south river restoration

The Broad Creek headwaters restoration project adjacent to the MVA Park and Ride seeks to restore pre-development habitat and arrest channel erosion in one of the South River watershed's most rapidly eroding valleys.

A series of over a dozen soil cores up to 30 feet deep have demonstrated that a stream channel never existed at this site until a manmade dam failed in the 1970s, exposing over 30,000 tons of unstabilized sediment to continual erosion and transport into Broad Creek. Rehabilitation of this site is being accomplished by the construction of an integrated wetland/stream restoration project within the valley. Portions of the project will focus on the removal of legacy sediments from the valley and re-establishment the historic wetland and floodplain elevations, while other portions of the project will increase the elevation of the water table to existing valley grades.

This site historically served as a livestock pond, and at some point in the mid-20th century, the pond and its earthen berm were massively expanded to impound approximately 4-5 acres of water within the valley, requiring a dam approximately 15-18' tall from toe to crown. This allowed a new use of the pond: irrigation source. This dam eventually failed in the 1980s, and the subsequent erosion resulting from stormwater pulses has incised a channel an additional 5-6' lower than the dam's original footing. Headcutting began furiously through the pond's legacy sediments, and has now cut the base grade below the elevation of groundwater interception.

The site is mapped as "highly degraded" in the Anne Arundel County Phase II WIP, and is one of Maryland State Highway Administration's top priorities for stream/wetland restoration within the state of Maryland. The site is at the headwaters of Broad Creek, which along with Church Creek represents the strategic focus of the South River Federation for the purposes of key habitat improvement and erosion/sediment reduction. The project was specifically listed as a high priority project in our initial Watershed Plan (2002) and subsequent watershed restoration plan (2008). Construction began in 2015, and was completed in 2016.

BEFORE Restoration: Photos Showing Degraded Conditions

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AFTER Restoration: Photos Taken in Early 2016 as Project Nears Completion

MVA (1)
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Project Funded By:

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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)....