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: Silver Spring, MD
Problem: Members of St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring noticed muddy brown water flowing across the church’s driveway and parking lot during heavy rains. Soil from nearby hillsides was being washed into storm drains and into the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River, and ultimately into the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Solution: Restoration at St. Camillus Church included the construction of four conservation landscape areas along the church’s driveway down a hill to the parking lot. More than 1,000 native plants were installed to capture, slow, and absorb stormwater. Composed filled mesh stabilizer tubes were embedded into the tiered planting beds to help protect the hillside. Additionally, roof gutters were channeled to a 530-gallon above-ground cistern to capture runoff and provide a source of irrigation for the new plantings.
Scale: 14 acres including 9 impervious acres
Funding sources: Chesapeake Bay Trust; Montgomery County; Silver Spring Green
Partners: Anacostia Riverkeeper; Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake