Chesapeake Bay Stream Restoration Grants

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The Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and with input from the Maryland Department of the Environment, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agency and technical partners, recently announced four recipients of its new collaborative Restoration Research Grant Program.

The projects funded through the 2015 Restoration Research Grant Program include:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, $88,076

The project seeks to improve the application, design, and success of stream restoration structures. Through a literature review of design recommendations and stability of instream structures as well as a field-based hydraulics study of several types of instream structures and techniques, the amount of movement of material will be assessed. The ultimate goal of this project is to have a better idea of what happens from a physical perspective to certain types of instream structures used in restoration projects, whether these structures are “stable” (stay in place) in certain site conditions, and therefore what the best design guidance is for the use of these structures moving forward.

Straughan Environmental, Inc., $145,284

This study will quantify how sediment load, biological impairment, and riparian disturbance are related to certain types of construction techniques, specifically, installing the restoration project while the stream is still flowing in place (constructing “in the wet”) or pumping the stream around the area of disturbance (construction “in the dry”). This question arises often during the permitting process and can affect project timeline and cost. As a result of this study, information will become available to indicate whether construction in the wet results more, less, or similar short-term impacts as construction in the dry, which will assist project engineers and regulatory staff assessing future projects.

Smithsonian Institution, $299,034

This project will measure the removal of nutrients and suspended sediments by Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances (RSC) and relate removal efficiencies to impervious surface in the watershed, and the rate and variability of water inflow. Researchers will use continuous monitoring and automated sampling to measure performance under a range of flow conditions with contrasting impervious cover. Groundwater studies at one RSC will also investigate sources of dissolved iron and transfers of nutrients from surface to groundwater flow. As a result of this study, the restoration community will have a better sense of the site conditions under which this particular restoration practice may be most effective.

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), $292,606

This project focuses on how different restoration approaches, restoration age, and their landscape context affect net ecological function, termed “ecological uplift,” and whether improving a short section of stream can lead to net benefit downstream of the restoration site. Partners with this project will quantify uplift at 40 restoration sites to begin to identify site conditions and restoration techniques that lead to greatest restoration success. As a result of this study, the stream restoration community can use these findings when deciding where best to invest in restoration projects that will maximize benefits.

For more detailed information on the Restoration Research Grant Program, visit

source: Chesapeake Bay Trust

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