Building living shorelines and other stabilization techniques throughout the Chesapeake Bay is having a significant impact on nutrient pollution and sediment erosion. That is why Bourn Environmental has continued to take on this work for both private land owners seeking to protect their assets, as well as public agencies interested in earning credit for nutrient and sediment uptake.
By moving the shoreline channelward through the implementation of a living shoreline, we create a buffer to reduce impacts of wave energy and storm surge, while increasing natural habitat. Stone sills are used in high energy situations, and are backfilled with natural sand that is then planted with native species that will create habitat for wildlife, improve water quality and stabilize the shoreline.
This type of work has become increasingly popular and necessary in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maryland in particular has made a commitment to reducing stormwater runoff to help protect and restore the bay. We at Bourn Environmental are happy to implement and support the use of bioretention facilities, pond retrofits, permeable surfaces, tree boxes, vegetated swales, filter strips, infiltration trenches and many other techniques designed to slow down the stormwater runoff.
When rain falls on impervious surfaces, we see the water begin to accumulate and move downhill to the nearest stormwater drain. Many people don't think of the impacts that this water can have on the ecosystem, but more often than not, that water outfalls directly into the stream. The nutrients, sediment and pollutants that are picked up by water and rapidly transported to the nearby stream shock the system and cause major problems. Increased erosion, turbidity, water temperature are just a few...
Favoring natural channel design that uses local materials to stabilize the stream, we focus on recreating pristine conditions whenever possible. Although a challenge in urban settings, we strive to hold grades and stabilize banks with materials found on-site and reconnect the floodplain whenever possible. By listening to the stream and listening to the clients' needs, we can restore a stream to a more natural state that still handles the man made increase in runoff.
At Bourn Environmental, we encourage the use of in-stream structures, like those designed and promoted by Dave Rosgen of Wildland Hydrology. Understanding how these structures work is incredibly important as is the knowledge that every situation dictates a unique solution. We also want to ensure that we focus on the causes of stream degradation and instability so that our work solves the problem rather than merely treats the symptoms.
The re-creation and improvement of wetlands provides local governments with a unique opportunity to meet mitigation and restoration goals. Bourn Environmental understands how wetlands work and utilizes many techniques to support the water quality and ecological benefits produced by well functioning wetlands. Techniques applied to wetland enhancements include fine grading, native hydrophytic plantings, hydrologic manipulation, earthen dikes, clay liners as well as water control structures.
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