County, Town and State Governments Work Together to Improve Waterways

“Queen Anne’s County, the town of Centreville and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are collaborating on the construction of a bio-swale at the Railroad Avenue Building. Bio-swales are a type of storm water management practice known as Environmental Site Design (ESD), and are designed to slow, cool and filter pollutants from storm water runoff before they reach streams or other waterways. The bio-swale project was initiated as part of the Corsica River Watershed Restoration program.

The Railroad Avenue Building is owned by Queen Anne’s County and is home to the Sheriff’s Office and the University of Maryland Agricultural Extension Office. The project is funded through a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the Town of Centreville and was designed by Ecosite, Inc. from Columbia, Maryland. It will be maintained by community volunteers, including the Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners.

“This collaborative effort really shows how governments can successfully work together for the health of our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay,” said County Commissioner Eric Wargotz, M.D.

“”The Town of Centreville is delighted to partner with Queen Anne’s County, state agencies, the Corsica River Conservancy and other stakeholders in promoting stewardship and restoration of the Corsica River and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Frank Ogens, President of the Centreville Town Council. By modeling best practices for storm water management on government owned properties such as this, public agencies can lead by example in cleaning up the river and educating our residents about the Corsica River Watershed Restoration effort, he said.

The location was selected for its high visibility in order to demonstrate the benefits of ESD. Bio-swales and other types of ESD facilities improve the environment by slowly filtering and detaining runoff, in addition to removing pollutants from storm water runoff. More rain then infiltrates into the ground, lowering stream velocities and reducing erosion. Native plants are used to give an aesthetic appearance and provide habitat for butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife. Less maintenance is required than on typical lawns, resulting in less air pollution from mowers and other lawn care equipment.

The bio-swale will be completed by mid-October. The project is located on the west side of the building at 505 Railroad Avenue.