Charting the Course for BMPs: A Church Creek Case Study

The South River Federation and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are partnering to study a tributary of the South River that has been known previously as one of the most polluted creeks in the River’s watershed, Church Creek. Over the past six years, Church Creek has been the focus of numerous small and large-scale restoration projects. These projects, called Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), are designed specifically to reduce the impact of runoff from highly developed areas like that of the Church Creek watershed. By dividing Church Creek’s main watershed into various subwatersheds, and monitoring each individually for nutrients, sediment, and other basic hydrochemistry, we aim to determine the effectiveness of various types of BMPs. Our research will also take into account combinations of BMP influences existing in Church Creek to assess the effect of “layered” projects, a technique that is cutting edge in the realm of stream restoration.

We hope that the information gathered from this research will help to provide a better understanding of how BMPs function alongside urban  waterways. This information and research will allow for more informed decision making when it concerns impaired stream systems. In addition, this grant allows us to investigate different methods of monitoring, through technique and frequency so that we may be able to establish guidelines for the most economically efficient and effective water quality monitoring programs. South River Federation is looking forward contributing to such an important step towards protecting and sustaining our River. We would like to send out a special thanks to our partners, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Chesapeake Bay Trust for helping us to make this project a reality.

 

To check out some of the preliminary data gathered for this project please see the links below. Feel free to email sarahg@arundelrivers.org with any questions.

Restoration Research Project Background

AllenBranchData_Logger_6months-compressed

Allen_SondeData_6months-compressed

WEST_loggerdata_6 months-compressed

Harbour_SondeData_6months-compressed

HARBOUR_logger_6 months-compressed (1)

SRFNutrientData

Summary of Results_Restoration Research SRF_SERC