By: Maura Duffy
The South River Federation is currently involved in what is known as a “living shoreline” project located at Camp Woodlands. Camp Woodlands is a 32 acre woodland waterfront site located on Broad Creek, which feeds into the South River. The land is owned by the Girl Scout Council of Central Maryland, but it is also used by groups such as Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Club. This area provides an educational environment in which children can interact with nature and water. The waterfront area of the site has been affected by erosion. This became problematic when erosion was compromising an important access path to the boat dock area. In order to restore the current area as well as protect from future erosion, a living shoreline needed to be created.
A living shoreline is designed to work with wave and tidal energy to prevent erosion as well as provide critical habitat for a variety of species. Instead of using structural materials, such as lumber, this project will rely on rocks, native shrubs, and grasses to stabilize the sandy shoreline. Restoration of this shoreline is beneficial to the health of the South River for several reasons. It will provide important nesting and feeding areas for shorebirds and other wildlife, act as a nursery for the eggs of a variety of species, and provide habitat for crabs, fish, and insects.
For this project, sand will placed and pushed outward in order to create a stable, gradual transition from land to water. This extension of the shoreline can then be used to create a submergent marsh. In addition, rocks are being placed on geotextile fabric in order to further prevent erosion. This material prevents the rocks from sinking. As seen in the photos, an excavator is being used to place rock on top of this material. Enhancing and protecting this shoreline will be beneficial for both Camp Woodlands and the South River.
This project is being funded by the Living Shorelines Grant provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, which includes a joint grant with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It was designed by Flood Brothers Marine Consultants, and is being constructed by Brightwater Engineering.