Water project final at Kudner property
QUEENSTOWN — Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources the Chesapeake Bay Trust representatives as well as state and local officials gathered for a ribbon cutting Tuesday, June 21, to celebrate the completion of a water quality restoration project at the Kudner property.
The Kudner property, part of the Queen Anne’s County park system located at 961 Bennett Point Road, was identified as one of the priority areas for quality restoration after the MRC completed the first-ever assessment of the Wye River Watershed in 2012. The assessment identified three priority areas for water quality restoration: the Kudner property, Wye Ferry Landing and the Chesapeake College campus.
Of the 250-acre property, 80 acres is in an active farmland and drains directly into the Wye River. With design funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and construction funding from the DNR Chesapeake and Costal Watershed Service, 1.65 acres of wetlands were restored and 2.4 acres of wetland were constructed. The project was completed in April.
Along with the restored and created wetlands, the group created a two-stage gabion outlet weir, which is a series of grade control barriers to allow non-erosive passage of runoff and to reduce groundwater draw-down within the existing wetland, three berms, a shrub scrub habitat area and a forested upland habitat area.
“We can’t thank the county enough for stepping up and participating and helping us work through the issues, and then Chesapeake Bay Trust came through with the design funding, which was critical,” said Tim Junkin, MRC founder. “...Having a resource for design money is critically important and we’re really grateful for that. The Department of Natural Resources has become a great partner of ours in these projects, and they funded the construction. So, it’s good for the county, it’s good for the community, it’s good for the rivers, and I’m delighted to be a part of this.”
With the enhancements to the Kudner property, Junkin said the project is estimated to reduce 47 pounds of total nitrogen, about five pounds of total phosphorus and 584 pounds of sediment per year from entering the Wye River. The project also is expected to filter almost all the farmland runoff.
Collaborative partners included Queen Anne’s County, Chesapeake Bay Trust and DNR. Environmental Concern performed the work for the restoration.
“This project was actually just one component of a grant that involved wetland restoration, improvements on ag-lands, improvements on streams,” Sarah Hilderbrand with DNR said. “...It’s just one piece of the picture that’s helping to restore the Bay, so we want to thank everybody.”
Maryland Del. Steve Arentz said, “This is (the) kind of thing you like to see in the county with all the issues we have with the Bay and what have you. It’s always good to see something like this developed, and it’s good to see the partnerships come into effect.”
County officials at the ribbon cutting included Commissioners Jim Moran and Robert Buckey as well as County Administrator Gregg Todd.
MRC has also completed projects at Wye Ferry Landing and Chesapeake College, and is currently working with the college on the design and completion of a major multi-component “step pool” stream restoration project being funded through the Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund.
The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection and celebration of the water ways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River and Wye River watersheds.
Elected local and state officials stand with representatives from the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, the Department of Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Trust as they cut a ribbon commemorating the completion of a water quality restoration project at the Kudner property in Queenstown on Tuesday, June 21.
Part of the water quality restoration project at the Kudner property.