The Spa Creek Conservancy has been awarded a grant of $192,518 to support the Southwoods Homeowners Association’s Stormwater project to reduce water pollution.
The the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the award. The EPA/NFWF Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction (INSR) Grant Program awarded $6.1 million to 11 projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed with recipients providing more than $9 million in matching funds. The INSR Program provides grants to innovative and cost-effective projects that dramatically reduce or eliminate the flow of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Funding for these projects was awarded through the NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF).
The Southwoods community borders the headwaters of Spa Creek, where stormwater from Parole and the Chinquapin Round Road industrial park drains in an uncontrolled manner to form the creek. The runoff from this mostly impervious area gives the creek its polluted start with phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment that carries into the tidal portion of the creek and into Annapolis Harbor and the Severn River.
With a Severn River Association Stormwater Action Fund grant and Southwood Homeowners Association matching funds, the Conservancy is conducting a community runoff assessment and developing a master Watershed Action Plan.
This grant represents the funding for Phase 1 of the initiative, which includes bioretention cell infiltration and filtration systems, rain gardens, conservation landscaping, and retrofitting half of the community parking pads with pervious concrete.
Due to the lack of stormwater management in the creek’s headwaters, the creek has degraded with its banks having eroded. The streambed itself contains a great deal of polluted sediment and the erosion has resulted in sewer lines crossing the creek bed that are being exposed to the elements, a silted-in tidal cove, poor water quality and impaired wildlife habitat in the water and on land.
Spa Creek is an impaired waterway and is in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources designated “Red” zone for high priority restoration and mitigation.
The Southwoods community project will complement the overall headwaters stream channel restoration project that is being funded by the Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, with over $3 million. This project will begin when final approval is received from the City of Annapolis, after having been approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of the Environment Non-Tidal Waters Administration.
This project will count toward the City of Annapolis’ Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reduction goals that jurisdictions must meet in all Chesapeake Bay watershed states by 2017 and 2025. These goals are passed down to the local governments, i.e., City of Annapolis. The TMDL factors are Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Phosphorous (TP), and Total Suspended Solids (TSS)(silt/sediment). This implementation is projected to provide average annual reductions of 60-70% TN, of 80%TP, and 90+% of TS (Source: Low Impact development Center). Bioretention cells are able to achieve excellent removal of heavy metals. Users of this technique can expect typical copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb) reductions of greater than 90%, with only small variations in results. University of Maryland has demonstrated potential bioretention cell removal efficiencies greater than 98% for total suspended solids and oil/grease. The pervious concrete parking pad devices provide similar results.