The projects will aim to reduce sediment pollution entering rivers in the Wye River and Sassafras River Watersheds. The Wye River restoration project will occur on Chesapeake College’s campus at the headwaters of the Wye East River. ShoreRivers will convert roughly an agriculture field that drains sediment and nutrients into the river into 29 acres of ponds, wetland cells with habitat islands, planted infiltration berms and acres of tree plantings.
The Sassafras River project will restore 16 acres of floodplain and 4,800 feet of stream, completing restoration from a headwater agricultural ditch to the main stem of the Sassafras.
This restoration site is directly downstream of a ShoreRivers sampling site that historically has the highest monitored nutrient concentrations in the non-tidal Sassafras. The drainage is mainly agricultural but includes 43 acres of state and county roadways. Heavy stormflow runoff events have incised the stream channel with steep, eroding banks that are disconnected from its historic floodplain and subsequently unable to disperse stormflow energy, continually increasing the severity of bank erosion and over-widening of the channel.
The projects are scheduled to begin this fall and be completed by the end of 2021.