As with other area waterbodies, the county finds "a lot of trash" and "mounds of bottles" in Back River, Candace Croswell
"All this trash comes from the watershed."
believes the problem of littering is generational and requires education.
"We need to do something about it," she
An assessment of the lower Back River watershed is under way to identify potential restoration projects and evaluate existing conditions - such as percentage of developed area and types of structures like connected rain gutters that flow directly from rooftops to stormwater systems.
"A lot of the citizens are not aware of what we've been doing," said Croswell, manager of DEPRM's capital improvement program, which tackles stream restoration, dredging and debris removal.
described a natural channel approach to restoring streams in order to stabilize banks and reduce sediment being eroded and carried into the river.
presented slides of projects completed elsewhere in the county that displayed drastic changes from cemented culverts to vegetated meandering streams, which she
said slow water flow and reduce erosion.
Managing a program that has been recognized nationally for its stream restoration and dredging projects, Croswell
works to cull grant money from a variety of sources, including recent federal stimulus funding, she
department has spent $9.5 million on Back River restoration projects and plans to spend another $1.8 million in the near future.
is overseeing implementation of a large trash collection system, which would catch and remove bottles and debris from the surface of Back River under the I-695 bridge.
The county also provides supplies and trash bins for citizen efforts, such as the two cleanups on Bread and Cheese Creek that Olszewski's
office has organized, Croswell
Citizen involvement is a key component to successful projects, Croswell
Small Watershed Action Plan
The process of developing a SWAP includes establishing goals for the watershed and identifying projects that will then help meet those goals.
Community members had the opportunity to offer their ideas for goals and a slogan for the watershed at last week's meeting or by contacting DEPRM
Goals suggested by DEPRM
included improving water quality, restoring and maintaining aquatic and wildlife habitat and expanding environmental education.
The county hopes to present the goals and slogan ideas compiled by next week, Croswell
said, so that the Back River SWAP Steering Committee
can begin outlining a plan.
"I think the meeting was a great start," Croswell
fielded questions regarding Bread and Cheese Creek from both Long
wife, Erin (who was misidentified in a July 2 Eagle article).
does do stream restoration on private property," Croswell
said at the meeting.