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Patapsco Tidal Watershed

Patapsco Tidal Watershed

Watershed Description

The Patapsco Tidal watershed is located in northern Anne Arundel County, near the confluence of the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay. It includes the communities of Hillcrest, Brooklyn Heights, Arundel Village, Rolland Terrace, Sunnyfield Estates, Shipley Fairmount, Cromwell Fountain, Ferndale, Furnace Branch, Glen Burnie, Point Pleasant, Glen Burnie Heights, Glen Burnie, Park, Harundale, Marley, Solley, Brandon Shores, Stoney Beach, Riviera Beach, Green Haven, Freetown Village, Old Mill, Fairview Beach, Paradise Beach and Chesterfield.

The Patapsco Tidal watershed drains 30,852 acres and contains approximately 135 miles of streams draining 27 sub-watersheds. These sub-watersheds range in size from 12 acres to 3,367 acres. Major tributaries include Marley Creek, Stony Creek, Rock Creek and Sawmill Creek.

Residential land uses (approximately 40 %) make up the greatest portion of the Patapsco Tidal Watershed. Apart from residential land use, the other large land use/land cover category is woods at 27% of the watershed. Commercial/Industrial uses make of 13% of the land use. Impervious surfaces represented by roads, building footprints, parking lots and other hard surfaces cover approximately 30% (~9,320 acres) of the Patapsco Tidal watershed.

Residential, commercial, and various industrial and transportation uses are well represented in the Patapsco Tidal watershed. Portions of Interstate 695, Interstate 97, Maryland Route 10 and Maryland Route 100 bisect the watershed. In much of the area, there is a predominance of older residential development, much of which predates requirements for modern stormwater management.

Many of the headwater streams in Patapsco Tidal watershed are surrounded by dense residential, industrial, and commercial development. Within the watershed are Marley Station Mall, several other shopping plazas, the Brandon Shores power plant, a CSX railyard, and portions of BWI airport. This includes several County Parks such as Fort Smallwood Park, Severn Danza Park and North Arundel Aquatic Center.

Watershed Assessment

The Watershed Protection and Restoration Program utilizes a watershed based approach to restoring and protecting our waterways. Assessments are conducted on each of the 12 primary watersheds to evaluate water conditions, establish priorities and goals for improvement, and take actions designed to restore or protect water quality.

A comprehensive watershed assessment for the Patapsco Tidal watershed has been completed. The reports include a discussion of the water quality problems and sources of pollution and strategies for improving the water quality in the watershed. Click here to read more.

Local Watershed Organizations

Successful conservation and preservation of Anne Arundel County's watersheds takes teamwork. Here is a list of organizations that work to protect the Patapsco Tidal watershed:

Anne Arundel Patapsco River Alliance
Restore Rock Creek
Blue Water Baltimore
Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy


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