We all know the saying,” April showers bring May flowers.” While this is true, rain events, changing snowfall patterns, increased urbanization and the weather affects of climate change in the Mid-Atlantic and around the world can cause more frequent flooding and droughts in our stream channels.
EQR has restored hundreds of miles of streams and tributaries in the Mid-Atlantic and we understand the devastating impact that these events have on our local streams. As a stream restoration company, one of our goals is to educate communities about the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay and the effects of erosion on local streams.
Most stream channels in Maryland are too small to accommodate frequent flooding that runs off into our streams from impervious (concrete, asphalt) surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks. The force of flood water can alter the shape of a stream or channel and erode its banks and bottoms. For those of you who may not know, erosion is the gradual destruction of something (ex. stream bank) by wind, water, or other natural elements.
Having a badly eroded stream can cause a stream to lose access to its floodplain as a result of down cutting. This can create an unnatural floodplain, which means when a stream becomes flooded after a rain event, the stream won’t have a natural way of overflowing its banks and the water becomes trapped and polluted. When this happens, you will tend to see that these streams have very little habitat for fish and other animals. According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, when sediment settles into a stream, it "contributes to a decline in water quality by blocking sunlight, reduces photosynthesis, decreases plant growth, destroys bottom dwelling species’ habitat, and carries attached pollutants." By contrast, in a flood event, a healthy stream will spread its waters onto its floodplain and typically has little bank erosion. In turn, the stream will provide a healthy habitat and natural water treatment.
EQR’s mission is to restore our watersheds. When we are awarded a job to restore a stream, we see that these streams usually are badly eroded from years of flooding and their floodplains are non -existent. In the normal course of one of our stream restoration projects, we will be installing structures that bring stability to the stream system and grading to enhance the streams connectivity to the floodplain. All this is done to return the natural function of a stream to these highly degraded systems. Normally, in our stream restoration projects, we first decrease the sediment in the streams by leveling out the eroded streams floodplain. Sometimes that means reconstructing the whole stream and creating a new wetland for the stream dwelling animals to live in again.
Some examples of stream restoration projects that we have been working on recently are:
And many more!
As environmental construction experts for over 26 years, Environmental Quality Resources is proud of our mission of working outdoors to preserve and protect our watershed in a positive way. Become a partner to EQR, and help us make our mission possible! Visit us online or give us a call at (410) -923-8680 to get more information and see if we are what you’re looking for. Looking to see what we are currently working on and more about our company? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube!