From Dry Pond to Living System
Built in the early 1960s as a traditional “dry pond,” the Langerdale detention basin in South Euclid, OH drained 7.6 square miles in the Nine Mile Creek watershed. The basin, which relegated the stream to a concrete channel, had overflowed twice, causing flooding to adjacent homes. Recognizing the value of Nine Mile Creek as a tributary to Lake Erie and a critical component of the community’s green infrastructure, the City of South Euclid launched an effort to restore this urban stream, beginning with a retrofit of the detention basin.
Working closely with the City, the Biohabitats team developed a design intended to achieve the goals of maximizing storage volume, augmenting aquatic habitat and minimizing long term maintenance. With construction complete, we look forward to watching life return to what is now a system comprised of an aquatic bed and open water wetland, scrub-shrub emergent wetland, forested wetland, riparian deciduous forest and native mesic meadow. For more information on this project (including lots of photos), check out the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization’s web site.
In Baltimore, Sharing Is Caring… And Smart
With the intent to improve water quality within the shared watersheds of Baltimore County, MD and the City of Baltimore, leaders from both jurisdictions signed the Baltimore Watershed Agreement in 2002. The agreement was renewed in 2006, with even greater emphasis placed on cooperation. A Committee of Principals (COP), comprised of representatives from several key departments and NGOs from each jurisdiction, was charged with developing specific actions toward water quality improvement through the issues of development and redevelopment, community greening, stormwater, public health and trash.
Biohabitats was called upon to join a County consultant in assisting the COP in refining and enhancing the recommended actions. The result is a draft “Phase I Action Plan” that sets the stage for the implementation of initial, short-term actions in five topic areas and organizes actions into the categories of Implementation, Policy & Regulation, Planning & Collaboration, Education and Outreach/Awareness. The development of this plan represents a commitment to an unprecedented level of collaboration between the City and County. We applaud the City of Baltimore and Baltimore County for setting an example we hope others will follow.
The New Jersey Highlands is an 859,358-acre region of northern New Jersey, Rich in natural resources such as wetlands, grasslands, streams and forests, the New Jersey Highlands provide vital open space, farmland, scenic beauty and habitat for several threatened, endangered and declining species. The region also serves as a drinking water source for more than half of New Jersey’s population. Despite its value, the Highlands region is under imminent threat from suburban sprawl. Biohabitats was chosen by the New Jersey Highlands Council to assist with the development of a Critical Habitat Conservation and Management program for the New Jersey Highlands Region. We are thrilled to play a role in developing mitigation strategies and concepts to help protect the region’s ecological integrity and ‘sense of place.’
Peerless Stream Restoration Receives Award
The City of Rockville Department of Public Works received a 2009 Preservation Award from Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation for the rehabilitation and restoration of the Twinbrook/Rockcrest Stream, a tributary to the Potomac River within the City of Rockville, MD.
The award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in preservation, new construction, heritage education, and “green” design, signifies a firm nod of approval for a design that restores bank stability and habitat, improves invasive species management, and enhances park amenities. The Biohabitats team is proud to have been a part of this award-winning project, and we look forward to monitoring its success over the next several years.
Critical Work on Long Beach Island Receives Prestigious Award
In 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a beachfill in the boroughs of Surf City and Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island, NJ. Shortly afterwards, World War I-era munitions were discovered in the beachfill. While the Corps swiftly undertook action to remove the munitions, a full scale dune/beach demolition, sand sifting, and dune/beach reconstruction operation was undertaken in January, 2009. Just prior to the commencement of the munitions sifting operation, the Corps contracted with our sister construction company, Ecological Restoration and Management (ER&M), to devise a cost-effective plan to harvest and store the existing beachgrass (originally installed in 2007). All plant materials were held in cold storage for later reinstallation as the dunes were rebuilt after the sifting operation. The work was completed this spring, with nearly 100% of the transplanted materials currently surviving and reestablishing on the new dunes. Kudos to ER&M and all members of the Project Delivery Team for The Surf City & Ship Bottom Munitions and Explosives of Concern Non-Time Critical Removal Action. In recognition of their collective partnering efforts to overcome numerous challenges and obstacles to successfully complete a critical high-profile mission, the team was selected as a recipient of the Philadelphia District’s External Partnering Award for 2009.
While We’re on The Subject of Awards…
In the last issue of Leaf Litter, we told you about our work on a master plan for Jefferson Memorial Forest, a 6,000 acre forest established as a tribute to Jefferson County, Kentucky veterans. As a key member of Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Parks’ selected master planning team, led by Jones & Jones, we are pleased to announce that the master plan has been awarded a Merit Award in the Planning and Analysis category from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. We’re proud to have been a part of a team whose work resulted in a plan that respects and enhances the ecological significance of this immense and important park.
Biohabitats team members Terry Doss, Allegra Bukojemsky and Joe Berg will join ecological restoration professionals from around the country at the 3rd National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration. The event, which takes place July 20-24 in Los Angeles, CA, will share lessons-learned from the conduct of large-scale ecosystem restoration programs both in the U.S. and internationally. Don’t miss Terry’s presentation on Urban Ecosystem Restoration, Allegra’s poster “Smart Growth as a Catalyst for Tidal Wetlands Restoration in San Francisco Bay” and Joe’s poster, “Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance as a technique for Zero Discharge Stormwater.”
StormCON, the world’s largest stormwater pollution prevention conference, will take place August 16-20 in Anaheim, CA. Biohabitats Water Resources Engineer Jennifer Zielinski and Landscape Architect Allegra Bukojemsky will team up to present “Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance: A New Tool to Effectively Mitigate Failed Stormwater Outfalls.” If you’re arriving early to the conference, be sure to check out “The Art and Science of Stormwater Retrofitting to Restore Ecosystems and Create Community Spaces,” http://www.stormcon.com/conference_pre.shtm#3 a pre-conference workshop presented by Biohabitats and the Center for Watershed Protection.
Biohabitats president Keith Bowers will head to the land down under to attend the 19th Conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration International. Held in Perth, Australia from August 23-27, this gathering will focus on “Making Change in a Changing World.” Keith will co-present a session on post-secondary restoration education.
The next time you call or visit our headquarters and Chesapeake/Delaware Bays Bioregional office, say hello to Ada Perry, our new administrative assistant. Having spent the last year and a half with Armada Hoffler, a construction and development firm in Virginia Beach, VA, Ada was drawn to Biohabitats by our mission. A Brooklyn, NY native, she brings a warm smile and cheery disposition to work every day – which is surprising considering she’s the mother of a 2-year old. Ada holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Psychology. On the rare occasion that her child is sleeping and she is not working or studying, Ada can be found with her nose in a book. Welcome, Ada!
Congratulations to Biohabitats’ Ecological Designer Nicole Stern and Water Resources Engineers Ted Brown and Mike Lighthiser, the latest members of our team to earn their LEED certification. Joining them on our cadre of LEED certified professionals is Landscape Architect Allegra Bukojemsky, Ecological Engineer Chris Streb, Water Resources Engineer Nick Lindow and Kevin Heatley of Biohabitats ISM.
Biohabitats President Keith Bowers recently accepted an esteemed volunteer position with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As the Theme Lead for Ecological Restoration, Keith will help the IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management to provide expert guidance on integrated approaches to the management of natural and modified ecosystems to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development throughout the world.