At a Glance

Biohabitats helped the Chesapeake Bay waterfront community of Oyster Harbor to plan for water quality, drainage, and habitat improvements using cost-effective natural approaches, with a focus on the roadway right-of-way.

Project Description

Through an effort funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Biohabitats developed recommendations for natural drainage retrofits and habitat enhancements for Oyster Harbor, a community located on Annapolis Neck in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Oyster Harbor faces a number of common yet challenging management issues related to conveyance and treatment of runoff within the roadway right-of-way and on private lots. Oyster Harbor’s location on the Chesapeake Bay adds another layer of factors including low relief, high groundwater, interaction with wetlands, and coastal resiliency concerns.

Working with community residents, Biohabitats carried out three days of field assessments to identify issues and opportunities related to roadway drainage and water quality improvement, on-lot stormwater management, and habitat enhancement. Biohabitats staff also performed an initial investigation of soil conditions to determine implications for retrofit and restoration strategies. Oyster Harbor’s existing roadway drainage network was a major focus, as the built-out community has few open areas for larger-scale treatment. Biohabitats developed recommendations for improving runoff conveyance to minimize nuisance flooding while also integrating water quality and habitat elements.

Biohabitats’ final report provided a framework for addressing drainage, water quality, and habitat improvements. The report also identified ten specific retrofit opportunities that include both private and community-owned sites. These projects range in complexity, from homeowner- or volunteer-driven efforts to larger scale projects that would be good candidates for grant or county funding. Biohabitats also developed content for, and participated in, two community meetings.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province

Atlantic Coastal Plain


Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Coastal, Community, Conservation, Design & Build, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


Oyster Harbor Citizens Association


Oyster Harbor, Maryland, United States