Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection & Sustainability
Watershed Restoration Program
- Habitat Assessments
- Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sampling and Identification
- Electrofishing Surveys
- Herpetofauna Surveys
- Stream Temperature
- Water Quality
CRI is a subconsultant on this 5-year task to perform pre- and post-restoration biological monitoring for the Kelly Branch Stream Restoration Project in Timonium, Maryland. The project consists of approximately 3,400 linear feet of restoration along Kelly Branch and an unnamed tributary to Kelly Branch. Goals of the project included reducing erosion, improving water quality, increasing ecological habitat, enhancing riparian buffers, and providing fish passage. These goals were intended to address the issues of stream channelization, reductions in the riparian buffer, and a fish blockage at the stream crossing at East Timonium Road. In order to determine whether ecological goals were met, annual biological monitoring includes benthic macroinvertebrates, vernal pools, aquatic habitat, in-situ water quality, stream temperature, fish, and herpetofauna at 4 monitoring locations. Two stations are located within the project area, one reference station is located upstream of the project area, and one station is located downstream of the restoration boundaries.
All monitoring is being conducted in accordance with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) sampling protocols. Spring sampling includes benthic macroinvertebrate collection using 20-jab dip-net samples in the most suitable available habitats; habitat assessments using the MBSS method; vernal pool assessments; and in-situ water chemistry measurements. The summer index period monitoring includes MBSS summer habitat assessment; in-situ water chemistry; continuous stream temperature monitoring; and a double-pass electrofishing survey to document the fish community.
All laboratory and data analysis tasks are being completed using MBSS methods. Each benthic sample is identified to the genus level by CRI certified taxonomists, except for Oligochaeta and Nematomorpha, which are identified to the family-level, and Nemata which are identified to the phylum-level. The MBSS benthic and fish indices of biological integrity (BIBI and FIBI) as well as the physical habitat index are calculated for each site to evaluate overall stream condition within the project area as compared to the upstream and downstream reference stations. Annual reports are prepared and submitted to Baltimore County summarizing methods, results, and QA/QC measures.