Award-Winning Watershed Restoration Projects & Programs

We are proud of the awards our programs and projects have won over the years!


Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.


Millrace Dry Pond Retrofit

Best in Category - Parks & Recreation

The Millrace Dry Pond Retrofit Project, managed by BWPR Project Manager Gerry Inglesby and constructed in 2020, was recognized in the “Parks & Recreation” category of the 2023 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards! This project transformed an outdated and overwhelmed dry detention stormwater facility into a thriving wetland ecosystem and proper recreational area. Through the application of innovative and cost-effective techniques, this project accomplished the complementary goals of stormwater management, water quality enhancement, habitat creation, and public engagement.


Full Delivery of Water Quality Improvements "Turnkey" Program

Best in Category - County Resiliency

BWPR implemented its Full Delivery of Water Quality Improvements (“Turnkey”) Program in 2017 to expedite the process of restoring our local waterways and driving down costs through public-private partnerships. This program, which funds design-build-maintain contracts to private firms that result in the construction of cost-effective stormwater Best Management Practices, has created a resilient and cost-effective pipeline of restoration projects that ensure the County’s local tax dollars are being invested towards a sustainable future. 


Eisenhower Golf Course Stream and Wetland Restoration

Achievement Award 

The Eisenhower Golf Course & Stream/Wetland Restoration project was an innovative collaboration between the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation & Parks and the Department of Public Works Bureau of Watershed Protection & Restoration (BWPR). This project transformed a worn-out golf course into a sustainable and cutting-edge facility accessible to all Anne Arundel County residents. 

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The National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards program, developed and introduced in 2015 by the Water Environment Federation through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was established to recognize high-performing regulated MS4s. Award winners meet and exceed regulatory requirements in innovative ways that are effective and cost-efficient.


Phase I Program Management & Best in Innovation

For BWPR, Fiscal Year 2021-22 carried an unofficial theme of optimizing online maps, apps, and tools aimed to support a range of local stakeholders, now enabling us to lead the way in local Bay restoration both on the ground and online. The County’s web-based stormwater resources – including our regularly updated website (, Watershed ApplicationFish Atlas ArcGIS Story MapBMP Credit CalculatorRestoration Estimator ToolLand Use Navigator in partnership with the Department of Inspections & Permits, and more collaborative tools coming down the pipeline – have communicated a strong message to our constituents that we’re here to support them and are actively working to break down the barriers that inhibit restoration progress. This YouTube video shares more about recent innovative projects and partnerships in Anne Arundel County.

Water Quality Improvement Award

Anne Arundel County implemented its Full Delivery of Water Quality Improvements (“Turnkey”) Program in 2017 to expedite the process of restoring local waterways and driving down costs through public-private partnerships. This program funds design-build-maintain contracts to private firms that result in the construction of cost-effective stormwater projects. 

Public Communication & Outreach Program Award

Stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in Anne Arundel County (AACo), and most of that stormwater originates on private property (~60%). The Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) engages County residents in restoration by bolstering the accessibility of municipal resources/data and training resident stewards to ignite action within their own neighborhoods. WSA builds capacity in Anne Arundel County by training Master Watershed Stewards to help neighbors reduce pollution in our local creeks and rivers. Steward candidates learn the science behind stormwater management, proper plant selection, site assessment, and more. Stewards are also trained in social science so they can skillfully communicate and engage their communities.


Phase I Program Management 

Delivering excellent stormwater management services while minimizing financial risk is one of Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works’ top priorities. In 2016, the department pioneered an innovative procurement mechanism that facilitates the third-party construction of stormwater infrastructure with little risk to the county, deferring all payments until projects are completed and inspected. In 2019, it became the first jurisdiction in Maryland to use the state’s new nutrient trading program to achieve MS4 permit compliance. Watch our video here.


Phase I Program Management - Gold Recognition

Phase I Innovation - Silver Recognition


Phase I Program Management - Winner 

Phase I Program Management - Gold Recognition

Phase I Innovation - Silver Recognition


Phase I Program Management - Gold Recognition

Phase I Innovation - Silver Recognition



The Chesapeake Stormwater Network's Best Urban BMP in the Bay Awards (BUBBAs) recognizes the best urban BMPs that have been installed in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


Best Stream Restoration

First Place - Lower Mill Creek Stream Restoration

The Lower Mill Stream Restoration Project, managed by BWPR Project Manager Nasrin Dahlgren and constructed in 2020, was awarded “Best Stream Restoration” in the Chesapeake Stormwater Network’s 2023 Best Urban BMP of the Bay Awards (BUBBAs)! Through the stabilization of 2,369 linear feet of stream and the planting of 4,000 trees, the Lower Mill Project created wetlands and aquatic habitats, recharging groundwater, providing flood attenuation, enhancing riparian buffers, and maximizing sediment and nutrient reductions. 



Best Education and Outreach Project

Third Place - Anne Arundel County DPW and Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy

The powerful partnership between the Anne Arundel County DPW and the Watershed Stewards Academy stands out for the scope of its impact. In addition to a strong engagement through new media and social media, the partnership with WSA allows DPW to provide community-based technical assistance that is not otherwise available through County staff.

Innovative Stormwater Permit Implementation

Third Place - Anne Arundel County DPW

Anne Arundel County’s DPW stands out for the breadth and scope of its permit implementation efforts, as well as its innovative funding strategies. The program has led the way in engaging the private sector in the implementation of the County’s MS4 permit.

Best Stream Restoration 

Honorable Mention - Cat Branch Stream and Wetland Restoration

The restoration of Cat Branch included 3.5 acres of non-tidal wetland restoration, 1,492 linear feet of stream restoration, retrofit of a dated stormwater management dry pond, two stormwater outfall stabilizations, a step-pool storm conveyance (SPSC) system, and a stormwater wetland at two other degraded stormwater outfalls.



Best Stream Restoration

Honorable Mention - Dividing Creek Stream Restoration

The restoration of Dividing Creek demonstrates an integrated watershed approach, installed in conjunction with two BMP retrofits treating upland impervious areas.

Best Habitat Creation

Third Place - Tri-State Marine Wetland - Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Recipient 

The Tri-State Marine Wetland project converted an untreated gravel lot into a 60,625 square-foot wetland complex consisting of a grass swale, two bioswales, and a stormwater management wet pond ringed by native wetland trees, shrubs, and plants.

Best Stream Restoration 

Third Place - Bacon Ridge Stream Restoration - Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Recipient 



Best Stream Restoration

First Place - North Cypress Branch Stream and Wetland Restoration

This project used an integrated watershed restoration approach, creating or enhancing 7.4 acres of non-tidal wetland through the approximately 3,000 linear feet of stream restoration in a highly urbanized watershed.

Best Stream Restoration 

Second Place - Annapolis Harbour Center Stream and Wetland Restoration - Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant Recipient 

This stream and wetland restoration project restored a 1,500-foot reach while also providing greatly improved aquatic and upland habitat function. 



Best Combination of BMPs in a Series

First Place - Central Utility Operations Stormwater Management and Stream and Wetland Restoration Project

This comprehensive and innovative project eliminated stormwater pipes and drains – the first of its kind in the area – and utilized a series of upland practices including bioretention, cobble-bedded parking lot, conservation buffers, swales, Step Pool Storm Conveyance (SPSC), native plantings as well as a Regenerative Stream Channel (RSC) to restore eroded Branch Creek and reconnect it back to its historic floodplain.

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Stormwater Solutions Top Project Award

The George Cromwell Elementary School Stormwater Improvements Project, managed by Jeff Ratteree of BWPR, was selected to be recognized in the 2022 Stormwater Solutions Top Project Awards. The project, which involved the design and installation of a bioretention basin and natural drainage system for stormwater treatment, while also protecting and creating new outdoor education opportunities for the adjacent Elementary School.




County Engineers Association of Maryland Merit Awards

The Forked Creek Outfall Retrofit, managed by Joe Ports of BWPR, was selected to receive the 2nd Place CEAM Award of Merit for 2022. The Forked Creek Outfall Retrofit was designed by BayLand Consultants & Designers, Inc. and constructed by PayDirt, LLC. In the Fall of 2021. This project provides NPDES MS-4 permit credit, stabilizes 1,600 linear feet of a severely eroded ephemeral gully and low-quality stream channel, and protects a 16” diameter force sanitary sewer main that had been repeatedly exposed over the years due to stream incision, with the last large emergency stabilization project occurring in 2015. This project ultimately resulted in a successful and cost-effective stormwater management best management practice, stream restoration, utility protection, and outdoor education project as well as a community amenity. 





Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) Green/Sustainability/Environmental Award

Rutland Road Fish Passage 

The project involved replacing the culverts with a pre-stressed concrete slab bridge to increase the hydraulic opening and reduce roadway flooding. The project also regraded the stream bed to provide upstream passage for migrating fish, essentially opening up six miles of spawning habitat on the North River and its tributaries.