Paint Branch Headwater Restoration
Biohabitats was contracted to study and develop a restoration plan for a 140-acre parcel in Montgomery County, Maryland. The site consists of two headwater tributaries to the Upper Right Fork of the Paint Branch, the last stream in the County supporting a naturally-reproducing trout population. The study included a comprehensive monitoring program using over one dozen pressure and temperature data loggers to monitor the relationship of groundwater to stream flow. Stream geomorphology and stability were evaluated over three years. The study culminated in an innovative restoration approach that integrates stream and riparian wetland restoration. The design called for elevating almost one mile of stream with a complex of pools and riffles without excavating. The intent was not only to improve in-stream habitat and refuge but also to restore the historic groundwater table and almost 32 acres of forested wetlands. The design also included over 90 acres of reforestation, invasive species control and the conversion of abandoned storm water ponds into wet meadows.