Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides. This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.
Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways. This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!
Project Location: Annapolis, MD
Problem: This Annapolis dealership was covered with impermeable asphalt and concrete. Without any greenery, there were drainage issues, including flooding, puddling, and nearby erosion. In addition, polluted runoff was draining into local Spa Creek.
Solution: Volunteers with Spa Creek Conservancy and students from Bates Middle School in Annapolis worked with the dealership to replace the asphalt along the sidewalks with three beautiful rain gardens that filter out oil byproducts. They built signs to educate visitors and trench drains to direct water into the biocells. Roof water was diverted to the planters, further preventing polluted runoff from reaching Spa Creek.
Unexpected Obstacle: Near the end of this project, Rich Morton Lincoln-Mercury was bought by Koon’s Toyota. Fortunately, Koon’s Toyota was supportive of the project and agreed to assume maintenance responsibilities; however, they could not match the originally promised financial contribution. This led to alterations in plantings and reliance on pro bono support from the engineering and management teams.
Scale: 840ft2 of asphalt replaced with rain gardens; Runoff from 2 acres is filtered
Cost: $141,648 plus $44,300 match
Funding Sources: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Partners: Rich Morton Lincoln - Mercury (Bought by Koons Toyota); Eco Gardens, LLC; Low Impact Design Studio; Eden Consulting, Inc.
Efficiency: 80% runoff reduction per 1 inch rain event
To Learn More: www.spacreek.org