At a Glance
Green stormwater infrastructure can serve as an extension of Howard County’s green infrastructure network of interconnected waterways, wetlands, forests, meadows and other natural areas.
Over the years, Historic Ellicott City, Maryland, has experienced frequent flooding as a result of storm events. As one of several efforts to remedy these effects, Howard County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) asked Biohabitats to provide an assessment of green stormwater infrastructure retrofit opportunities in the Hudson Branch, Tiber Branch, and New Cut Branch watersheds that drain to Ellicott City.
Green stormwater infrastructure uses natural processes to filter the pollutants from stormwater runoff and allows for a more sustainable means of conveying and storing runoff when necessary. In addition to managing stormwater runoff, it can provide ecosystem services like habitat and food sources for insects, reptiles, animals, and even humans.
Conducting desktop analyses and field assessments, Biohabitats identified locations with a potential for green stormwater infrastructure retrofits. Biohabitats then developed concept designs for six sites representative of the different land uses in the three watersheds and found a variety of suitable green stormwater infrastructure practices. While the concepts were developed for specific properties, they are still applicable for other areas throughout the watersheds.
With the goal of illustrating the green infrastructure potential of each site, the concepts suggest an assortment of practices available for each site, but property owners can choose to implement any number of recommended practices.