Leonardtown Wharf Living Shoreline
Leonardtown Wharf was an exciting redevelopment enterprise for Leonardtown, MD, the County seat of St. Mary’s County. The town was designated as one of the first Priority Places projects, a program supported by State government that selects model projects to receive additional State investment and implementation assistance as a part of Maryland’s vision for smart growth.
The Leonardtown Wharf project included adaptive reuse of a brownfield industrial/commercial site. The project involved a waterfront park with a public promenade developed along with adjacent residential and commercial development. It will have future dock facilities for boating access and kayak/canoe launching. The site is in a sensitive environmental area along Breton Bay, a tributary of the tidal Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. It is within the State’s designated Critical Area requiring extensive natural resource protection measures including native vegetation planting and water quality improvement measures. Biohabitats assisted with the native vegetation planting plan for the site landscaping and our work was crucial to the project being approved by the State Critical Areas Commission.
Biohabitats developed a wetland mitigation plan to compensate for minor impacts to existing degraded shoreline wetlands. The tidal wetlands designed by Biohabitats included marsh areas with native plants and are connected to existing wetlands. Biohabitats’ incorporation of the wetland design into the overall project plans showcased these important wetlands for observation from a boardwalk. It also provided an environmental education opportunity to be highlighted with interpretive signs.