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List of State Officials - Robert Ehrlich, Governor; Michael Steele, Lt. Governor; Kendl Ehrlich, MDE Secretary 

Volume 1, Number 8

December 2005

eMDE is a monthly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. Additional monthly features include: MDE public meetings and hearings schedule, enforcement and compliance notes, and permitting activity.

Sustainable Development Study Group from Down Under Visits Maryland

By Ken Pensyl

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Stormwater Managemt Site Visit 

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A Sustainable Development study group, comprised of engineers from Australia and New Zealand visited Maryland and other sites in the U.S. and Canada to learn about our approach to stormwater management for urban development. Maryland continues to be a national leader in the area of stormwater management through it's "Unified Sizing Criteria" and volume control methods. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) hosted three site visits to demonstrate environmentally sensitive (site) design (ESD) measures that promote "Sustainable Development." Highlighting the use of non-structural best management practices as part of our ESD measures, the Group experienced hands-on design applications illustrated in the 2000 Maryland Stormwater Design Manual.

Fairland Park
The study group enjoyed our Fairland Park Stormwater Management Demonstration Area near Burtonsville, Maryland. It is a 471-acre park for active recreation and open space preservation along the Long Branch stream. The visitors viewed structural and non-structural best management practices such as an extended detention wet basin, shallow marsh, infiltration trenches, sand filters, and several variations of bioretention sytems. This included rain gardens as well as vegetative filtering and bay scaping practices. These best management systems provide ground water recharge, water quality treatment and flood control, and can function as a wildlife habitat using their shrubs, grasses, and woody vegetation.

Wilelinor and Howards Branch Projects
Our Aussie and Kiwi counterparts also toured two very unique stream restoration/stormwater management/endangered species wetland systems in Anne Arundel County. The Wilelinor and Howards Branch Projects systems filter untreated stormwater runoff from existing developed areas through a combination of steps. First, stormwater enters pretreatment forebay emergent marshes, then, sand filtration, and to a step pool stream restoration system. This creates an acidic environment in which the endangered White Cedar trees are planted.

The Wilelinor Projects site was only 8 months old, while the Howards Branch site is going on 5 years old. The sites showed the Study Group a timeline transformation of the stream restoration step pool system into a beautiful wetland system, facilitating the return of White Cedar to AA County.

“This was another great example of the partnership between State and local governments in the Chesapeake Bay Region providing an excellent outreach and education tour on Maryland's stormwater management program,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “These people came half way around the world to see what Maryland’s experts can do to efficiently and effectively manage stormwater before it reaches the Bay.”

The Study Group boasted that Maryland was the highlight of their North American tour.


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Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230