Stream & Shoreline Restoration
By planting forested buffers (above) and living shorelines, CBF is creating natural pollution filters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Photo by CBF Staff
The Importance of Rivers and Streams
Five major rivers—the Susquehanna, Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and James—provide nearly 90 percent of the fresh water to the Chesapeake Bay. These and the hundreds of thousands of creeks and streams that feed them, provide vital habitat for many aquatic species, including anadromous fish species like shad and sturgeon,turtles and amphibians, and important plants and grasses.
Stormwater runoff from farmland and urban and suburban areas wash nutrients—often excessive amounts of them—into our streams and rivers eventually leading to the Bay. Too much of these nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus in particular) do great harm to our waters' critters, plants, and underwater life.
What We're Doing About It
By building and restoring forested buffers (multiple rows of native trees, shrubs, and grasses) along streams and rivers, we are able to capture and filter out the pollution from runoff through these buffers. They also provide important habitat for wildlife and aquatic species, stabilize stream banks against erosion, and help keep rivers cool in summer.
In addition CBF creates living shorelines along river and Bay waterfront with native wetland plants and grasses. These areas help restore habitat, prevent erosion, capture sediment, and filter pollution.
Volunteers of all ages plant native grasses along Annapolis' Parkwood neighborhood shoreline. Photo by Tom Zolper/CBF Staff
CBF Creates First Urban Living Shoreline in Annapolis
In June 2012, CBF staff and volunteers created a living shoreline in the Parkwood neighborhood in Annapolis, one of the few such natural shorelines built in an urban neighborhood in the state.
Planting a living shoreline is a creative and proven approach to protect tidal shorelines from erosion. It substitutes for a conventional bulkhead, using native wetland plants and grasses, shrubs, and trees to prevent waterfront erosion, and also to filter polluted runoff from the land.
This winter, contractors built several stone sills that act as breakwaters just offshore of the community’s waterfront. Then in June volunteers planted over 7,000 native grasses in the tidal area along the 640-foot waterfront.