At a Glance
The restoration of an urban stream ensures long-term channel stability while providing a wide diversity of native aquatic habitats.
Using fluvial geomorphologic principles in conjunction with soil bioengineering measures, Biohabitats developed, designed and supervised construction for the restoration of Minebank Run, a tributary to the Gunpowder River. Minebank Run, like many urban streams throughout the country, had experienced years of degradation due to uncontrolled stormwater runoff from upstream development. In the 1960s, efforts to stabilize the stream included the construction of concrete flumes and six-foot high in-stream weir structures.
Over the years, these structures experienced failure and caused accelerated erosion of the stream banks. Recognizing the need for stream restoration, Baltimore County turned to Biohabitats for help in crafting a long-term solution.
Biohabitats developed a restoration approach based on the use of natural channel design principles, soil bioengineering measures, and aquatic habitat features to restore 1.25 miles of Minebank Run. The final design included varied channel conditions to mimic valley and floodplain morphology, with both step-pool and pool-riffle stream types. The project restored a stable meander pattern and cross section, provided access to a relatively flat floodplain, and incorporated aquatic habitat features.