south river restoration

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Located in the headwaters of Beards Creek, this 1-acre mowed and ditched site was identified as a high priority for restoration as part of a watershed prioritization study funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust in 2007.  The project was funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Homestead Gardens and designed and constructed by Underwood & Associates in 2009 and 2012, respectively.  “We’re thrilled to have partnered with the Federation on this project, which is now both an amenity at our nursery as well as a benefit to the health of the South River,” offered Homestead Gardens President Brian Riddle.

The South River Federation installed a system of stormwater wetlands and bioretention cells behind the Homestead Gardens nursery.  In addition to restoring headwater wetland functions and habitat, the 1-acre project treats 12 acres of runoff coming from parking lots, building roofs, and nursery operations flowing directly to a tributary of Beard’s Creek within the South River watershed - all of which was previously untreated and flowing through manmade ditches in mowed lawn.   This project slows the movement of storm flows through the site by allowing a series of terraced wetland pools to trap sediment and process nutrients before water leaves the property: Smaller rain events infiltrate into the existing soils, while higher flows from major storms are able to pass safely downslope.  Pollution loving wetland plants, including switchgrass, Atlantic white cedar, and Sweetbay Magnolia, were installed to bolster the new wetland habitat and also increase its ability to process polluted runoff.

This project is an important milestone for the South River Federation’s restoration of the Beard’s Creek subwatershed, which is a key objective within our strategic plan. (Former) Federation Executive Director, Erik Michelsen, explained, “The Federation is committed to working with local businesses, communities, and government to methodically restore the health of the South River one project at a time.”  Anne Arundel County’s Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plan prepared by the Department of Public Works identified the Beard’s Creek sub-watershed, which contains the Homestead Gardens site, as its second highest priority for restoration. 

Homestead Gardens Wetland Photos

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Project Funded By:

DNRweb 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)....