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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 Hollywood-on-Severn. 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.
SRA and Hollywood-on-Severn Improvement Association (HOSIA) are partnering together. HOSIA’s bulkhead by the communal gathering area is failing and it will need to be repaired or replaced. HOSIA contacted SRA to inquire about the feasibility of replacing the bulkhead with a living shoreline on this community property. SRA conducted a site visit with a number of HOSIA board and community members and discussed the process of design, permitting, implementation (construction) and maintenance. HOSIA has decided to work with SRA and that SRA will seek funding and serve as project manager, supervising contractors. More information about living shorelines is below.
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 in a way that balances enhanced recreational opportunities with improved water quality and wildlife habitat. Maintaining space for communal gatherings and enhanced water access for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and power craft is critical for project success. The living shoreline should increase rates of denitrification – a natural nitrogen pollution reduction process – and decrease rates of erosion to help improve water quality in the Severn River. Currently, the Severn River has been declared “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act for 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). Lastly, the third goal is to continue achieving all of the previous goals in the face of rising sea levels associated with climate change.
SRA will work with HOSIA to further define project goals and desired outcomes. Further SRA and HOSIA 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.
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
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.
– Stormwater management is also an important issue. Would it be included or separate from this project? There is a pipe (possibly plugged) with an outfall onto the beach. Other drain pipes also lead to the river. An “island” on Oak Rd. could be incorporated.
– Is it possible to plant more native plants on our HOSIA property near the water, as part of the project? What is the buffer zone on land that is considered part of the shoreline (how far inland is considered the “shore”)?
– The HOSIA beach area along the current bulkhead is deteriorating and there are pockets and large holes that are dangerous for beachgoers. Would it be possible to get some guidance about how we can make the bulkhead area more safe temporarily until the project commences?
– There continues to be a strong interest among community members and committee members to see other examples of living shorelines in our area. Maybe this would be possible in the spring/summer? In the interim, it would be great to share pictures of the shorelines in a presentation to the community. I think people are afraid the beach area would become a grassy marsh instead of a beach.
– After hearing that the SRA and grants may favor projects that impact multiple communities, we at Hollywood on the Severn reached out to our neighbors at Whitney’s Landing. They have expressed an interest in either joining our living shoreline project or engaging you in a project of their own depending on your recommendation for best outcomes. On behalf of the Hollywood on the Severn committee, we would welcome the opportunity to expand the project to include Whitney’s Landing and look forward to hearing what you may recommend as most beneficial to both communities.
– As you know, we’re contacting neighboring communities to determine if they might be interested in joining us on this project. Next, we are going to try to reach people at Fairwinds, the neighborhood on the other side of us (opposite from Whitney’s Landing). We’ll keep you posted on this.
– In planning for a community-wide meeting in January, possible dates are Jan. 15 or Jan. 22. The 15th is MLK day, so if the holiday is not good, we can meet the following week. Our meetings are usually at 7pm. Please let us know if either of these would work for you to come meet with our community. There is likely to be a good discussion based on the level of enthusiasm and interest at our December meeting.
Check out the google photo album for photos of the sites. Photos will be added to track the progress. Just click the photo below:
1.22.2024 –Living Shoreline presentation Compressed
None to date