Beginning in January 2021, ShoreRivers will implement a suite of conservation and pollution‑reduction projects on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. These projects include new watershed assessments in Caroline and Kent Counties; a robust action plan for Eastern Shore dairy operations; outreach and restoration projects in the Chester and Choptank River watersheds; and engineered designs for three restoration projects located in the Choptank and Sassafras River watersheds. This work is made possible through eight grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trusttotalingmore than $460,000 and will result in measurable reductions of nutrient and sediment pollution to these waterways.
Watershed Assessments: In Caroline County, the town of Denton is transected by a tributary of the Choptank River called Poor House Run. This stream conveys stormwater from nearly 750 acres of urban and commercial land use and, as a result, is incised and eroding the sub-base under a major intersection. ShoreRivers will assess this watershed to identify strategies to restore the stream to its natural state. ShoreRivers will also conduct an assessment of the Bayside Creeks watershed (Still Pond, Churn, Worton, and Fairlee Creeks; tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay in Kent County, MD) for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing opportunities to reduce pollution loads. The resulting watershed assessments will then be used to pursue additional funding to put projects in the ground to reduce pollution and improve water quality.
Dairy Planning: Dairy cows produce a significant waste stream and require large quantities of silage for feed, providing a unique opportunity to achieve significant reductions in nutrient pollution with the right practices in place. ShoreRivers will work with Eastern Shore dairy operations to create robust conservation action plans that identify ongoing environmental resource concerns, analyze restoration options to address these concerns, and detail funding opportunities in order to create operations that are more environmentally sustainable for future generations of dairy farmers. Dairy operations interested in participating or learning more are encouraged to contact Director of Agriculture & Restoration Tim Rosen at [email protected] or 443-385-0511 x209.
Outreach and Restoration: ShoreRivers will expand its Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) volunteer program into the Chester and Sassafras watersheds, with plans to make this program more equitable by utilizing ShoreRivers’ fleet of kayaks. This project will restore 24 acres of SAV to improve water quality and clarity, increase aquatic habitat, and bring Maryland closer to reaching the Chesapeake Bay Agreement habitat goal. Additionally, four River-Friendly Communityconservation planting projects are planned in common spaces on the Tred Avon River in the Choptank watershed, and on Southeast Creek in the Chester watershed. These projects will educate homeowners and empower them to take additional stewardship action on their own properties. Citizens interested in this program are encouraged to contact their local Riverkeeper, submit a volunteer form at shorerivers.org/volunteers, or leave a message at 443-385-0511ext 201.
Engineered Restoration Designs: ShoreRivers will create shovel-ready designs for three restoration implementation projects: bioswale facilities to reduce nuisance flooding issues at the Town of Galena Community Park and beautify the space with shade trees and native plants (Sassafras watershed); restore ecological and habitat function of approximately 3,000 linear feet of forested stream on a headwaters tributary of Turners Creek on the Sassafras River that receives drainage from 139 acres of row crop agriculture; and restore natural hydrology to a stream ditch that drains from a dairy operation directly to the Choptank River, producing 2,146 linear feet of stream/ditch restoration, 6.7 acres of restored floodplain, and better treatment capacity for the drainage from 129.5 acres of predominately agricultural land.
ShoreRivers is pleased to bring significant state and national resources into the region to support integral work for healthy rivers on behalf of our communities. Follow the progress of these projects@shorerivers on Facebook; @shoreriversorg on Instagram; or subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter at shorerivers.org/subscribe.
ShoreRivers protects and restores Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education.