about south river federation

Fall Community Meeting 10/11/16

Round Table Discussion led by Kirk Mantay, Director of Watershed Restoration, on the success of

The Impossible Stream logo100x100

Ten years ago, the Federation identified a small stream squeezed between Annapolis Harbour Center and Home Depot as the most degraded stream segment in the South River Watershed. Over 70% of its drainage area consisted of pavement or hard surface! Despite being told that it was “impossible” to restore the “dead stream” that leads into Church Creek (the most polluted creek on the river), the Federation believed that the polluted stormwater gushing from the stream had to be brought under control if we were to heal the river as a whole.

After ten years of negotiations with commercial developers, creating state and local funding partnerships, and completing over 50 other restoration projects, the Federation re-terraformed the stream into a series of cascading step pools that help slow, cool, and filter the stormwater before reaching Church Creek. Using sophisticated continuous monitoring devices, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is researching the water quality at the start and finish of the project to measure the effectiveness of these techniques in a suburban setting.

Only a few months in to the restoration, preliminary data looks very promising. Summer bacteria levels in the stream (measured weekly) have dropped over 60% since last year. During the pre-restoration fish survey, the team found only 17 eels and mosquito fish living in the stream. A few months after restoration, they found the fish population had already grown to 186 individuals!

AHC stream beforeAHC stream after

Kirk Mantay, Director of Watershed Restoration discussed

The Impossible Stream (Annapolis Harbour Center Restoration Project)

Round Table Discussion Fall Community Meeting 10/11/16

  • $20-30 million in to a $90-100 million effort
  • Priority to defend stormwater fee
  • Established triage system; nearing completion of tier #1
  • Question: Is this a valuable place for us to be working?
    • Suspended sediment has decreased downstream; is this helping downstream?
    • Endorses and personifies mission
    • How is SRF working with State/Federal agencies? What help are they providing us?
    • What types of easements are placed on these projects?
    • Does it enforce methodology?
    • If not SRF, then who?
    • Projects valuable beyond load reduction: habitat, etc.
    • If you don’t fix the impossible ones, how will they impact the other streams?
  • Question: Why is this topic important to you?
    • Stopping major pollutants from entering the River
    • Understanding partnerships and common struggles faced
    • Lavall – Come to us!
    • Lead others to do it better – innovative concepts and leadership
  • What else should SRF be doing?
    • Public Knowledge, Awareness, Signage! The public doesn’t know or understand all that we do.
    • Speak at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, Rotary Club meetings.