SHARPSBURG, Md.—The Antietam Creek Watershed Alliance recently was awarded a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to repair a failing stone-lined stream in a homeowner’s backyard, protecting the waters that eventually flow into the Chesapeake Bay.
The unnamed stream flows through private lots in Sharpsburg and carries stormwater runoff from rooftops, parking lots and roads. Decades ago, the stream was lined with stone walls and concrete bottoms to help control the direction of the water flow.
However, time and increased runoff caused the walls to fail in some locations, resulting in severe stream bank erosion, which muddies the stream carrying sediments to Antietam Creek, the Potomac River and eventually to the Chesapeake Bay.
Homeowner Chris Mullendore lives along this small stream and was concerned that the erosion would progress to where the stream eventually would swallow up the outbuilding in his backyard. Because any work done in a flowing stream must have approval by the state, the project was too big for Mullendore to address himself.
The alliance was approached by contractor Frederick, Seibert and Associates to assist the Mullendores and restore this small tributary of the creek to a more natural working design. In August, the trust awarded the alliance a $4,826 minigrant, with matching project funds provided by the town of Sharpsburg, the contractor, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the alliance.
Restoration efforts are under way in the Mullendores’ backyard with a more natural design of a sloping stream side and strategically placed rocks to control water flow. Native grasses and shrubs will be planted by local volunteers in a few weeks on the banks of the project area. The contractor staff will educate the homeowner on the proper care of this more natural environment to ensure the plants will survive and control future erosion.
The project not only protects Mullendore’s property, but improves the quality of the waters flowing into Antietam Creek and creates a more natural streamside habitat. The funding provided by the trust made the project possible and it introduced a fresh working relationship between town officials, the contractor and the alliance to tackle an environmental issue.
To learn more about the stream restoration, call Susan Simonson at 240-452-0426, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.acwamaryland.org.
To learn more about the trust, go to www.cbtrust.org.