Plans for Wetlands Creation for Delaware Route 1

News Press Release
John Gonzalez - Master Watershed Steward

Havre de Grace, MD, February 6, 2017, John B. Gonzalez, P.E., CPSWQ, a registered professional engineer in Maryland, and Associate and Manager at Landmark Science & Engineering's Havre de Grace office, completed the Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA), a year-long training program focused on how to identify and treat stormwater runoff in and around local communities. As part of the WSA program, the class participants spent 60 hours in the classroom learning about stormwater principles, community outreach and education, and identifying resources and building partnerships to address water quality issues. They also spent time in the field learning about the installation and maintenance of small-scale stormwater management practices and completing a class project at Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area (NRMA).

The Cecil County WSA is a partnership between Development Services Division of the Department of Public Works and the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension. The program trains and supports community leaders in Maryland to serve as Master Watershed Stewards: leaders in their communities who can identify and assess areas to implement stormwater management practices, educate local citizens, and assist the County in reaching its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals.

WSA members and staff from Maryland Department of Natural Resources Park Service, gathered at the Fair Hill NRMA on July 29, 2016 to celebrate the completion of the class project that was installed at the Ed Walls Activity Center. The project was constructed in early June and included the installation of a rain garden and permeable pavers that capture and treat stormwater runoff from a portion of the Ed Walls Activity Center rooftop. The class project was the practical application of what the WSA class participants learned as part of the program.

The project location was identified on one of the two field trips that the class took. Rachel Temby, Fair Hill NRMA Park Manager was supportive and essential to the approval and success of the project. Local engineer Dan Speakman assisted the class with assessing soil properties, an important factor in the design of the rain garden facility. Class members then worked on the design and layout of the facility, identified vendors and costs for supplies and materials, and enlisted volunteers to assist with the construction including individuals from the Cecil County 4H Stem and Robotics Team. On a Friday and Saturday in June the class met on site and worked all day excavating and moving soil, placing a blended soil media called biosoil, then planted the rain garden with an array of native plants including Black-eyed Susan, Marsh Marigold, Butterflyweed and Little Bluestem. In addition to treating stormwater runoff, the WSA participants hope that this project will be used as an educational resource and a demonstration for future WSA classes as well as county citizens who visit Fair Hill NRMA.

For more information about the Cecil County WSA program, contact Marshall McSorley at mmcsorley@ccgov.org or Eric Buehl at ebuehl@umd.edu.