Stormwater Management and Stream Restoration in Providence Cove

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This page will keep you in the loop about the stormwater management project in Providence Cove. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please let Ben Fertig know at 

Click on any picture to make it bigger or to download.

This project is partially funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). 

 SRA is contracting with Hanover Land Services (HLS).

What’s the Big Deal About Stormwater, Anyway?

Great question! 

As you’re probably already well aware, storms can cause flooding and erosion. Does something like this look familiar?

When water runs downhill it carries sediments (to which phosphorus ‘sticks’), dissolves nitrogen, and carries these nutrients with it, down to the Severn and the Chesapeake Bay. The stormwater carries fertilizer nutrients, pet waste, and soil, and the storm drains direct these right into Mill Creek without any pollution treatment at all. 

When there are too many nutrients (either nitrogen or phosphorus), it spurs algae populations to grow out of control. Nitrogen and phosphorus are basically what’s in plant fertilizer, as many gardeners know. The algae population grows so much that it uses up all the nutrients, but then the algae ‘starve’ to death and sink to the bottom of the water. The algae then decompose and the bacteria decomposing the algae use up oxygen, creating dead zones where oxygen levels are too low for most organisms (e.g. rockfish, oysters, and crabs) to survive. Overgrowth of algae and dead zones decrease biodiversity which in turn impacts humans and other organisms that feed and rely on these aquatic organisms. 

SRA water quality monitoring in the Severn River records low oxygen levels frequently during summer that indicates the presence of dead zones throughout the river. This is a problem that starts in our own backyards. 

This project will decrease the stormwater runoff that contributes to these dead zones. Additionally, the projects will help curtail the flooding, erosion, and sedimentation in the community. 

Project Environmental Benefits

  • Less flooding and erosion
  • Decreased nutrient & sediment pollution to Mill Creek and Severn River 
  • Improved levels of oxygen and water quality in the Severn – smaller and fewer ‘dead zones’ (maybe we even get rid of them altogether!)
  • Native plants will attract pollinators (birds, butterflies, bats and bees)
  • Increased biodiversity
  • Stronger, more resilient environment

Project Summary

The primary goal of the project is to stabilize an eroding stream channel and drainage swale that discharges into Mill Creek. Currently, the stormwater is high velocity and erosive.  The erosion brings nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution into Mill Creek and the Severn River, which has been declared “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act for these three pollutants.

SRA will work with the Providence Cove community, Hanover Land Services (HLS), and United States Naval Academy to design and implement the stormwater management project that will address the erosive drainage swale and flooding downstream. The project will include Best Management Practices (BMPs) with nature-based, green infrastructure to retain and treat stormwater. These stormwater management projects slow down, spread out, and soak in the stormwater which helps reduce erosion of community property, clean and filter runoff, and save the Severn

SRA and contractors will also provide time for community feedback and input to make sure your concerns and interests are heard. 

SRA has received $75,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to design and permit the stormwater project, but this is only partial funding. After accounting for matching contributions from individuals in the Providence community, we have a funding shortfall of $21,799. We are happy to report that the Severn River Association will match every donation from the community dollar for dollar until we bridge this funding gap. Can you please make a generous tax deductible donation to help us clean up the stormwater for the whole of Providence Cove? The link to do so is here, and you can note in the comment field that the donation is for the Providence project to ensure your donation goes directly to your community.

Project Design

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 us know what you think of the concept plan below. You can email the SRA Restoration Manager Ben Fertig any time at 

Concept Design for Stormwater Management in Providence Cove. Cyan represents a Step Pool with an associated Plunge Pool. Pink represents a Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance that will allow excess nutrients to filter into the ground before entering Providence Cove Tributary, which will undergo a stream restoration (shown in blue). The area draining to Providence Cove Tributary is circled in red.Timeline

  • April 2023 – SRA submitted proposal to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to fund $75K for design
  • April 2024 – NFWF funded $75K of design costs. Begin design. We now need to raise an additional $21,799 as soon as possible to make this project a reality. 
  • November 2024 – assuming remainder of design costs are secured, design work completed, apply for permits. 
  • There are opportunities to secure construction funding in December 2024, March 2025, and April 2025. 
  • July 2026 – hear if construction is funded, if so, construction begins
  • September 2026 – construction completed, SRA responsible for maintenance for 5 years
  • September 2031 – maintenance responsibility transfers to Providence Cove

Ways You Can Help!

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! 

  1. You can allow SRA and/or its contractors to access a site via your property 
  2. You can pledge to help volunteer with planting and/or maintaining native plants as part of the project’s installation.
  3. You can pledge to commit $__________ over and above the $3,750 pledged and budgeted for by community members in Providence Cove. Your pledge will be matched 1:1 by the Severn River Association and 100% of the dollars will go directly to supporting this project.
  4. You can install a rain garden on your property to help water infiltrate into the ground rather than runoff to Providence Cove Tributary.
  5. Other …. There are lots of ways to be involved. If you have an idea or want to discuss, please reach out!

If you are interested in participating in any of the ways above, please reach out to SRA’s Restoration Manager, Ben Fertig: 

Community Questions & Concerns 


Coming soon!


Providence Cove presentation.pptx

About SRA:
Severn River Association (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.