Streams & Wetlands Restoration

Bacon Ridge Branch

Bacon Ridge Branch is a stream within the Bacon Ridge Natural Area that is experiencing significant erosion and headcutting despite being surrounded by only 4% impervious cover in its drainage area. This is partially due to naturally erosive soils, but primarily a result of continued runoff from state highways and a history of deforestation, soil loss, and poor livestock management practices in past eras (hence the name “Bacon Ridge” – pigs roamed freely after the watershed was deforested). US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists have identified at least 180 active headcuts (erosion areas) within the property. Action is needed to retain the high quality wetlands and forests in this area, before they are impacted by stream channel erosion and impacts to the entire forest’s hydrology.

Main Stem Stream Restoration. The Federation received grants from Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to restore this stretch of stream.  While we could have restored around 700 feet of stream with a traditional rock-based RSC approach, BioHabitats instead used beaver-dam like structures made from wood harvested onsite to stretch our funds to restore 4,300 linear feet of stream.  This project is the first stream restoration in Maryland to use all-wood grade control structures.