 2010

Featured Projects

  • Annapolis Harbour Center Stream and Wetland Restoration

    The Annapolis Harbour Center Stream and Wetland project will improve habitat, increase floodplain connection, and prevent bed and bank erosion. This particular project focuses on controlling flows and providing habitat at the bottom of existing outfalls, through the use of a step-pool storm...

  • 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...

  • Preserve at Broad Creek Pond and Outfall Restoration

    This project is located in the Broad Creek watershed, one of the most impaired subwatersheds of the South River.  The Preserve at Broad Creek Restoration Project corrected a failing stormwater pond and its resulting unstable outfall into an ephemeral reach of a tributary of Broad Creek known as...

Current Projects

  • Annapolis Harbour Center Pond Retrofit

    Anne Arundel County, with support from the South River Federation, is retrofitting the large stormwater pond at Annapolis Harbour Center to increase its capacity for treating stormwater runoff.  This new project will tie directly into the Federation's Annapolis Harbour Center Stream and Wetlands...

  • 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 Killarney House & Neighbors Community stormwater project, located in the Beards Creek subwatershed of the South River, will address polluted stormwater runoff traveling across five commercial and residential properties. The Federation will create forested...

  • Broad Creek Headwaters Phase II - Dept. of Health Gully, Heritage Complex Gully, & East Branch Restoration

    This restoration project will restore stability and functions to a 1000 linear foot ephemeral stormwater driven gully and a parallel 1300 linear foot ephemeral gully that flow to the East Branch of Broad Creek.

  • Bywater Stream and Wetland Restoration

    The Bywater Branch Restoration Project is located in Annapolis next to the community of Kingsport. The roughly 2,000 linear foot site is in the headwaters of Church Creek, one of the most highly urbanized sub watersheds on the South River. The project site is currently composed of multiple...

  • Edgewater Beach Septic Upgrades & Stormwater Retrofits

    The Edgewater Beach Septic and Stormwater Retrofit project is a multi-phase effort to work with a decades-old, waterfront community on the South River. We seek to comprehensively upgrade its infrastructure to help reduce negative impacts to health and water quality, improve property values, and...

  • 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)....

  • Warehouse Creek Stream and Wetland Restoration

    Coming Soon