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March 19, 2024

Lake Marion Restoration in Partnership with Severn River Association

This spring, Lake Marion in Severn, Maryland will undergo large-scale restoration to enhance the lake’s habitat and restore its capacity to store and treat stormwater. After years of planning by nearby residents, partners from the Provinces Civic Association, Arundel Rivers Federation (Arundel Rivers), and Severn River Association (SRA) will soon break ground on the $3.8 M lake restoration project. 

Lake Marion is at the very beginning, or headwaters, of the Severn River and was originally a natural stream that was converted into a stormwater management feature in the 1970’s designed to collect potentially harmful stormwater runoff from surrounding communities. As water flows through developed areas, it picks up pollutants such as sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus and sends them downstream where they can threaten the health of everything from underwater grasses to fish and oysters in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Stormwater management practices, like Lake Marion, collect that polluted water before it enters tidal waters, in this case, the Severn River. After filtering stormwater for more than half a century, the lake has filled with sediment and debris, causing it to overflow sending polluted stormwater into a headwater tributary of the Severn River and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. 

“Lake Marion, like so many of our older stormwater ponds, has lost its ability to protect our rivers and only a large-scale restoration project can bring it back better than it was before,” said Matt Johnston, Executive Director of Arundel Rivers. “Restoration at this scale requires teamwork through robust partnerships of funders, community leaders, and watershed organizations. It’s only when we work together that we can truly protect our communities and the Chesapeake Bay. So Arundel Rivers is thrilled to be partnering with our colleagues at Severn River Association and the Provinces Civic Association to restore Lake Marion.”

The project will use an innovative, comprehensive approach to restore the lake’s effectiveness. Several feet of accumulated sediment from the bottom of the lake will be excavated to restore the lake’s stormwater storage capacity. Additionally, an existing concrete spillway, or outfall channel, leading to Severn Run will be removed and transformed into a series of pools. A large wetland will be created in a portion of the lake to provide new habitat for native plants and creatures. 

“Severn River Association is incredibly excited about this project to breathe fresh life into Lake Marion.” Said Ben Fertig, Restoration Manager at Severn River Association. “This is a fabulous opportunity to improve water quality, reduce sediment and nutrient pollution, and to deliver cooler, cleaner water to the Severn Run Natural Area. Improving stormwater management and wildlife habitat will have measurable results as we work together to restore and protect the Severn River and its creeks and tributaries for all our communities.”

“The Provinces Civic Association, Inc. (PCA) is very pleased that our efforts to promote a Lake Marion Stormwater Restoration project are finally coming to fruition.” Says PCA President, Cynthia Williams. “After many years of effort, the PCA has at last secured the necessary funding required to carry out modifications to our stormwater system. When completed it will benefit both the Severn Run and our own community park. We thank our financial sponsors and all those community residents who have supported this project.”

Funding for the project is provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Legislative Bond Initiative, Local Development Council, Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration, Provinces Civic Association and private community donations. Design for this project was created by the engineers at Baylands Consultants and Designers, Inc. and Pay Dirt, LLC will serve as the construction contractor. Construction on Lake Marion will begin this spring and is projected to continue through spring 2025. For more information please visit the project website at

Arundel Rivers Federation is an environmental nonprofit based in Edgewater, Maryland working to protect, preserve, and restore the South, West, and Rhode Rivers in Anne Arundel County while fighting for clean water everywhere. Arundel Rivers is a member of the broader Waterkeeper Alliance, a group of hundreds of waterkeeper organizations who serve as the guardians of our waters across the world. 

Severn River Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization with experience and success at pursuing funding and project management for pollution reduction and environmental restoration. Our vision is a thriving Severn River by 2050, and our mission is to connect the people who live, work, and play on the Severn River to restore and protect it for all of our communities.