Ecological Construction

Stream Restoration

Experienced in many different approaches to stream restoration, we are most partial to those designs that focus on recreating pristine conditions with onsite materials 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.

Understanding how in-stream structures work is incredibly important as is the knowledge that every situation dictates a unique solution. We also want to ensure that we work hand-in-hand with engineers and designers to focus on the causes of stream degradation and instability so that our work solves the problem rather than merely treats the symptoms.

Stormwater Management

Much of our work is stormwater management, because Maryland 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 best management practices to slow down the runoff from too much impervious surface.

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.

Wetland Enhancement

The re-creation and improvement of wetlands provides local governments and even private entities 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.

Building wetlands is one of the most rewarding tasks that we're asked to do, as there is no better way to provide wildlife and habitat biodiversity in Maryland while also helping to improve water quality. It's what the beavers do and we're happy to replicate the benefits that they create!

Shoreline Stabilization

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.