Annapolis, Md. — The Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) are partnering on a pilot project to restore a stream in Cecil County. The agencies will reduce erosion along a portion of Gramies Run, a tributary of the Elk River, located on private property. Work begins this month and completion is scheduled for early 2019.

“Water runoff from highway surfaces can leave pollutants in streams and the Bay and we are partnering with DNR/MET to come up with innovative solutions to support Bay restoration,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater.

The $4.3 million project, funded by MDOT SHA, will fulfill requirements of the federal Clean Water Act and will occur on a conservation easement co-held by the Maryland Environmental Trust and Cecil Land Trust. Property owner Edward F. Kelley authorized the work to begin on a five-acre project to stabilize the banks and plant trees along Gramies Run. The project aims to enhance natural features and improve water quality by reducing erosion, filtering stormwater, slowing water flow, and cooling water temperature through an expanded tree canopy.

“By leveraging the expertise and talents of two leading state agencies, this first-of-its-kind pilot project will improve habitat and water quality in Cecil County, and better protect and preserve our shared natural resources,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “We are hopeful that this partnership, which includes an innovative private and public component, will succeed and be replicated throughout the state ensuring a cleaner and healthier Chesapeake Bay.”

Restoring Gramies Run will reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, from entering the Chesapeake Bay. The partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of Transportation helps reduce project costs and bolster Bay Restoration.

MDOT SHA has implemented Bay Restoration projects across 11 counties to reduce pollutants and stormwater runoff.