At a Glance

Stream restoration helps a waterfront city provide its community with cleaner water, wildlife habitat, and the socioeconomic benefits of a safe natural area within a former industrial site.

Project Description

Cannery Park is part of a significant revitalization project of Maryland’s eastern shore. Located on the former campus of the historic Phillips Packing Company-once the largest produce cannery in the U.S.-the 6.6-acre park is envisioned as a community gathering place that celebrates the region's unique character and heritage. The revitalization is being implemented by a partnership that includes the City of Cambridge, Dorchester County, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

Biohabitats led the design and construction of a key component of the park project: the restoration of Cambridge Creek, a partially piped stream that flows through the park. Funded by a grant from the Maryland DNR Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, the restoration aimed to reduce sediment and nutrients flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. The project involved daylighting a 750-section of piped stream and restoring a highly-confined, 900-foot, tidally influenced section of the exposed stream.

The approach for the daylighted section, which is stormwater-dominated and non-tidal, was to raise the channel invert, increase habitat structure, and enhance the riparian forest. The restored channel flows through a Regenerative Step Pool Storm Conveyance (SPSC or RSC) system consisting of a series of riffle structures and dissipation pools to help improve water quality. Two storm drain systems entering at the top of the RSC were retrofitted with a bubbler outlet structure to attenuate peak flows entering the system. The banks of the tidally-influenced section were graded to maintain a tidal creek at low tide and create flat marsh benches to allow the high tide to reach a much wider extent and support Spartina alterniflora. The design also accommodated the additional stormwater flow projected to come from the future park development adjacent to the restoration site.

Biohabitats continued to monitor the site after construction was completed in 2018. After determining that robust native vegetation was not reestablishing adequately, Biohabitats successfully organized and led a volunteer planting event that engaged the City of Cambridge, the Dorchester Career and Technology Center and the DNR.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province

Eastern Coastal Plain


Choptank River

Expertise Areas

Ecological Restoration


City of Cambridge Department of Public Works


Cambridge, Maryland, United States

Project Team
  • Lane Engineering
  • Underwood and Associates