Upper Patuxent River
Watershed Restoration
Action Strategy

In the conduct of this WRAS, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties worked closely with State staff to collect existing information and develop a watershed characterization, and to field assess current stream habitat conditions, fish and aquatic invertebrate communities, and baseflow nutrient concentrations and loading rates. Additionally, the WRAS Partners (Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties, and Maryland DNR) undertook public participation activities to ascertain the perceived issues and assets associated with the Upper Patuxent River watershed. The urban land within this watershed was also reviewed and assessed for the potential to retrofit or implement environmentally sensitive, low impact, development techniques that will address and reduce nonpoint source pollution from site runoff. From the existing information and current assessments, the WRAS Partners developed the Basin Condition Score, a methodology to prioritize subwatersheds for restoration and/or protection activities based on differences in ecological conditions (e.g., water quality, habitat conditions, land uses).

Based upon the work described above, a total of 63 restoration projects were identified in the Upper Patuxent River Watershed in Anne Arundel County. Excess stream erosion was the most frequently observed problem, followed by fish barriers and trash dumps. Habitat restoration project needs were observed in all subwatersheds assessed except for a subwatershed contained on the Patuxent Research Refuge.

Note: (Documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded free from http://www.adobe.com)

WRAS Supporting Documents:

Field Application of a Method to Determine the Feasibility and Potential Benefits of Implementing Low Impact Development Techniques and Retrofitting Convential Storm Water Practices in Developed Areas

The Upper Patuxent River Watershed is located in northeastern Prince George’s County and western Anne Arundel County. The main stem of the river forms the boundary between the counties of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel. The watershed has a drainage area of 88 square miles, with 52 square miles in Prince George’s County. In the State’s 1998 Unified Watershed Assessment, the Upper Patuxent was listed as a Category 1 Priority Watershed when it failed two of the five water quality indicators. Watershed landscape indicators of water quality that had poor scores included percent of impervious surface, population density, soil erodibility, benthic index of biotic integrity, in-stream habitat and imperiled aquatics species indicator. All these watershed indicators can be directly correlated with urban and transportation corridor-related development.

To address the identified water quality issues, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties developed a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS) proposal for the Upper Patuxent River. The Counties proposed to develop a plan to target areas for the development of potential storm water management sites. Implementation of the plan will help mitigate the effects of uncontrolled runoff to the Patuxent River through the use of innovative and environmentally-sensitive development techniques and state-of-the-art storm water management practices. Targeting of the mitigation efforts will be based on stream corridor, biological and water quality assessments. These assessments will help to identify stream reaches in need of physical rehabilitation and provide needed information to be used in the prioritization of stream rehabilitation projects.

Note: (Documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded free from http://www.adobe.com)

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Updated on April 20, 2004