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Howard County Government: County Executive’s Ball sets the stage for restoring essential waterways in Ellicott City

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10/21/2021

Howard County has more than 10 miles of watercourse restoration projects under design, underway or completed.

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Director Calvin Ball today inaugurated the restoration of 1,100 linear feet of waterway near Fels Lane in Ellicott City. The project builds on the administration’s record of environmentally friendly watercourse restoration projects, with more than 30 projects under design, construction or completed since 2018, totaling more than 16 km of improvements to rivers and tributaries in Howard County. Photos of the event are available here (link is external). Aerial images of the project area can be found here (link is external).

For many of our residents, these little streams and streams run through or near their property, and with the increasingly heavy torrential rains, invasive plants and weather, the stream banks are starting to erode and deteriorate. . As these streams are rebuilt, the beneficial impact is multifaceted – natural structures, native plants and new trees prevent erosion, which improves water quality and contributes to the long term stability. Trees are among the most effective tools we have for sustainability – which is why each of our stream restoration projects requires planting at least twice as many trees for each tree to be felled. . In fact, since taking office, we’ve helped plant over 52,000 trees in Howard County.

In addition to improving water quality, stream restoration projects offer large tree plantations. On the Fels Lane project, 24 trees will have to be felled but more than 300 trees will be planted. For each tree felled, 12 will be planted in its place. All stream restoration projects require planting at least twice as many trees for each tree to be felled. Stream restoration efforts are also helping to reduce the number of impervious surfaces in Howard County, resulting in less runoff and better stormwater management.

The county is undertaking many stream and water quality restoration projects and I would like to recognize the efforts of our environmental services office, office manager Mark DeLuca and his staff for their continued efforts to continue these projects. Most of the projects are a collaborative effort with the Office of Community Sustainability and we are excited to start another project in the Ellicott City watershed.

Tom Meunier

Director, Department of Public Works

There are currently more than 20 watercourse restoration projects under design or construction in Howard County. Since 2018, 11 projects have been completed, including:

  • Restoration of a stream over 5,000 feet in the Font Hill district
  • Restoration of 2,450 foot tributary near Dorsey Run in Jessup
  • Restoration of a 2,000-foot stream off Gray Rock Drive in Ellicott City
  • Restoration of 1350 foot creek near Cherrytree Farm in Laurel

“In all the work we do to protect the environment, there is rarely, if ever, a project that can be the solution”, said Josh Feldmark, director of the Office of Community Sustainability. Rather, it is always a combination of projects working together. So while this project is far from the only one needed to protect the Hudson watershed, it is a keystone project. project repairs a ruined creek bank and leaves the whole area in a much better ecological condition than it is now with the planting of 300 trees there. ”

“It’s really exciting to see this project move forward as it is holistic in its approach to tackling stormwater, erosion, sedimentation and water quality in a micro-drainage area.” , said Lori Lilly, executive director of Howard EcoWorks. “Most of the sediment clogging our streams comes from the erosion of stream banks. In this case we also have an eroding hill slope which is a huge source of sediment in the Tiber watershed. This comprehensive watershed-based solution, coupled with larger retention and transportation projects identified in the Safe and Sound Plan, as well as community engagement, approaches and education such as those led by Howard EcoWorks, will certainly go a long way in making Ellicott City more resilient to future storms. ”


This press release was produced by the Howard County Government. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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