Recommendations for Aquatic Organism Passage at Maryland Road-Stream Crossings

Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) received funding for this project from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Initiative, which was awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Trust. CRI worked closely with members of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Fish Passage Workgroup and led efforts to develop a guidance document that provides recommendations for aquatic organism passage: “Recommendations for Aquatic Organism Passage at Maryland Road-Stream Crossings.”

Prior to developing the guidance document, CRI developed a set of recommendations and guidelines for road-stream crossings in Maryland based on a literature review of over 90 sources. Recommendations included crossing type; crossing dimensions; embedment; location, alignment, and placement; water velocity and depth; and substrate; as well as additional design considerations and case studies. These recommendations went through a rigorous review process by a stakeholder group consisting of members of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Fish Passage Work Group and representatives from other state agencies, federal agencies, and conservation groups. CRI also coordinated with Maryland and out-of-state resource agencies and conservation groups to identify aquatic organism passage case studies for inclusion in the final guidance document.

The document was meant to inform local conservation groups, city and county engineers, highway departments, resource agencies, and the general public on the importance of stream continuity to the health of Maryland streams. The main goal of the document was to present Maryland stream crossing recommendations to promote stream continuity, aquatic organism passage, and in some cases, terrestrial wildlife passage. The document also highlights common stream-crossing problems, important design and planning considerations for road-stream crossings, and considerations for flood resiliency. The final guidance document was posted on the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Fish Passage Workgroup website for public use.


Maryland, Statewide


Chesapeake Bay Program – Fish Passage Workgroup

Key Services:

  • Research and Data Analysis
  • Stakeholder Group Coordination
  • Document Development