Baltimore County Small Watershed Action Plans

Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) assisted with the development of Baltimore County Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) for Areas I (Beaverdam Run/Baisman Run/Oregon Branch), R (Loch Raven East), G (Upper Jones Falls), P (Little Gunpowder Falls), and Q (Lower Gunpowder Falls – Rural. 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 development of Chapter 3 of the Watershed Characterization report for each SWAP. This included summarizing existing water quality data collected by the County, including chemical, biological, and illicit discharge data. CRI was also responsible for the Stream Assessment portions each SWAP, which included the review and analysis of previous watershed reports. CRI examined the reports for all relevant information, focusing on areas with impacted streams and deviations from reference reach conditions. Data re-evaluation included characterization of the stream network and potential stream restoration or stormwater management BMP projects. CRI’s final review of the previous studies documented potential stream restoration and BMP project recommendations, if applicable, for use in future monitoring, management, and conservation efforts. For Area P, recommended stream restoration locations and approaches from previous reports were compiled for the Watershed Characterization report. For Area Q, stream reaches recommended for restoration in a previous watershed report were revisited, as property owner access allowed, to determine if the need for restoration still existed. Approximately 12 miles of stream were visually reassessed so that restoration recommendations could be updated.

CRI led Stream Corridor Assessments (SCA) in Areas I, R, and G using the protocol specified by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. In Area I, approximately 42 miles of stream were walked and assessed using the SCA protocol. Approximately 14 miles were assessed in both Areas R and G. After desktop review and preparation, CRI led field teams to perform SCAs in the designated 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. SCA fieldwork included identifying, describing, and taking GPS data for each problem encountered. Results included the types and frequency of potential problems and mapping of the problems areas ranked by severity to inform future planning and management efforts. Summary tables and GIS generated report figures were also included in the reports. CRI also presented information collected from the SCA surveys and data obtained from biological and water quality monitoring in the watersheds at community stakeholder meetings for Areas I, R, and G.

CRI prepared report text and created GIS report figures for the applicable sections of the Watershed Characterization reports. For the SWAP reports, CRI ranked the stream restoration potential for each subwatershed based on the length of stream recommended for restoration, either from previous watershed reports or stream assessments conducted for the SWAP.


Baltimore County, MD


Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS)

Key Services:

  • Research on Existing Watershed Reports
  • Stream Corridor Assessments
  • Identifying Environmental Problems
  • Identification and Prioritization of Restoration Areas
  • Creation of Geodatabase and GIS Mapping
  • Presentation to Stakeholders
  • Report Preparation