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Hi! My name is Ben Fertig, I’m the Restoration Manager at Severn River Association (SRA). My job is to help communities improve their local environment and restore the Severn River. Good communication is really important to me. So I’ve put together this page to let you know about what’s happening with the living shoreline project in Green Acres. SRA and Green Acres Community Association (GACA) are partnering together on this project. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please let me know! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on any picture to make it bigger or to download.
I really want your input and feedback on the project (see Project Summary below). Right now, while the project is still in its early stages, is the best opportunity to make sure to get it right. Please let me know what you think. As we get closer to a finished design, there will be less wiggle room to make changes. Once the design is 100% complete, it will be locked in and we won’t be able to make changes.
SRA is a 501c3 non-profit organization with experience and success at pursuing funding and project management for pollution reduction and environmental restoration. Our vision is a thriving Severn River by 2050, and our mission is to connect the people who live, work, and play on the Severn River to restore and protect it for all of our communities.
The GACA community bulkhead is failing and is in need of substantial repair or replacement. In the 2010s, a community member identified the opportunity for a living shoreline along the community’s water access to replace the bulkhead. Unfortunately, while an initial design was prepared it did not meet all of the community’s needs. In 2023, your neighbor Amanda Reynolds picked up the idea of a potential living shoreline again and reached out to SRA to discuss the potential for assistance with grant writing and project management. SRA visited Green Acres in November 2023 and provided an outline of a strategy. SRA believes that any plan or design for a living shoreline must meet all of the needs of the community. SRA believes there is sufficient space on community property to be able to maintain water access for kayaks and small power craft while also replacing the failing bulkhead with a living shoreline that would protect community property, reduce erosion and pollution, and improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
Living shorelines create open spaces along a river’s shoreline, mimicking Mother Nature’s natural defenses against erosion. Living shorelines can solve typical erosion problems found on the Severn River. Their design not only protects the shoreline and cliffs from storm and powerboat wave energy, but also rebuilds the natural sandy shoreline that is greatly affected due to storms, rising sea level, and wave energy.
The primary goal of the project is to replace a failing bulkhead with a living shoreline to increase rates of denitrification – a natural pollution reduction process – that occurs in salt marshes and to decrease rates of erosion to help improve water quality in Back Creek and the Severn River. Currently, the Severn River has been declared “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act for these nitrogen, phosphorus, sediments and other pollutants. A second goal is to increase habitat and native species biodiversity, and create additional spawning and nursery grounds for juvenile turtles, fish, oysters, as well as native pollinators (birds, butterflies, bees and bats). A third critically important goal is to continue protecting communal gathering space, small boat (kayak) water access, a dock and power craft access and other important community infrastructure. Lastly, the fourth goal is to continue achieving all of the previous three goals in the face of rising sea levels associated with climate change.
SRA will work with GACA to further define project goals and desired outcomes. Further SRA and GACA will solicit and select a contractor to design the living shoreline.
SRA is seeking funding for this project through the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) Watershed Assistance Grant Program (WAGP). SRA will create an RFP and solicit contractor bids for this project according to the federal procurement procedures as required by the grant program. Funding could be awarded in full, in part, or not at all. If unsuccessful, SRA will look for other sources of funding to design, permit, and build these projects, like Maryland Department of Natural Resources Grants Gateway and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Small Watershed Grants program. A ‘no’ is not final or forever.
SRA’s work for the Severn, including on environmental restoration projects like this one, is only possible because of private donations from our over 500 members. Grants like this one only cover a small fraction of our costs. Every member makes an annual donation and those who give $1000 or more annually become one of our critically important major donors.
SRA wants to make sure that the project is something that the community will enjoy (in addition to all the great environmental benefits). Keep in mind that, as with so many things in life, there are trade-offs to consider. We want to understand what you value so the project will reflect those values. So, right now we want your feedback, especially while the project is still in its early stages. Now is the best opportunity to make sure to get it right. Please let me know what you think. You can email me any time, email@example.com
The Green Acres Board notes that any plans for any living shoreline must meet the following requirements:
Community support is critical to a successful grant proposal. Specifically, there are several ways you can choose to support this project. Any and all are appreciated!
If you are interested in participating in any of the ways above, please reach out to SRA’s Restoration Manager, Ben Fertig: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let SRA know your thoughts about the project. We will update this section with how these will be addressed.
Will the number or location of the boat slips be affected by the project?
Will construction impact access to the boat slips?