Herring Bay, Middle Patuxent and Lower Patuxent Watershed Assessment Report
The Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP) initiated a comprehensive assessment of the Herring Bay, Middle Patuxent and Lower Patuxent Watersheds in the summer of 2016. This systematic assessment documents current water quality conditions in the watershed to support and prioritize watershed management and planning decisions and develop a detailed restoration plan for this study watershed. Assessing current conditions helps the County determine where to focus resources for maintaining those water bodies in good condition and for mitigating problems to improve the overall watershed health and quality. The study also fulfills requirements of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit issued to the County by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
The assessment included field investigations and characterization of the stream and watershed conditions. This involved requesting permission to access stream reaches within the study watersheds on private property. Field crews walked all stream reaches that permission was granted to access. This full-scale assessment was designed to catalog infrastructure, assess stream habitat for fish and aquatic insects, characterize stream channel stability and stream bank erosion, and assess water quality conditions of watershed streams. The assessment of the physical condition of the watershed’s stream system took place over approximately 163 miles of streams.
Data were used to prioritize the watershed’s individual stream reaches and subwatersheds for restoration and preservation measures to ultimately improve the conditions of the watershed. In addition to the stream assessments, indicators of watershed condition related to land use, stormwater best management practices (BMPs), and pollutant loading models were compiled in prioritization models that rank and prioritize the watersheds at the stream reach and subwatershed scales for restoration and preservation priorities.
Of the 586 reaches included in the prioritization model, a total of 41 reaches (7%) were prioritized as high priority for restoration between the three watersheds. Seven subwatersheds (33%) in Herring Bay and 6 subwatersheds (17%) in Middle and Lower Patuxent were rated high priority for restoration. Finally, subwatersheds were prioritized for preservation. Three subwatersheds (14%) in Herring Bay and 10 subwatersheds (28%) in Middle and Lower Patuxent were rated high priority for preservation.
Three parcel scale models were developed to identify parcels for management activities. The models identify parcels of high ecological value that are good candidates for preservation, parcels for tree planting and riparian buffer restoration, and parcels with high levels of impervious area that may be good candidates for impervious treatment including removal and conversion to pervious surfaces or application of appropriate stormwater management practices.
This report serves to summarize the procedures and results to date of the Herring Bay, Middle Patuxent and Lower Patuxent Watershed Assessment.
Please direct all inquiries, questions, and comments regarding this report to: Raghavenderrao Badami, PE, 2662 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 at 410-222-0529, or via e-mail at [email protected].