Capture Your Stormwater

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Rainscaping is a powerful tool to collect and clean stormwater.  Stormwater carries pollutants into our waterways and can cause harmful erosion.  The key to successfully managing rain on your property is to Slow it down, Spread it out, Soak it up 

Here are some simple (and beautiful) ways you can capture stormwater:

Rain Barrels and Cisterns

Catch the rainwater as it comes off of your roof to slow it down or store it for later use, such as watering your gardens.  Rain barrels can improve the health of our rivers, look great in your garden, and save you money!  


Rain Gardens

A rain garden soaks up rainwater that flows off a building or other impervious area.  A typical rain garden consists of a shallow depression that contains loose soil, mulch and sometimes stone, and is planted with native plants. As the stormwater passes through the soil mixture, physical and biological processes remove pollutants and nutrients. 

Conservation Landscapes

Planting with native plants provides a natural habitat for birds and insects, cleans stormwater, and saves you time and money on maintenance.  Not sure which plants are native to our area?  Visit our Conservation Landscapes page to find valuable resources. 

Native Trees

Many know the benefits of planting a tree, which include cleaning our polluted air and water.  By planting native trees, you provide habitat for the local birds and wildlife.  Celebrate the native trees of your area of Maryland!  

Swales and Berms

Many downspouts and drains aim the stormwater directly at the stormdrains, sending whatever pollutants it carries into our waterways.  By redirecting the water to a vegetated area, the water is slowed down to reduce erosion and infiltrated into the ground to be cleaned.  

Permeable Pavers

Permeable surfaces allow water to soak in and infiltrate into the ground.  Consider replacing hard, impermeable surfaces, such as your concrete driveway or patio, with these permeable pavers or pavement to benefit the Bay without sacrificing design. 

Rainscaping Resources

Great Tips and How To's from the Chesapeake Bay Program

Reduce Your Stormwater

EcoScaping

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Rain Barrels and Cisterns

Rain barrels are an old idea that has been recycled. They temporarily store rainwater runoff from rooftops, reducing the flow of water into our streams, rivers, and the Bay. Rain barrels are drums that are connected directly to a downspout and are easily installed.  Water is collected in the drum for later use.  A soaker hose or garden hose can be attached to easily use water from the rainbarrel. 

Rain barrel water can be used to water lawns, flower beds and to wash cars. Of course, rain barrels must be emptied before the next storm to function properly, but that lets you control when and how fast the water is released.Rain barrels can be made at home, or purchased locally or online.
 


Follow Stephen Barry from Arlington Echo as he shows us how to easily and properly install a rain barrel on a home downspout.  Installing rain barrels is a very effective method of helping to reduce urban/suburban stormwater runoff pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Learn more at www.chesapeakebay.net Produced by Matt Rath


 

rain barrel maintenance 

Rain Barrel Maintenance Guide 


Disguise your Rain Barrel

Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a shallow depression that contains loose soil, mulch, and sometimes stone, and is planted with native plants.  As the stormwater soaks into the ground, physical and biological processess remove pollutants and nutrients. Native plants in rain gardens are adapted to local conditions, need little maintenance and water, and no fertilizer or pesticides.  They are beautiful and provide wildlife habitat.

Make Sure you know the facts! 

  • Rain gardens are not wet ponds. 
  • They are designed to drain within 24-48 hours after a rain storm.
  • Rain gardens do not breed mosquitos. 
  • Rain gardens require seasonal maintenance similar to traditional landscapes.
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Learn More ...

Rain Gardens Across Maryland

AA Co Rain Garden Page

     University of Connecticut Rain Garden App

Low Impact Development Center Rain Gardens - templates for design

     Mulch Calculator

     The Native Plant Center - search native plants in the Chesapeake Region

     Native Plant Resources

     Step by step videos: http://www.mdsg.umd.edu/topics/how-you-can-help/rain-gardens


For a list of contractors, please visit WSA's Connect and Collaborate page

When looking for a contractor:
           1.  Ask for references (You want to be sure that the work they have done was                          completed in a timely manner, at a sufficient level of quality, within the                                  contracted price)
           2. Ask to see completed work done by the contractor
           3. Approach at least 3 different contractors for quotes(You want to have a good                      understanding of the market to ensure that you are getting a reasonable quote)
           4. Ensure your contract includes plans, costs, and timelines
           5. Your contractor can find more information about installing this practice in the                      

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet

Conservation Landscapes

Conservation Landscapes are areas planted with locally native plants, designed to provide wildlife habitat, clean water and reduce the use of energy and chemicals. In areas where poor drainage prevents rain gardens, conservation landscapes use plants to absorb storm-water runoff. 



For a list of contractors, please visit WSA's Connect and Collaborate page

When looking for a contractor:
           1.  Ask for references (You want to be sure that the work they have done was                          completed in a timely manner, at a sufficient level of quality, within the                                  contracted price)
           2. Ask to see completed work done by the contractor
           3. Approach at least 3 different contractors for quotes(You want to have a good                      understanding of the market to ensure that you are getting a reasonable quote)
           4. Ensure your contract includes plans, costs, and timelines
           5. Your contractor can find more information about installing this practice in the                      Watershed Stewards Academy Rainscaping Guide For Contractors

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet

Native Trees

Trees are critical to the health of our watershed.  Deep root systems control erosion and absorb pollutants that would otherwise enter the Bay.  Leaf canopies intercept and slow rain as it falls.  The forest floor with its layers of twigs, leaves, and understory vegetation, acts like a sponge for stormwater.

Trees provide important wildlife habitat—many animals and birds depend on trees for a place to live and for food. Trees also store carbon and intercept airborne pollutants.  Trees can contribute to energy savings, too. The shade from trees planted at a proper exposure near a home can reduce summer cooling costs by 40%.

More than 60 species of trees are native to Anne Arundel County. Some of the most common choices are red and white oak, willow oak, redbud, eastern red cedar, yellow poplar, sweet gum, sycamore and red maple.

LeARn More ...

How to plant a tree and Proper Mulching Techniques

Anne Arundel County Forestry Board

Bringing Nature Home: Doug Tallamy on the value of planting native trees and plants

Forests for the Bay

Trees are GOOD - tree care information

Watershed Forestry Resource Guide

Virginia Tech Tree Identification Tool

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Leaf Key

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet

Swales and Berms
 

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Many downspouts and drains aim the stormwater directly at the stormdrains, sending whatever pollutants it carries into our waterways. By redirecting the water to a vegetated area, the water is slowed down to reduce erosion and infiltrated into the ground to be cleaned. 

Instead of letting water from your rooftop or driveway go straight into the storm drain, you can intercept your water and direct it into gardens or woodlands using swales and berms.  Swales are depressions that accept and infiltrate stormwater runoff, or direct it to a vegetated area such as a rain garden, where it can be absorbed.  Berms are small mounds of earth or rock which keep water from flowing in a certain direction.

WSA tools and resources ...

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Infiltration Practices

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Site Assessment

WSA Rainscaping Manual - Soils

WSA Stormwater Runoff Calculator

Coming Soon WSA Conservation Landscape Design Tool 

Learn More ...

Swales and Berms Defined

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet

 

 

Permeable Paving

 

 

Pervious Pavers and Pavement are hard surfaces that allow water to infiltrate into the ground below.

If you must re-pave hard surfaces, consider using porous pavers or pavement on a portion of this hardscape to capture and infiltrate stormwater.

Report by University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners report on permeable pavement in Howard County




For a list of contractors, please visit WSA's Connect and Collaborate page

When looking for a contractor:
           1.  Ask for references (You want to be sure that the work they have done was                          completed in a timely manner, at a sufficient level of quality, within the                                  contracted price)
           2. Ask to see completed work done by the contractor
           3. Approach at least 3 different contractors for quotes(You want to have a good                      understanding of the market to ensure that you are getting a reasonable quote)
           4. Ensure your contract includes plans, costs, and timelines
           5. Your contractor can find more information about installing this practice in the                      Watershed Stewards Academy Rainscaping Guide For Contractors

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet

Living Shorelines

                Traditional Bulkhead   

                Traditional Bulkhead   

                     Living Shoreline

                     Living Shoreline

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources defines living shorelines as, "the result of applying erosion control measures that include a suite of techniques which can be used to minimize coastal erosion and maintain coastal process. Techniques may include the use of fiber coir logs, sills, groins, breakwaters or other natural components used in coination with sand, other natural materials and/or marsh plantings. These techniques are used to protect, restore, enhance or create natural shoreline habitat."

Re-Creating Nature

Erosion is a normal process, one that occurs naturally over time; the concern isn't with erosion itself, but its pace. Eroding shorelines, streambanks and hillsides can cause big headaches for landowners.  In attempts to slow or halt erosion, landowners have used bulkheads, riprap and and dumped materials to stabilize their shorelines. these methods eliminate the sand beaches and wetlands so critical to wildlife and necessary for good water quality. They also block wildlife access between the water and land.  

Living shorelines, on the other hand, replicate natural coastlines by using biologs, sand, stones, oyster reefs and other natural elements to restore the shore's margins and protect wetlands, while allowing wildlife access. They offer many benefits such as: 

  • Allow natural coastal processes to occur 
  • Increase land and water habitat 
  • Filter nutrients from upland areas
  • Likely increase property value

Learn More ... 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Virginia Institute of Marine Science Center for Coastal Resource Management

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Environmental Concern

NOAA Habitat Conservation

For a list of contractors, please visit WSA's Connect and Collaborate page

When looking for a contractor:
           1.  Ask for references (You want to be sure that the work they have done was                          completed in a timely manner, at a sufficient level of quality, within the                                  contracted price)
           2. Ask to see completed work done by the contractor
           3. Approach at least 3 different contractors for quotes(You want to have a good                      understanding of the market to ensure that you are getting a reasonable quote)
           4. Ensure your contract includes plans, costs, and timelines
           5. Your contractor can find more information about installing this practice in the                      Watershed Stewards Academy Rainscaping Guide For Contractors

For information on funding your project, please visit our Resources Page to view our Grant Assistance Cheat Sheet