St. Mary’s College Water Quality Comprehensive Plan
The St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus lies in an historically significant and environmentally sensitive area along the shoreline of the St. Mary’s River. The campus history includes the colonial settlement of Historic St. Mary’s City, the first capital of the state of Maryland. Campus activities influence localized water quality in an important drainage to the Chesapeake Bay.
Over the last decade the campus facilities have expanded significantly under the facilities master plan. Biohabitats assisted the campus with managing water resource issues and environmental stewardship by producing a Water Quality Comprehensive Plan with A. Morton Thomas. In the plan, Biohabitats addressed shoreline protection stabilization and restoration, water quality protection through best practices, stormwater management facilities/retrofit integration and needs for ecological resource conservation, restoration and management of campus streams, ponds, shoreline zones and tidal wetlands. Additionally, Biohabitats integrated recommendations for green design standards, sustainable facilities operations and maintenance, landscape planning and management, and volunteer stewardship opportunities.
A significant component of this Plan was the application of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Law and its standards for resource protection, stormwater improvement and Critical Area buffer management. Biohabitats also assisted in reviewing the plan with the State Critical Area Commission and addressing comments related to campus-wide planning.
Biohabitats completed a Buffer Management Strategy document for the campus. This guidance document included definitions of the types and benefits of aquatic buffers. It also outlined campus conditions, specific buffer improvement strategies and priority implementation recommendations in light of the Critical Area program compliance. Biohabitats also made recommendations for long-term management and operations and maintenance needs for the campus buffers.