Biohabitats Inc. > Portfolio > Search results for 'Regenerative Design'
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|Arundel-on-the-Bay LID and Living Shoreline|| |
Annapolis, Maryland , United States Founded in 1890 on a peninsula bounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Fishing Creek, Arundel-on-the-Bay is a 300-acre community whose residents share a deep appreciation of the natural coastal environment, and a commitment to its protection. In 2010, the community partnered with the South River Federation to assess drainage and flooding issues, with the goal of implementing a variety of best management practices in the most critically needed areas. A 40-acre area with a series of roadside drainage ditches was identified as a top priority. During small storms, water would slip through the ditches and drain into Fishing Creek, untreated. During large storms, the ditches would become overwhelmed with stormwater volume and localized flooding would occur. To help the community address this top priority site, Biohabitats applied a regenerative stormwater conveyance approach to design, permit, and supervise the construction of two roadside swale retrofits to improve water conveyance, reduce localized flooding, and enhance water quality. In full collaboration with the community, Biohabitats crafted a design to convert the ditches into relatively flat swales with a repeated series of riffle grade controls and pools. A portion of road surface was removed to create a wider flow path. The design also involved excavating the underlying soil and replacing it with a bioretention mix to facilitate water quality improvements during frequently occurring storms of low volume. One of the swales was integrated into a shoreline erosion protection BMP termed a ‘living shoreline,’ which improved the biological function of the LID facility. The other swale was integrated into an existing community park, taking advantage of the park property during the infrequent large storm events for temporary floodwater storage.
|Arundel-on-the-Bay LID and Living Shoreline||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Annapolis, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Battle Grove UNC Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance|| |
Chapel Hill, North Carolina , United States For more than 75 years, Battle Branch creek flowed invisibly through the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina. Piped and buried in the 1940s, the stream conveyed stormwater beneath Battle Grove, a two-acre field that frequently flooded during heavy rains. Stormwater traveling through the piped stream flowed into a stone-lined channel and ultimately on to Jordan Lake, a local water supply reservoir. The lawn beneath which Battle Branch was buried was located next to a residence hall and included several large specimen trees. A previously completed campus master plan, which included concepts for improving stormwater management, had recommended daylighting Battle Branch to improve water quality, reduce flooding, enhance local ecology, and improve campus life. Biohabitats, who developed the daylighting concept during the master planning phase, led the design and construction oversight of the restoration. The Biohabitats team applied a “Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance” approach, which reconnects a stream to its floodplain and restores its ability to naturally slow down and filter polluted water and provide habitat. The design, which daylighted 280 feet of channel and added 118 feet of additional natural channel, featured a network of sand seepage berms, pools, and cobble weirs. These modifications establish the sand seepage hydrology and create a series of vegetated stilling pools, sand seepage beds replete with above and below-ground biomass, and associated flow paths through the sand/mulch filter media. The physical effect of the pools and the vegetation planted on the lateral sides of the channel reduce water velocity and facilitate removal of suspended solid particles and associated nutrients and contaminants. Uptake of dissolved nutrients and adsorption of oils and greases by the plant stems in the pools yields additional benefits. The project also involved removing a stone-lined channel on the downstream end of the project.
|Battle Grove UNC Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Birmingham Botanical Gardens Master Plan|| |
Birmingham, Alabama , United States Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama’s largest living museum, with more than 10,000 different plants in its living collections and over 25 unique gardens. As a key member of the Gardens’ master planning team, working collaboratively with Oasis Design Group whom served as the project’s master planner, Biohabitats helped craft a plan to ensure that the 68-acre site would demonstrate sustainability principles long into the future. The Gardens draws more than 350,000 visitors annually and public education is integral to its mission. Biohabitats focused primarily on establishing a more regenerative approach to stormwater management that makes use of natural ecological processes emphasizing native vegetation. As part of this effort, Biohabitats engineers, landscape architects and ecologists helped conceptualize restoration of a prominent creek and conversion of a concrete-lined pond into a wetland and riparian ecological community. Biohabitats led a seminar on sustainability and participated in meetings and presentations to staff, board members, and donors.
|Birmingham Botanical Gardens Master Plan||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Birmingham, Alabama, United States||featured-project featured|
|Breewood Stream Restoration and LID Retrofit|| |
Wheaton, Maryland , United States Montgomery County, Maryland is the state’s most populous county. Located just northwest of Washington, DC, in the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed, it also has some of the most stringent MS4 permit requirements in the nation. In 2009, as part of their efforts to meet those requirements, the County selected the Breewood Tributary for restoration. A tributary to Sligo Creek, and ultimately the Anacostia River, the stream had been severely impacted by stormwater from its densely populated, urban surroundings, where development predated stormwater management regulations. Much of the runoff entering the tributary through four outfalls had no stormwater management. Because of this, the stream had eroding banks, exposed sewer lines, and fish blockages. The Breewood watershed is an NPDES monitoring watershed, where the effectiveness of the watershed management plan and various stormwater practices is being examined on their effectiveness to improve stormwater quality. Biohabitats, in a joint venture with Century Engineering, developed a design to restore 1000 linear feet of highly unstable, eroding stream channel of the Breewood tributary and retrofit a portion of the contributing drainage area using Low Impact Design (LID) practices to slow down, capture, and treat stormwater runoff. The stream restoration design included performing a geomorphic and historic setting analysis, alternatives analysis, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, final design, Federal, state and local permitting, bid support, and construction oversight and management. The selected design approach on two ephemeral channels and one perennial reach utilized a regenerative stream conveyance design to reconnect the channel to the adjacent floodplain and create a variety of in-stream habitat conditions and riparian wetlands. Imported sand and mulch was used to fill the gullies at the ephemeral headwaters of the project to promote conversion of runoff to groundwater. Below a stabilized sewer line crossing at the confluence, on-site material was used
|Breewood Stream Restoration and LID Retrofit||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Wheaton, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Carolina North Environmental Mapping/Ecological Assessment|| |
Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Orange County, North Carolina , United States Biohabitats played a key role in a master planning initiative for a 1,000 acre property, known as Carolina North, owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In an effort to help the University better understand the ecological processes influencing the property, value its complex array of integrated natural resources, and guide sustainable land development on the property long into the future, Biohabitats performed an ecological assessment of the site and produced a series of comprehensive, digital inventory maps illustrating all ecological attributes, ecological conditions, and suitability of development and resources protection. The project involved compiling existing information and field reconnaissance data to ultimately determine the site’s suitability to support development without compromising ecological stability and integrity. The property was mapped in a geographic information system (GIS) using existing data layers and empirical data from the site. Biohabitats defined the characteristics of each feature deemed critical to long-term ecological stability and integrity or having the potential to influence the landscape’s ability to recover from disturbance. The suitability of the landscape to support ecologically sustainable development was determined through a series of analyses and combinations of output. Throughout the environmental mapping and ecological assessment, Biohabitats’ efforts remained grounded in the principles of sustainable and regenerative design.
|Carolina North Environmental Mapping/Ecological Assessment||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Orange County, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Carriage Hills Stormwater Restoration|| |
Annapolis, Maryland , United States A severely incised and unattractive tributary to Clements Creek was experiencing erosion and sedimentation resulting from unstable soils and a stormwater dominated hydrologic regime. Areas in its flow path were also dominated by invasive plant species such as multiflora rose and honeysuckle. Outside of the flow path, relatively mature woodlands persisted 15 to 20 feet above the invert of the channel. Biohabitats developed a restoration design which used a regenerative stormwater conveyance approach to convert the incised and headcutting outfall channel into a stable seepage wetland ecosystem well linked to its historic floodplain. The restoration provides stable conveyance and water quality treatment of stormwater flowing to Clements Creek. By recharging the groundwater table, this approach also helps support a number of threatened plant species associated with Anne Arundel County’s native acid seep wetland systems. Biohabitats’ restoration design package included cost estimates, construction details, specifications and implementation guidance (e.g. sequence of operations, operation & maintenance). The designs were approved by state and local authorities and the project was constructed in one month.
|Carriage Hills Stormwater Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Annapolis, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Cinnamon Lane Outfall Rehabilitation|| |
Parole, Maryland , United States Unmanaged discharge from a network of stormwater outfalls was eroding residential property in a neighborhood located not far from the banks of the South River, which flows to the Chesapeake Bay. To treat the unmanaged stormwater and stabilize the erosion along the outfall drainage paths, in addition to protecting the community’s infrastructure and property, Biohabitats developed a design to rehabilitate the outfall channels using a regenerative stormwater conveyance approach. The implementation of this project will result in credits for the County toward their Chesapeake Bay TMDL goals and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit requirements. Biohabitats began by conducting hydrology and hydraulic modeling, environmental resources inventory, and a limited Environmental Assessment. Century Engineering provided topographic survey, performed a desktop property evaluation to determine property ownership and parcel and easement boundaries, and the prepared easements. Biohabitats evaluated the streambed profile, baseflow water surface and floodplain elevations, and prepared schematic design options for treatment of the unmanaged stormwater. The proposed schematic designs were developed to meet the project goals of providing treatment of the unmanaged stormwater along the ephemeral portions of these outfall channels, while designing stable conveyance along the entire length of both outfall channels. The selected schematic designs involved the abandonment and removal of failing drop structure infrastructure along the main outfall drainage path, minimized impacts to existing natural resources, and met all the design criteria for regenerative step-pool stormwater conveyance, thus allowing the County to gain credits toward their TDML and impervious area treatment goals. As part of the final design process, Biohabitats conducted a field meeting with permitting agency staff, and prepared and submitted all permit applications. Project completion involves assistance with contractor procurement and working with the County’s Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center to create a planting list
|Cinnamon Lane Outfall Rehabilitation||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Parole, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Durham Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Durham, North Carolina|| |
Durham, North Carolina , United States Many streams and lakes in central North Carolina are impacted by pollutants in stormwater runoff. To help address the problem, Biohabitats teamed with North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the City of Durham to design and provide construction oversight for a project on a highly eroded tributary to Third Fork Creek. Third Fork Creek’s flow eventually drains to Jordan Lake, where stormwater nutrient reduction rules apply. Monitoring in Third Fork Creek, a Clean Water Act 303d-listed impaired stream, has shown that copper, turbidity, fecal bacteria and a lack of dissolved oxygen contribute to the stream’s impairment. Sponsored by a 319 Non-point Source grant, this project used a technique called “Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance” (RSC) to improve channel stability and ecology, and also provide controlled conveyance and cleansing of polluted stormwater. RSC design facilitates water quality improvement by filtering stormwater runoff through a layer of sand and wood chips. The existing, highly eroded channel was graded to accommodate the sand/wood chip mixture, and this media is held in place by a series of boulder cascades with pools at their base. RSC is a relatively new stormwater control technique, and its effectiveness is being studied by NCSU. To date, documented water quality benefits of RSCs include runoff rate and nutrient concentration reduction and enhanced channel and riparian area habitat.
|City of Durham Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Durham, North Carolina||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Durham, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Cuyahoga Valley Towpath Trail Stage 1|| |
Cleveland, Ohio , United States The Towpath Trail has become a defining feature in the Cuyahoga Valley landscape. Constructed over 175 years ago as part of the Ohio & Erie Canal, it began as a simple dirt path for animals pulling canal boats. Today it has become an extraordinary recreational amenity that highlights Cleveland’s industrial river valley and serves its surrounding neighborhoods and region. As the first stage in an effort to complete the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County, a multi-disciplinary team designed a ¾-mile extension of the multi-use trail along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. As the team’s ecological consultant, Biohabitats’ approach was to celebrate the industrial heritage of the valley while regenerating a natural environment that has suffered from two centuries of degradation. Biohabitats performed extensive field and desktop analyses which included preliminary hydraulic and hydrologic analyses and surveys of aquatic and terrestrial ecology, endangered species, and wetlands. The Biohabitats team identified numerous opportunities for regeneration along the Trail, all of which focused on restoring natural areas, such as river banks and forested floodplains; creating functional landscapes, such as living structures and urban plant nurseries; and managing rainwater with regenerative stormwater conveyance, rain gardens, and treatment wetlands. To aid the client in prioritizing these opportunities, Biohabitats produced concept and prioritization matrices outlining costs and benefits. Completion of the ecological component of this project represented a key step toward the County’s ultimate goal of creating approximately six additional miles of trail and greenway.
|Cuyahoga Valley Towpath Trail Stage 1||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Dorsey Hall Village Stream Restoration and Stormwater Outfall Retrofit|| |
Howard County, Maryland , United States Founded in 1980, Dorsey’s Search is one of ten villages comprising the planned community of Columbia, Maryland. The village quickly grew to a population of 7,500, and with that growth came significant development, including the Dorsey Hall Village Center, a community and retail hub. Stormwater from the Village Center and surrounding development had caused severe erosion in a tributary to Red Hill Branch which flows into the Little Patuxent River. Working with the Howard County Department of Public Works’ Stormwater Management Division, Biohabitats created a regenerative restoration design to stabilize the degrading stream and reconnect the stream to its floodplain. Allowing small storm flows to access the floodplain provides water quality treatment of stormwater from the Village Center. The restoration design involves the installation of cobble riffle structures in the channel which raise the stream bed back up to pre-disturbance levels. The raised riffles allow storm flows to spill onto the forested floodplain and create deeper pools in the channel which will be replete with large woody debris for native fish habitat. The design also included water quality retrofit of four stormdrain outfalls which collect runoff from the nearby townhouse community. Despite the short distance and steep grade of the land between the outfalls and the forested floodplain, Biohabitats was able to craft a design to laterally distribute stormwater into terraced, wetland cells which detain and infiltrate the first flush of runoff from parking areas, streets, sidewalks, and roofs. In addition to improving water quality and stability, the restoration also replaces non-native trees and shrubs with native vegetation that will improve habitat in a densely populated suburban setting. The newly created wetland cells are already being used as habitat by toad tadpoles (Anaxyrus sp.), as you can see in this video:
|Dorsey Hall Village Stream Restoration and Stormwater Outfall Retrofit||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Howard County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Downtown Columbia Planning, Restoration, and Design|| |
Columbia, Maryland , United States The recent completion of a new master plan for Downtown Columbia marked the beginning of an historic revitalization effort. At the heart of the plan is the vision to create a community that fosters the growth of its people, respects the land, and promotes economic prosperity while celebrating the diversity of life. Biohabitats has worked closely with The Howard Hughes Corporation and a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers and general contractors to ensure integration of ecological restoration and regenerative design into the community as it is redeveloped. Early in the master planning process, Biohabitats’ team of landscape architects, scientists, water resource engineers and GIS specialists produced a body of ecological information to inform and guide design and planning. Over a nine-month period, Biohabitats spearheaded the engagement of state and county agencies, community stakeholders, and the general public on watershed, woodland and sustainability issues related to redevelopment activities. Biohabitats worked with various stakeholders to reach consensus on balancing redevelopment with environmental enhancement initiatives. Through rigorous field investigations, community participation and design team collaboration, Biohabitats developed a Watershed Restoration and Management Plan for two sub-watersheds within Columbia, an Environmental Enhancement Plan for Columbia Town Center, and Ecological Sustainability Guidelines. When applied in an integrated and thoughtful manner, the sustainability guidelines will lead to regenerative conditions that create a more healthy and vibrant Downtown Columbia. Moving from the planning phase to design, Biohabitats has been coordinating and collaborating with the design team in preparing phased design documents since 2013. For this effort, Biohabitats prepared site development plans and/or waiver petitions, as well as required permits from State and Federal authorities. To date, Biohabitats has designed and overseen twenty acres of forest restoration, including three full seasons of invasive species management. We completed a design-build stream restoration of two thousand linear
|Downtown Columbia Planning, Restoration, and Design||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Columbia, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Downtown Columbia Watershed Planning|| |
Columbia, Maryland , United States Biohabitats developed restoration strategies for the watersheds of the two streams that flow through the center of Columbia, one of the nation’s first planned communities. Biohabitats conducted extensive GIS analysis, stream and upland field assessments, and pollutant load modeling for two watersheds. A retrofit reconnaissance investigation identified opportunities for stormwater retrofit practices in the upland areas of the watersheds. Of the 60 sites visited, Biohabitats identified 49 opportunities to implement stormwater retrofits, including bioretention, bioswales, modification of existing stormwater basins, rain gardens and rain barrels, rainwater cisterns, sand filters, permeable pavement, wooded wetlands, and regenerative stormwater conveyance. For each retrofit opportunity, Biohabitats estimated the potential annual pollutant load reduction and planning-level design and construction costs. A riparian corridor assessment was conducted to identify outfall locations, severely eroded stream banks, utility crossings, impacted riparian buffers, trash dumping, stream crossings, and channel modifications along two miles of stream corridors. Biohabitats developed riparian corridor restoration opportunities along ten impacted stream reaches. These opportunities included floodplain reconnection, riparian buffer enhancement, stream restoration, bank stabilization, and regenerative stormwater conveyance. Biohabitats also developed a watershed restoration implementation strategy for each watershed which optimizes the pollutant removal capabilities of stormwater retrofits and, where feasible, associates the stormwater retrofits with riparian corridor restoration and integrated vegetation management opportunities.
|Downtown Columbia Watershed Planning||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Columbia, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Ecological Master Planning Services for the Pearlstone Center|| |
Reisterstown, Maryland , United States The Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center is a Jewish retreat and sustainable farm in Baltimore County, Maryland that fully integrates environmental stewardship into its operations and educational programming. When management of the entire property (which includes events pavilions, a day camp with camp sites, swimming pools, athletics fields, forest conservation easements, a pond, and wetlands) was delegated to the Pearlstone Center by the land owners, the Center’s staff initiated a campus master planning process. For help in creating a long-term vision for the property that reflects Jewish values, which include environmental stewardship, they turned to Biohabitats. Biohabitats assessed the campus’ ecological resources and identified opportunities for sustainable and regenerative design, as well as approaches to more sustainable management of resources. An important goal of the master plan is to ensure that future development and maintenance efforts align with the Center’s core values: connectedness, living Judaism, environmental stewardship, and loving warmth. Innovative approaches to ecological resource management, organic farming, and alternative management techniques using grazing animals were identified as priorities. At a planning charrette hosted by the Pearlstone Center Biohabitats provided input on natural resource opportunities including restoration and management of native meadow, wetlands, and forest areas, as well as feedback on integrated stormwater management and sustainable techniques to manage water and nonnative species. The master plan provides a comprehensive and forward-thinking vision of a landscape that connects visitor experience with the natural world, spirituality, mindfulness, and resilience, while prioritizing conservation of natural resources.
|Ecological Master Planning Services for the Pearlstone Center||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Reisterstown, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Fairmount Park Wissahickon Watershed Gully Restoration Design-Build|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States Through a design-build contract with the City of Philadelphia, Biohabitats restored seven areas along Wissahickon Creek, a degraded, highly urbanized stream system running through the city’s Wissahickon Park. Stormwater discharge from impervious areas outside of the park and well-used trails that were acting as conduits for runoff had caused gully erosion on steep slopes of the creek. Upland trails were converting into eroded gullies, and delivering high-energy water, sediment, and associated pollutants to the Wissahickon and its tributaries. The stormwater-dominated flow also caused further erosion and degradation within the same tributaries. Biohabitats first addressed stormwater in the watershed through source controls (e.g., rain gardens and infiltration practices), then restored the eroded gullies and tributaries using natural, recycled materials available from Fairmount Parks (e.g., surplus soil and rock from other projects, woody debris, shredded hardwood, etc.). A final step was to redesign and construct trails in a fashion that would reduce their role in degradation while enhancing the park experience for visitors. Two of the restoration sites were located within the Park’s Walnut Lane Golf Course. At one site, gully erosion from golf course runoff had become a safety hazard and was threatening a fairway. Biohabitats restored the gully and headwater stream using a regenerative stream channel technique which uses a carbon-rich sand bed in combination with pools and riffle grade controls to filter and provide safe, non-erosive stormwater runoff from the golf course. In another part of the golf couse, Biohabiats daylighted a piped section of stream and restored additional stream reaches above and below the piped section using natural channel design techniques. This improved stream ecology, water quality, and course aesthetics and integrity. Biohabitats also removed 600 feet of poor condition cart path, re-routed traffic, installed a new section of asphalt cart path, and constructed a pedestrian bridge for
|Fairmount Park Wissahickon Watershed Gully Restoration Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Hawkins Cove Design-Build|| |
Annapolis, Maryland , United States Hawkins Cove is a small inlet along Spa Creek, a tributary to the Severn River in Annapolis, Maryland. Despite its relatively small size, the 93-acre Hawkins Cove watershed contributes a significant pollutant load to Spa Creek, Severn River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Stormwater from adjacent urbanized areas swiftly flowed straight into the impaired stream at the top of the cove, delivering sediment and excess nutrients straight into Spa Creek. It also severely degraded stream stability and ecological function. With grant funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Spa Creek Conservancy initiated a project to restore Hawkins Cove. Working closely with the Spa Creek Conservancy, its constituents, and community members, Biohabitats led the implementation of stream and wetland restoration at Hawkins Cove. The restoration, which was designed within the existing, incised channel alignment, involved raising the stream bed elevation to connect to adjacent floodplain areas. This approach allows the system’s ecological function to be improved, rather than degraded, by increasingly frequent flooding events, as flows now enhance adjacent wetlands. The restoration approach will also help to passively remove invasive vegetation within the project area by changing the soil moisture regime. The project also incorporated the regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) of an ephemeral outfall channel as well as stabilization of other shorter outfall systems flowing into the main stem Hawkins Cove stream. The restoration, coupled with recently installed upland stormwater BMPs in the watershed, will result in watershed-scale stormwater remediation in this important headwater system. Construction of the Hawkins Cover was completed March 2018, with wetland plantings to be performed later in spring. Despite setbacks experienced during heavy rains and the permitting challenges associated with the site’s high density of residential development, the project was completed ahead of schedule.
|Hawkins Cove Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Annapolis, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan|| |
Audubon, Pennsylvania , United States Mill Grove is the historic home of artist naturalist John James Audubon, and the site of a 175-acre bird sanctuary. Located along Perkiomen Creek and the Schuylkill River and designated a historic place on the National Register, the ecologically rich site serves as a true living memorial to the achievements of an American legend. In 2005, as the Center was planning to move forward with plans for a new museum, they wanted to refine a previously crafted, heritage-driven master plan to incorporate a greater focus on Audubon’s conservation mission. To help the Center refine its vision to include ecology, Biohabitats, a key member of a team led by Wallace, Roberts & Todd, helped prepare a site and natural resources management plan that addressed the ecological, heritage, recreational, and educational aspects of Mill Grove. We began by participating in interviews, meetings, and presentations with the Center’s staff, board, stakeholders, and community members. Biohabitats provided field reconnaissance surveys to identify and document the natural resources and ecological processes occurring within the site. Biohabitats also identified and mapped the opportunities and constraints associated with improvements, conservation initiatives, and educational opportunities related to the site’s ecology. The team also provided guidance pertaining to the land use plan, overall site circulation, visual amenities, educational space siting, and trail integration. This included the development of strategies for trail improvements, landscape management, and habitat initiatives, including adaptive management techniques, restoration approaches, conservation initiatives, along with regenerative site design strategies. Biohabitats provided final documentation including methodology, results of data collection, technical surveys, opportunities, and constraints alternatives in addition to the master plan recommendations.
|John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Audubon, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Keya Wakpala (Turtle Creek Development) Master Plan, Phase I Plan, and Engineering Assessment|| |
Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation, Mission, South Dakota , United States The need for affordable, well-built, and sustainable housing within the Rosebud Indian Reservation, home to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a sovereign Native Nation, is great. The area is rich in both natural beauty and cultural heritage, and though the community has a deep history of connection to its landscape, these attributes have been challenging to integrate into new development projects. With a growing population and a deep interest in regenerative design, the tribe is adopting a new approach. In 2012, the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) took charge of nearly 590 acres of tribally controlled trust lands with the goal of expanding development of tribal assets while also addressing multiple socio-economic issues faced by the local population, including the loss of traditional culture. As part of a team led by Blue Star Studio, Biohabitats is helping REDCO realize its vision for a mixed-use housing development known as Keya Wakpala (“turtle creek” in the Lakota language.) Guided by Lakota principles such as mutual respect, self-sufficiency, and family, the master plan for Keya Wakpala aims to create economic opportunity as well as resilient, safe, affordable, and appealing housing for the community. In addition to many commercial and community facilities, the plan also includes sustainable agriculture, onsite wastewater treatment and protection, and enhancement of habitat within the existing wetlands. As the lead engineering firm on the project, Biohabitats performed preliminary studies related to site, water, and ecology, and met with Tribal representatives to gather feedback on the type of infrastructure they envisioned as desirable and appropriate to the place. Alternatives for suitable–and sustainable–wastewater treatment and stormwater management approaches were selected and evaluated, with the preferred options developed to a concept level. The findings of these studies were used to help REDCO gather community feedback and secure federal funding for the development.
|Keya Wakpala (Turtle Creek Development) Master Plan, Phase I Plan, and Engineering Assessment||Conservation Planning, Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation, Mission, South Dakota, United States||featured-project featured|
|Kunming Eco Communities Innovative Water Systems|| |
KunmingYunnan , China Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province, located in southwestern China. The city is both a political and cultural center in the province, and is home to universities, museums, galleries and significant educational institutions. The city developed in a highly desirable geographic location, situated approximately 2,000m above sea level among limestone hills, north of Lake Dian. Because of its year-round temperate climate, Kunming is often called the “Spring City” or “City of Eternal Spring”. The city is projected to double in size by 2010 to accommodate approximately eight million people. Kunming’s transport links to Southeast Asia and elsewhere, particularly its air links, are steadily expanding, with direct routes already existing to all major Chinese cities, most major Southeast Asian cities and some major cities in Japan and South Korea. Growth at this scale has caused many interesting planning challenges and the opportunity for both western and eastern design professionals to collaborate. SWA, a highly respected landscape architecture and planning firm, retained Biohabitats to assist with their planning efforts for the Kunming Eco Communities. The Eco Communities are an exceptional example of ecological planning and development in the region. SWA crafted a master plan based on a watershed planning approach. Such an approach contains development in appropriate areas and restores watersheds and forest in the process. The approach is often referred to as “regenerative development.” Biohabitats contributed to the master planning effort with the development of stormwater details, stormwater modeling, a water balance report, and preliminary engineering. Conceptual and preliminary engineering considered 2,500 units of homes and apartments proposed for the development. The master plan offered design solutions that honored water at each step. A water balance provided the framework for examining the flows into and out of the various water treatment and reuse systems. Rainwater harvesting from building
|Kunming Eco Communities Innovative Water Systems||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Kunming, Yunnan, China||featured-project featured|
|Linnean Park Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Design-Build|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States Surprisingly, the neighborhood of Forest Hills, located less than seven miles from downtown Washington, DC, is aptly named. Bounded by Rock Creek Park to the east, the community boasts wooded slopes, expansive lots, and many open spaces. When the District Department of the Environment wanted to restore a degraded perennial stream near one such open space, a playground—they turned to Biohabitats for help. The stream, which was fed from a storm sewer outfall that had become stressed over the decades by increasing development, had become so eroded that it exposed a sewer line and had become a safety hazard. The channel, which was contributing large amounts of sediment downstream, was virtually lifeless, save for a riparian understory filled with invasive species. Biohabitats applied a regenerative stormwater conveyance approach, a stream restoration technique which reconnects a tributary with its floodplain and converts a problem (stormwater) into a resource (groundwater) through infiltration. The design features a “bubbler” device that slowly “leaks” groundwater and storm flows into the restored stream valley which includes a series of cascades, riffles, and shallow pools, as well as native riparian vegetation. The project, which was constructed within a three month period with minimal disturbance to the riparian forest not only improved stormwater management in this highly urban region, but added habitat, beauty, recreational opportunities, and safety to what is now an inviting park for the Forest Hills community.
|Linnean Park Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Lower Mill Creek Valley Conservation Greenway Master Plan|| |
Cleveland, Ohio , United States Cleveland’s “Emerald Necklace” provides residents with a greenway system unmatched in many urban communities. The greenways, parkways, and recreational areas that comprise the Emerald Necklace provide critical natural resource protection and outdoor recreation opportunities. With the completion of the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, an opportunity existed to connect the Canal Reservation with Garfield Reservation and Mill Creek Falls. The establishment of this greenway connection could protect, enhance and restore riparian and aquatic biodiversity along the Lower Mill Creek Valley. Recognizing the importance of restoring an ecological corridor between the two parks, Cleveland Metroparks retained Biohabitats to lead a team of landscape architects, conservation biologists and greenway planners to prepare a study and draft a master plan for the greenway. Using principles of landscape ecology, conservation biology, and regenerative design, the Biohabitats team addressed issues concerning habitat fragmentation, water quality, wetland function, stream morphology, and plant community composition. The team combined this analysis with both cultural and recreational opportunities to produce a greenway master plan that helps protect, enhance and restore the ecological integrity of the corridor. The plan also served as an economic stimulus for the surrounding neighborhoods of Garfield Heights and Cuyahoga Heights.
|Lower Mill Creek Valley Conservation Greenway Master Plan||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Mine Brook Road Wastewater Treatment|| |
Bernards Township, New Jersey , United States The Mine Brook Road Project is a 12-home cluster development striving to become a precedent for green community design in New Jersey. Biohabitats collaborated with Back to Nature and Ecological, both important sustainability partners, to guide the design process and facilitate an innovative and regenerative development. The development was guided by smart growth concepts, including natural resource enhancement, land preservation, groundwater recharge, soil health, sustainable agriculture, green building and energy-efficient design, character preservation and viewshed protection. Biohabitats designed an onsite wastewater treatment system that uses various natural systems to achieve an effluent quality that meets or exceeds strict state effluent requirements. The development contains five-bedroom homes and a community center with a wastewater design flow of 5,000 gallons per day. The wastewater system consists of small-diameter collection network, trickling filter, subsurface flow constructed wetlands with recirculation, sand filtration and subsurface drip dispersal. The onsite treatment system provides a natural, low maintenance, low-cost solution while adding an ecologically beneficial landscape feature and avoiding expensive municipal sewer infrastructure expansion. The Mine Brook Road Project serves as a green standard for decentralized developments in New Jersey.
|Mine Brook Road Wastewater Treatment||Hudson River Bioregion,||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Bernards Township, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Nixon Farm Mitigation Site|| |
Howard County, Maryland , United States To meet aggressive mitigation goals, the Maryland State Highway Administration sought to provide stream and wetland restoration along 36 acres of reclaimed agricultural land and an incised tributary adjacent to the Middle Patuxent River. By assessing the stream and wetlands and monitoring groundwater, Biohabitats determined anthropogenic ditching and pond development had contributed to compromised water resources and channel incision in the Middle Branch Patuxent River and its tributary. Rather than “chasing” the groundwater with large excavation efforts, Biohabitats developed a design based on minimal grading and creative modifications to surface water drainage patterns. This approach raises the groundwater table, extends near-surface saturation, and preserves existing on-site floodplain forest and wetlands. Biohabitats also integrated “regenerative stormwater conveyance” principles with more traditional stream restoration techniques to improve channel-floodplain connections. The design involved redirecting tributary flow into the site with a new channel design; plugging a historic agricultural drainage ditch at critical locations; modifying an existing pond; installing bentonite plugs along the abandoned tributary to form vernal pools; and creating shallow depressions and berms to restore wetlands, surface streams, groundwater resources, and floodplain connection. Biohabitats also provided construction management services to ensure compliance with the design intent and to address any unexpected field conditions. Early monitoring efforts suggest that the project is having significant positive effects on the groundwater and wetland hydrology of the floodplain, and will expand wetland distribution and extend wetland hydroperiod. The project is generating 7.5 acres of wetland, 1,300 lf of stream, and 8.4 acres of forest creation, enhancement, and preservation mitigation credits, as well as extensive bioretention. Due to the creative measures employed in the design, the project mitigation and bioretention value is estimated at twice the actual project cost.
|Nixon Farm Mitigation Site||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Howard County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Odum School of Ecology Design|| |
Athens, Georgia , United States The University of Georgia’s contributions to the science of ecology date to the 1950s. The Odum School of Ecology, the only free-standing school of ecology in the country, is named for the University’s own ecological pioneer Eugene Odum, who is credited with making the word “ecosystem” a household word. When the need for a new facility to house the School arose, the University hired BNIM Architects and Biohabitats to develop a state-of-the art regenerative design for the building. Its sustainable components included green roofs, green walls, eco-machines for waste treatment, rooftop photovoltaic cells for renewable energy sources, water reuse systems for conservation, native plant landscaping, demonstration areas for sustainable lawn and ground cover tests, organic and container gardening tests and other regenerative design features. Captured rainwater and eco-machine effluent will be used for irrigation and for contributing flow to a stream through the courtyard that demonstrates the connections to the nearby Oconee River and its watershed.
|Odum School of Ecology Design||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Athens, Georgia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Park Drive RSC Gully Restoration Design-Build|| |
Southeast Washington, District of Columbia , United States Stormwater runoff is the primary source of degradation to local waterways within the District of Columbia. When the DC Water Planning Division needed to restore a 300-foot long, 15 to 20-foot deep gully on an ecologically sensitive hillslope of Fort Dupont Park (National Park Service land) carved by heavy storm flows from an outfall located near two busy streets, they turned to Biohabitats for help. The team began by conducting a physical and biological assessment of the degraded site. With a regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) approach, Biohabitats then developed a design that would not only improve stormwater attenuation and treatment, but restore ecological function and stability to the degraded ephemeral outfall channel in a way that enables it to continue developing habitat and natural water treatment as it evolves. Crafted to ensure minimum disturbance to the site’s existing forest resources, the design utilized the existing gully for construction access, filled the channel to the surrounding top of bank during construction using sand and mulch supplemented with bio-char to further filter out pollutants, and created a series of cascades and pools to restore stable conveyance to the valley bottom. While attenuating and filtering polluted stormwater, the pools also provide aquatic and terrestrial habitat. After permitting the design, the design-build team of Biohabitats, ARRC, and ER&M constructed and planted the project for DC Water.
|Park Drive RSC Gully Restoration Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion, Cascadia Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Southeast Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Patuxent River and Patapsco River Watershed Assessments|| |
Howard County, Maryland , United States Howard County’s Storm Water Management Division set an ambitious goal of performing comprehensive assessments of the County’s watersheds over a two-year period to satisfy their NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit requirement. To tackle the daunting task that encompassed a 253-square-mile study area, Howard County turned to their team of on-call consultants. Working closely with the County and their other on-call engineering consultants, Biohabitats conducted stream assessments of the County’s two watersheds: the Southern Middle Patuxent, and the Patapsco River South Branch. The goal of the assessments was to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve water quality through stream restoration, outfall stabilization, new stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP), tree planting, and BMP conversion projects. The assessments integrated elements of the Stream Corridor Assessment (SCA), Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (RBP), Bank Assessment for Non-point source Consequences of Sediment (BANCS), and Retrofit Reconnaissance Inventory (RRI) with other qualitative site data on the feasibility of a project including land ownership, constraints, and ease of access. For the second phase of each watershed assessment, Biohabitats developed concepts for the highest priority proposed retrofit and restoration opportunities. The concepts, which included approaches such as channel stabilization, Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC), bioretention facilities, and tree plantings, were designed to provide ecological habitat and stormwater filtration while also helping the County estimate implementation costs and meet TMDL targets established for phosphorus and sediment in the local watersheds.
|Patuxent River and Patapsco River Watershed Assessments||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Howard County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Ponds at Potomac Yard Park Ecological Stormwater Retrofits|| |
Alexandria, Virginia , United States The Ponds at Potomac Yard are two existing stormwater management ponds that receive runoff from nearby development. These ponds ultimately discharge to the Potomac River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Biohabitats’ ecologically engineered approach, designed in conjunction with Ambler Design, LLC, retrofitted the ponds to improve water quality and increase circulation and dissolved oxygen with an aesthetically pleasing solution. Both ponds are highly visible from adjacent shopping areas. The North Pond, the larger of the two ponds at approximately 3.5 million gallons, is located behind a Target™ shopping building. The South Pond, with a volume of one million gallons, is beneath a highway overpass. The ponds were originally designed as ‘wet’ ponds for the management of stormwater prior to discharge to the Potomac River but the inherent water quality and aesthetics were poor. Through the use of regenerative and natural systems design principles, the quality of both the internal water and that being discharged to the river has been improved. The North Pond is outfitted with an ‘active edge wetland filter bed’ that purifies water, while the South Pond is outfitted with a ‘floating aquatic wetlands’ system. In addition, energy-efficient supplemental aeration increases circulation and dissolved oxygen in both ponds. This improvement of the ponds’ ecological function helps reduce pollutants and creates more attractive pond edges and clearer water columns. The retrofits address the stratification, low oxygen levels, and lack of circulation in the stormwater ponds. The active edge wetland filter and floating aquatic wetlands systems provide habitat and surface area for a wide range of naturally occurring, attached growth microorganisms and invertebrates. Passing water through or across these surfaces can reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, biological oxygen demand (BOD), suspended solids (TSS) and fecal coliforms. Bottom aeration “turns the pond over” allowing additional oxygen to be absorbed
|Ponds at Potomac Yard Park Ecological Stormwater Retrofits||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Alexandria, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Pope Branch Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Design-Build|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States For this design-build project for the District Department of the Environment, Biohabitats created regenerative storm water conveyance systems at three highly unstable, hillside areas. The goal of the project was to provide stable conveyance and water quality treatment along two ditches on the steep slopes of the Pope Branch Park stream valley and at another location in a nearby neighborhood park. This project included the restoration of three very steep large gullies originating from road runoff. Two of these projects were restored using the regenerative stormwater conveyance approach, which delivers an estimated 90% TSS, 60% TP, and 50% TN reception for the drainage area served. These projects involved grading the gullies and either filling them with a sand and mulch mix and creating a stable, non-erosive flow path over top of the sand fill using a repeating series of boulder and cobble grade controls and pools. This reduces the energy of the stormwater and provides a non-erosive conveyance path for stormwater runoff. One of the three projects, involved creation of an urban park LID structure that creates a water feature in the park for the high frequency, low volume runoff events and ties back into an existing stormdrain for the infrequent large flows. This involved using a curb cut and modified inlet structure to capture water from street runoff, directing this flow to a created novel stream channel with riffles and pools underlain by a carbon-rich sand bed. Small high frequency storms enter the stream, soak into the sand bedded channel, and either infiltrate or are delivered via a underdrain or surface inlet to a underground nalgene-like storage container which decants into the stormdrain system. Larger flows are directed to the stormdrain system via the novel stream and a surface inlet at the end of the stream. Biohabitats
|Pope Branch Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design, Design-Build,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Workshops|| |
Annapolis, Maryland , United States Biohabitats, working with Underwood & Associates and the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, developed and delivered a set of five training workshops on the theory and design of open channel coastal plains outfalls using elements of stream restoration, bioretention, and wetland restoration. Over 400 participants, including development engineers and local, state, and federal regulators, attended the workshops. This innovative approach to today’s stormwater management challenges, which combines stream channel restoration with improved sediment and nutrient processing, is called Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC). With conventional stormwater conveyance, runoff from impervious surfaces travels through systems such as pipes and concrete channels, magnifying and transferring energies to the discharge or outfall. This energy causes erosion, failure of structures and stream channel degradation, which can ultimately lead to lowered shallow groundwater levels, destabilized soils, reduced native vegetation and degraded water quality. Alternatively, RSC incorporates natural stream channel design techniques and materials, minimizing soil destabilization, vegetation disturbance and invasive plant establishment. RSC optimizes the conversion of stormwater to groundwater, reduces erosive energies and increases natural capital. A truly regenerative approach, RSC results in a system of physical features, chemical processes and biological mechanisms that dramatically enhance the ecological and aesthetic value of a drainage area. RSC is generally less expensive to construct and easier to secure permitting for than conventional stormwater conveyance projects. RSC is a win-win-win approach in terms of ecology, economics and aesthetics.
|Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Workshops||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Annapolis, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rock Creek–Bingham Run Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Design-Build|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States Rock Creek Park, a favorite spot among Washington, DC bikers, hikers, birders, runners and skaters, is a natural oasis amidst a highly urbanized landscape. Administered by the U.S. National Park Service, this popular park contains many degraded streams. Biohabitats is currently helping the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) restore one of them, Bingham Run, an ephemeral tributary to Rock Creek. A regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) approach is being applied to this design-build restoration of 800 linear feet of incised stream channel. This involves raising the channel bed and reconnecting the stream with its floodplain and riparian wetlands to optimize the conversion of stormwater to groundwater and reduce its erosive energies. The aim of this project is to demonstrate this technology as an alternative to traditional approaches to stream and outfall erosion, such as piping, rip rap and hard structures. The RSC approach will improve water quality by stopping head-ward migration of the channel incision. It will also improve local hydrology by tempering the influence of stormwater runoff on the stream, converting “peaky” surface discharge into shallow seepage, reducing existing forested stream bank erosion and tree loss, and improving the quality and quantity of water delivered to downstream reaches.
|Rock Creek–Bingham Run Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rock Creek–Milkhouse Regenerative Stream Conveyance Design-Build|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States Rock Creek Park, a favorite spot among Washington, DC bikers, hikers, birders, runners and skaters, is a natural oasis amidst a highly urbanized landscape. Administered by the U.S. National Park Service, this popular park contains many degraded streams. Biohabitats is helping the District Department of the Environment restore one of them, a perennial tributary to Rock Creek. This design-build effort applies a regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) approach to 1,000 linear feet of incised stream channel. By raising the channel bed and reconnecting the stream with its floodplain and riparian wetlands, the conversion of stormwater to groundwater is optimized, and erosive energies are reduced. The project demonstrates this technology as an alternative to traditional approaches to stream and outfall erosion, such as piping, rip rap and hard structures. The RSC approach will improve water quality as a result of the cessation of head-ward migration of the channel incision. It will also improve local hydrology by tempering the influence of stormwater runoff on the stream, converting “peaky” surface discharge into shallow seepage, reducing bank erosion and tree loss, and improving the quality and quantity of water delivered to downstream reaches. This project is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
|Rock Creek–Milkhouse Regenerative Stream Conveyance Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Ruppert’s Ravine Phase II Tributary Restoration|| |
Anne Arundel County, Maryland , United States Ruppert’s Ravine is an unattractive, low quality stream system characterized by channel erosion and sedimentation resulting from unstable soils and a stormwater dominated hydrologic regime. Areas in the stream’s flow path are dominated by invasive species such as multiflora rose and honeysuckle. Outside of the flow path, however, relatively mature woodlands with an open understory persist. Biohabitats was awarded a contract to develop a restoration design for the severely degraded and incised tributary. The design employs a regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) approach, converting the headcutting stream channel into a stable seepage wetland ecosystem well linked to its historic floodplain. By recharging the groundwater table, a number of threatened plant species associated with Anne Arundel County’s native acid seep wetland systems can be supported. The design also includes two acres of reforestation.
|Ruppert’s Ravine Phase II Tributary Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Santa Fe River Greenways|| |
Santa Fe County, New Mexico , United States In a 1774 report to the Spanish crown Don Pedro O’Crowly described the Santa Fe River: “Santa Fe was founded … at the foot of a high mountain range from which flows a crystal clear river full of small but choice trout.” The Santa Fe river valley, like so many places in the Southwest, has seen a transition of land use from small irrigated farms to urban development. Over the years the middle reaches of the river valley became steadily degraded by the cumulative effects of water diversion, over grazing, gravel mining, and urban development. Santa Fe County has taken on the challenge of restoring the ecologic condition of the river and is in the midst of a comprehensive Greenways project to restore the river corridor and create parks and a continuous 12-mile pedestrian/bicycle trail. Working with the City of Santa Fe and community groups, the County has implemented several segments of the project and brought in Biohabitats to assist with the work. Channel incision in the reach is severe in places due to past disturbance by mining activities which is made worse by flashy urban runoff. Banks have eroded and the flood plain has become disconnected from the channel in many sections exacerbating stability problems. Non-native exotic plant species have invaded the abandoned flood plains. Biohabitats staff performed a fluvial geomorphic survey of the reach and analyzed the data to determine the characteristic channel depth and width parameters for a stable design. The geomorphic data was then used in engineering design for regenerative channel restoration using natural materials. In incised reaches the Biohabitats design employs boulder grade control structures to raise the degraded channel bottom. Boulder side slope protection reinforced with native willow plantings provides protection from high water velocities at the outsides of bends
|Santa Fe River Greenways||Southwest Basin and Range Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States||featured-project featured|
|Severn Feasibility Study and Retrofit Concept Development Study|| |
Anne Arundel County, Maryland , United States As part of Anne Arundel County, Maryland’s efforts to meet 2017 and 2025 TMDL goals for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Department of Public Works (DPW) identified the potential for high priority stormwater retrofit by identifying subwatersheds with significant impervious area draining to existing pond sites. Based on the evaluation, DPW selected the Severn Run Tributary 2 Subwatershed containing a large regional public pond (BMP 341) for further evaluation. Of the over 700 acres within this subwatershed, 234 acres were impervious surface. The study documented that there are many stormwater facilities located throughout the subwatershed that currently provide water quality treatment for runoff flowing over the majority of the impervious acreage. This acreage is located within the large tracts of recent development falling within the BMP Era of 1985–2001. To help the DPW maximize water quality and impervious acreage treatment within this subwatershed, Biohabitats and Century Engineering conducted a three-step feasibility study. The Biohabitats/Century team began by documenting and field evaluating all existing stormwater facilities in the subwatershed, as well as identifying all water quality opportunities, including both retrofits and new opportunities. In all, this included regional pond BMP 341, as well as five outfalls and 52 existing upland BMP sites. Next, they calculated existing pollutant load reduction by the regional pond BMP 341 and the upland BMPs, and further vetted potential retrofit and treatment opportunities for BMP 341. Lastly, they ranked and prioritized the retrofit opportunities for upland BMP opportunities available to meet any remaining treatment deficit. This study included desktop and field assessment of existing conditions; documentation, mapping, and assessment of BMPs in the subwatershed for water quality treatment and major maintenance (or failing conditions); and identification and ranking of potential BMP retrofits and new BMPs such as the downstream receiving areas at unmanaged outfalls. The
|Severn Feasibility Study and Retrofit Concept Development Study||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Stream Restoration at UVA’s College at Wise|| |
Wise, Virginia , United States The scenic 369-acre campus of University of Virginia’s College at Wise is situated amid the Appalachian Mountains in Southwest Virginia. Originally founded to bring postsecondary and higher education to communities in Virginia’s mountainous western and southwestern regions, the College now enrolls over 2000 students. In 2009, when the College began a two-phase project to renovate and expand its Science Center, they also wanted to restore a ditched and degraded stream that flowed through a mowed lawn area and into a campus lake. The lake was designed not only for aesthetics, but also for managing stormwater from the Science Center and surrounding campus development. Using a regenerative design approach, Biohabitats restored the stream by raising the channel bed and reconnecting the stream with its floodplain. The final design, which mimics a beaver meadow system and incorporates riparian vegetation, enhances local ecology while also enabling the stream to process nutrients and pollutants. The restoration also allows the stream to further polish pollutants from upstream strip mining operations.
|Stream Restoration at UVA’s College at Wise||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Wise, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|The Preserve at Severn Innovative LID Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance|| |
Anne Arundel County, Maryland , United States The Preserve at Severn is a 156-acre site that was subdivided. The subdivision lies in an extremely sensitive area between two branches of Jabez Branch, the only natural trout stream remaining in the coastal plain of Maryland The stormwater management design for the project was initially completed and permitted following the requirements of the 2000 Maryland Stormwater Design Manual. However, due to interest in maximizing the protection of the cold water fishery, Biohabitats and our client and collaborator, Underwood & Associates developed an innovative design for the site that provides greater water quality treatment, flow control and water temperature regulation. The design complies with all applicable stormwater management criteria including recharge, water quality (1″ storm event), channel protection (extended detention of the 1-year, 24-hour event), and flood control (10-, 25-, and 100-year peak discharge control). Biohabitats worked with the regulators, watershed group, developers, engineer and County to gain approval for this innovative technique. The design approach for The Preserve at Severn emphasizes the use of Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC) systems. For The Preserve at Severn, Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance systems are featured on both the front and tail end of the treatment system to provide water quality and groundwater recharge benefits. Those on the front end provide water quality, groundwater, and channel protection treatment while also providing non-erosive flow conveyance to the stormwater quantity control practice - a constructed wetland. Based on hydrologic modeling, this additional wetland basin isn’t required to provide quantity control for stormwater including the 100-year event. In addition to the stormwater management and ecosystem restoration benefits of the RSC system at the Preserve at Severn, there are significant infrastructure cost savings. Initial cost estimates for using the RSC approach were half as much as those for conventional stormwater management using storm drain pipe and related drainage
|The Preserve at Severn Innovative LID Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Towson University Garage Addition Stream Restoration & Water Quality BMPs|| |
Towson, Maryland , United States Due to a projected increase in student enrollment, Towson University is entering a period of rapid changes and the need for new and updated facilities. As a part of a desire to incorporate more ecologically sustainable projects, Towson University has engaged Biohabitats in a variety of initiatives including the development of a campus-wide water resources management plan, participation in the Facilities Master Plan, and the restoration of the Glen tributary. With the expansion of an existing parking garage located in a sensitive ecological area along Towson Run, Towson turned to Biohabitats to help make it a project that would honor their commitment to environmental stewardship. Working in collaboration with the project architects, civil engineers and structural engineers, Biohabitats integrated regenerative design features into the parking garage upgrades including a bioretention facility to treat stormwater, a natural step-pool channel and bioengineering of the streambanks. Biohabitats native vegetation restoration plans also included indigenous forest planting along the riparian areas to stabilize adjacent slopes. Working with the regulatory agencies, Biohabitats led efforts to restore a reach of Towson Run, including the removal of concrete from the channel and the integration of aquatic habitat features.
|Towson University Garage Addition Stream Restoration & Water Quality BMPs||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Towson, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Windsor Ridge Stream Restoration|| |
Anne Arundel County, Maryland , United States Biohabitats, Inc., has designed an innovative regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) system on approximately 1,000 linear feet of an actively degrading tributary to the Chesapeake Bay located in the coastal plains of Anne Arundel County. The stream was intermittent and downcut approximately 12 feet deep, originating at a roadway culvert. Using RSC, the incised channel was filled with porous, granular material held in place with grade control weirs and cobble riffles. An energy dissipation pool at the upstream end of the project provides some energy reduction and infiltration of the stormwater before it flows into the channel. As the flow ramps up and fills the initial pool, seepage through the granular channel fill begins its sub-surface movement down the channel bed. With increasing flow, each pool fills with water before flowing over the cobble riffle/boulder grade control downstream to the next pool. Each pool also loses water through its bottom into the granular channel fill, which reduces in-channel flow and recharges the local shallow ground water table. Once the channel storage volume is saturated, water flows through the channel downstream with much less velocity, volume, and erosion potential. At higher discharges, the weirs force a broad, shallow, non-erosive flow that reduces sediment load and incision while transitioning the intermittent nature of the channel back towards its perennial origin.
|Windsor Ridge Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Yale Divinity School Regenerative Village|| |
New Haven, Connecticut , United States The Yale Divinity School’s Regenerative Village residential complex aims to be the first Living Building certified university residences, as well as one of the largest Living Building projects in the world. The Regenerative Village will demonstrate environmental leadership at the highest level and serve as a replicable model for other divinity schools, places of worship, and academic institutions worldwide. The project features 150 compact and efficient housing units centered around vibrant community spaces, including a welcome center, communal kitchens and dining areas, lecture halls, gardens, meditation and study areas, lounges, a fitness center, a café, and an interfaith sacred space for worship. It will also serve as a model for religious institutions to apply ecotheology in their own communities and places of worship. The Living Building Challenge presents the most rigorous standards in the sustainable building industry. Through the framework of its seven petals (Place, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity, and Beauty), the project seeks to create a healthier, more culturally rich, and ecologically restorative campus. As a key member of the master planning team led by Bruner/Cott Architects and Planners, Biohabitats led planning and concept level design related to the achievement of the Water petal. This involved determining a campus water balance, assessing the feasibility of various alternatives for integrated water strategies including rain harvesting, and wastewater treatment and water reuse systems.
|Yale Divinity School Regenerative Village||Hudson River Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||New Haven, Connecticut, United States||featured-project featured|