Baltimore County EPS

Key Services

  • Review of Water Quality Conditions
  • Stream Corridor Assessment (SCA) Surveys and Stream Stability Assessments
  • Processing and Development of GIS Mapping, Data, Geodatabase and Associated Metadata
  • Prioritization of Problem Areas and Identification of Potential Restoration or SWM Projects
  • Watershed Characterization and Reporting

Project Details

Baltimore SWAPCRI assisted in the development of a Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP) for the Area I planning region of Baltimore County. Area I is located in the lower Loch Raven Reservoir watershed and includes Oregon Branch, Baisman Run and the Beaverdam Run subwatersheds. The intent of the SWAP was to assess current watershed conditions and detail anticipated restoration actions to address local and bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reduction requirements, Maryland Tributary Strategy requirements, and EPA a-i watershed planning criteria.

CRI led the Stream Corridor Assessments (SCA) in Baisman Run, Oregon Branch, and Beaverdam Run and assessed approximately 42 miles of 1st and 4th order streams while adhering to SCA protocol as specified by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  The initiation phase of the project involved CRI conducting a review of data from a 1997 survey of the 2nd and 3rd order streams and dataset map production using ArcMap GIS.

After desktop review and preparation, CRI led field teams to perform SCA on the stream channels in the three subwatersheds. The stream assessments focused on an inventory of stream characteristics, existing infrastructure and a variety of common environmental problems, specifically, stream erosion, riparian buffers, fish migration blockages, exposed or discharging pipes, channelized stream sections, trash dumping sites, in or near stream construction, and any other noteworthy unusual conditions. Stream Stability Assessments were also conducted to evaluate the channel evolutionary stage of the stream: Stage I-Incision, Stage II-Widening, Stage III-Deposition or Stage IV-Recovery and Reconstruction.  GPS units were utilized to record the exact locations of environmental conditions and additional notes were recorded on survey maps, detailing problem area locations for future studies. Photographs were taken for use in the final report and to further corroborate field findings.

A GIS geodatabase was created to catalogue geomorphic and attribute data of the associated problem areas. CRI reviewed and analyzed all of the collected field data in order to come up with a severity rating for each problem relative to problems of the same class in all of the subwatersheds evaluated.

CRI also led development of the Watershed Characterization section included in the SWAP report, which examined all water quality, living resources, habitat and SCA data collected in Area I based on existing watershed conditions. The SWAP report identified 219 potential problems in the Oregon Branch, Baisman Run and Beaverdam Run sub-watersheds. Summary tables and GIS generated report figures were included in the final analysis of the survey.