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: Columbia, MD
Problem: Stormwater flows at the Greenleaf housing development were overwhelming existing stormwater infrastructure. Flooding, erosion, pooled water, slippery sidewalks in winter, and an undermined footbridge all created unsafe conditions for pedestrians.
Solution: The Howard County READY (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) Program – which provides summer employment for high school and college students – supplied labor to retrofit problem areas in the community. READY teams excavated target spots, installed a rock channel, planted conservation landscaping, and installed four rain gardens. Utilizing READY workers kept overall project costs to a minimum.