The Arundel on the Bay Community partnered with the South River Federation to assess their community’s drainage and flooding issues in 2010, with the goal of implementing a variety of best management practices in the most critically needed areas afterwards. The area selected as the first implementation site was the 40 acre Chestnut Avenue drainage area, composed of a series of foot-deep roadside ditches. During small storms, water would slip through roadside ditches and drain into Fishing Creek, untreated. During large storms, the ditches would become overwhelmed with stormwater volume, sending ponded water into yards and streets. The implementation of these projects supports ongoing efforts to reduce nutrients, enhance habitats, and enhance upland areas currently prone to run-off.
In early 2014, Federation installed that project: the Chestnut Avenue / Arundel on the Bay Environmental Enhancement Project – our most complex urban/residential project to date – the. Designed by Biohabitats, Inc. and constructed by Underwood and Associates, Inc., is over 500 feet in length, nearly an acre in size, and contains nearly 300 linear feet of restored living shoreline (replacing an aging bulkhead). The completed project increases the treatment of runoff during normal conditions and small storms, while safely passing the flows of extreme storms.
This was accomplished through a hybridized project concept that included opening up ditch sections and converting them to rain gardens and bioretention swales, as well as opening up a previously filled tidal marsh and bulkhead to provide significant wetland habitat where the ditch system enters Fishing Creek. We would love to see similar projects throughout many of the South River’s low-lying waterfront communities, and we know that several neighborhoods are working on funding their own projects this year. This project, jointly funded by Maryland DNR, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and the Arundel on the Bay Property Owners Association, has already brought an increased aesthetic appeal to this part of the neighborhood while providing important functions for the Bay.